OU confirms three reserves are gone from football program
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
2/19/13 at 8:58 AM
NORMAN - The Oklahoma football program, in the midst of a staff transition, has now lost some players as well.
Reserves Gary Simon, Marquis Anderson and Damon Williams are no longer with the Sooners, an OU spokesman has confirmed to the Tulsa World.
Simon made a total of two tackles in three games last year as a freshman. It was thought he could compete for more playing time at cornerback in the near future. He was a four-star signee out of St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2012, and a player coaches bragged on during preseason drills.
"He's about 6-1 or 6-2, but his arms make him about 6-4. He can get to everything," OU coach Bob Stoops said at the time. "He's athletic, he changes direction, he can jump over the moon. He's just raw in that he's a young kid that hasn't had a lot of time in the weight room... It's just catching his body up.
"But he can sure cover and compete with people."
By the end of the season, however, it was clear Simon had struggled with the transition on and off the field.
"It gets down to maturity and understanding what it takes to play at this level," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said when asked about Simon during OU's Cotton Bowl preparations last December. "Football is easy for some players, but it's the other things that create a lot of issues. Players have to be able to manage their lives, and manage their school work, and then be able to be a great football player on top of it.
"That's a difficult task for young players, and that's hardest for kids that need to mature within the program."
Simon's departure leaves the Sooners with four scholarship cornerbacks for spring practice - starter Aaron Colvin, Cortez Johnson and reserves Zack Sanchez and Kass Everett. Johnson sat out last season after transferring from Arizona.
The Sooners are even thinner at defensive tackle. With Anderson and Williams gone, OU is left with three scholarship players at the position for upcoming spring practice - Jordan Phillips, Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson.
Phillips played in 10 games as a redshirt freshman last fall. Peterson played sparingly as a 2011 freshman before barely seeing the field last season. Wade, ESPN's No. 8-rated high school defensive tackle when OU signed him in 2012, redshirted last year.
Anderson was a touted signee at defensive tackle in 2011. He enrolled a semester early before redshirting in '11. He made five tackles in four games last season, while missing part of it due to a suspension.
Williams, another defensive tackle, did not see any game time the past two seasons. He signed with OU out of Irving, Texas, in 2010 before redshirting his first year.
Original Print Headline: OU confirms three reserves are gone
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
From left to right, reserves Gary Simon, Marquis Anderson and Damon Williams are no longer with the Sooners, an OU spokesman has confirmed to the Tulsa World.