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Darnell Walker Jr.
Darnell Walker Jr.
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Aug 14, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Tulsa football practiced at H.A. Chapman Stadium for on Wednesday for a two-hour morning workout in shorts and helmets. The Hurricane team was introduced to the public at the Annual Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce Kickoff Luncheon at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa at 12 noon.

Tulsa will be back on the practice field Thursday morning.


Much has been made of Tulsa returning only three starters on the defensive side of the ball in 2013, but coaches have been pleased with the progress of the defense thus far during preseason camp. Nowhere is that more evident than in the secondary, where Tulsa has to replace two starting cornerbacks.



"We have a lot of talent at cornerback," said Head Coach Bill Blankenship. "They've shown up and played very well. Darnell Walker Jr. has been playing extremely well. He has really solidified himself in the rotation at the boundary corner. Dwight Dobbins has gotten a lot more work at the field corner. Darrell Williams has had to miss a few days of practice, so it's put him a little behind, but that has given other young guys some quality reps. I really like the group of corners that we have. As a whole, I think you may see three or four of them play a lot. Austin McDaniel has been in the rotation as well."

Cornerbacks coach Darnell Walker Sr. sees the progress in this young group of cornerback.

"I'm excited about them. They are young guys, and have a lot of energy, but they're not young anymore. Once you get on the football field, you have to play football. We're just excited about the guys we do have. They're going to bring a lot of intensity. It's exciting to see where they were and how far they've come now," said Walker Sr. Walker Jr. red-shirted last season as a true freshman, but had an outstanding prep career where he totaled 75 tackles and nine interceptions as a senior at Bolivar (Mo.) High School. "I think Little Walk's (Darnell Walker Jr.) biggest thing is he has some real football savvy. He reads very well, so he gets a big jump on the ball, and he's fairly physical when he gets there," said Blankenship.

Dobbins has played in all 27 games since coming to Tulsa and has had two defensive touchdowns in his career. He had 27 stops, two pass break-ups and one interception during the 2012 campaign. "Dwight may be the most explosive player that we have on the team - offense or defense. He has the ability to really have a burst and use his speed to make plays. So, when he does, he's very good," said Blankenship.

Williams played mainly on special teams as a red-shirt freshman last year and had a solid spring season at corner. "Darrell is also very physical. We just have to get him back in the rotation and getting reps," said Blankenship. McDaniel, a former walk-on who was given a scholarship last week, and red-shirt freshman Johnnell Celistan are also in the mix at the corner position.

"Austin is just a product of the program. He's doing a great job. He fools people how fast he is. He's very efficient in covering people. Johnell has only been through one spring and he's making good progress," added Blankenship.