As Oklahoma plunges forward through fall camp in the leadup to the start of the 2022 season, position battles are being fought all across the roster as players do everything they can to earn some playing time on Saturday’s.
Many of the key names in those discussions were added over the course of the offseason, as the Sooners were highly active in adding depth and talent through the transfer portal.
Most of the transfers came to Norman during the winter and had the benefit of a full spring with Brent Venables and their respective position coaches, with some joining the roster later in the offseason after the spring game.
Wyoming transfer cornerback C.J. Coldon, though, announced his move to Oklahoma in the winter but didn’t actually join the team until the early part of the summer as opposed to being an early enrollee in January.
This, obviously, put Coldon a little bit behind the eight ball in terms of learning a new defensive system after other players had already had a full spring camp to begin that process.
“Whenever he (Coldon) got here, it was May or June, those other guys had four or five months in the system that he didn’t have,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said at OU Media Day. “So catching up to the language, catching up to scheme. The requirements in the weight room under Coach Schmidty. How you have to perform there. The standards. But again, he’s come in with a great attitude and he’s worked hard. It’s playing catchup a little bit.”
Despite getting to the team late, Coldon has the benefit of several years of collegiate experience on his side as he works to earn some playing time.
“I’m excited to see what he’s going to do once we start camp, because he’s an experienced player there as well,” Roof said. “But again, he’s going to get what he earns, as all our guys are. There will be nothing handed to anybody. There’s competition at those spots, too.”
Appearing in 25 games at Wyoming, Coldon picked up 115 career tackles with 16 pass deflections and a pair of interceptions.
No matter the natural talent a player has - there is always one thing you can’t teach: experience.
“He has good tape,” Roof said. “He’s been in situations in college stadiums against really good receivers. He has that level of experience, and that’s something you can’t fabricate. You can’t fabricate experience. To have that, I think he’s confident. At the same time, I go back to hey, just like every guy on our team’s gotta earn, he’s going to get whatever he earns. Just like we all are. So that’s the mantra in getting him caught up. The experience is obviously a factor that’s on his side.”
Coldon and the Sooners open the season in under three weeks on Saturday, Sept. 3 against UTEP at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.
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