Oklahoma State football: Cowboy secondary loaded after Kolby Harvell-Peel, Tre Sterling bypass NFL Draft
STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State defensive backfield could have been on the verge of a full rebuild this spring.
Instead, a few key members who could have left to test the NFL waters decided to stay in Stillwater.
Here’s a look at where the Cowboy secondary stands heading into 2021:
Season rewind: Rodarius Williams and Jarrick Bernard-Converse made up quite the potent cornerback duo, with Williams climbing draft boards to build himself into a mid-round prospect.
Tre Sterling took another step forward as a playmaker, finishing third on the team in tackles and leading the Cowboys with 12 tackles for loss. Kolby Harvell-Peel turned in another solid season, and the duo of Tanner McCalister and Thomas Harper were solid sharing time at the nickelback safety position.
In all, the Cowboys allowed 218.9 passing yards per game, down from 253.9 the year before. And teams completed 57.8% of their passes, compared to 60.4 in 2019.
Who’s out: Rodarius Williams.
Who’s in: Trey Rucker, So.; Raymond Gay, Fr.; Makale Smith, Fr.; Cam Smith, Fr.; Ty Williams, Lyrik Rawls, De’kelvion Beamon.
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The take: Decisions by Harvell-Peel, Sterling and cornerback Christian Holmes to stay at OSU were game-changing. Instead of rebuilding the secondary, the starting five is set.
Now, the task falls on defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and his assistants to build for the future behind a reliable group of starters and some key backups, because several of those starters could be headed to the pros next year.
As for the fall, expect little dropoff in the Cowboy secondary, which was one of the big reasons OSU was so strong on defense in 2020.
Projected depth chart
Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Jr., 6-1, 205
Jabbar Muhammad, Fr., 5-10, 175
Kolby Harvell-Peel, Jr., 6-0, 210
Jason Taylor II, RSo., 5-11, 210
Tre Sterling, RJr., 5-11, 200
Sean Michael Flanagan, RSo., 6-1, 210
Tanner McCalister, Jr., 5-11, 195
Thomas Harper, So., 5-10, 180
Christian Holmes, RSr., 6-1, 200
Korie Black, Fr., 6-0, 165