Oklahoma lost another defensive position coach.
Following the retirement of linebacker coach Tim Kish, former secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator Kerry Cooks accepted the safeties coach job at Texas Tech. Cooks led a secondary that routinely gave up 300-yard passing performances and couldn’t be counted on to standing up against the size and speed of Big 12 wide receivers and play design of Big 12 offenses.
While defensive back Parnell Motley accounted for three interceptions in 2018, the Sooners were frequently embarrassed in the passing game. Changes needed to be made, and OU is still making them.
With Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch at the helm, the Sooners now need to find at least two coaches to fill voids, assuming Grinch continues to coach safeties like he has at almost every stop he’s made in his career.
OUInsider reached out to both Green-Warren and Huff. They remain committed to the class, but they are terribly interested in who the corner backs coach at OU will be in 2019.
Huff and Green-Warren competed at the Under Armour Future 50.
Green-Warren matched himself against the best in his class. As a junior at Mater Dei, he played in the same defensive backfield as Sooner signee Jeremiah Criddell and 2020 top defensive back Elias Ricks.
Green-Warren does have other suitors, including Tennessee, USC and Florida State. However, he’s a big fan of Grinch’s scheme.
“I like him,” he said. “When he was at Washington State, he ran a lot of man. That’s what I like to put my skills on the line, man up and go against your best dog. I like that he puts defenses in the right positions to get turnovers.”
Green-Warren is an instinctual player, a film junkie and used to going against quarterbacks the caliber of 2020 quarterback Bryce Young. Huff is the kind corner who is used to going up against bigger, longer wide outs the likes of Jadon Haselwood.
Haselwood is a five-star wide receiver and Sooner signee. He challenged Huff regularly. The two played together on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 team.
That’s one reason Huff said he was excited about getting to Norman.
“Just being able to line up against Jadon, Theo Wease, CeeDee Lamb… and you know,” he said, “if I’m not on my game today I’m gonna get embarrassed. I’m gonna get beat.
“So you’re practicing all summer with that and you get to a game, and you know he’s not half of Jadon. He’s not half of CeeDee. It’s a confidence factor. You start trusting yourself, and you feel comfortable. That leads to big plays.”
Huff received his offer from OU in May 2018, and he made his commitment in November that year. Just days before Cooks’ departure, he told OUInsider Cooks was a major reason why he chose Oklahoma.
“Cooks came down to watch me practice in the spring, and that’s when he offered me,” Huff said. “We kept a good relationship from there—just small talk. He’s a very interesting guy. We didn’t just talk football. Eventually, I got down there for a visit, and I loved everything about it—from the environment to the coaching staff to the fans. That led me to pull the trigger, and I’m still happy about my decision.”
The game for OU coach Lincoln Riley and Grinch now? Keep these two happy.