He’s raw, he’s young and inexperienced. Yet, he could have one of the highest long-term upsides of the freshmen on Oklahoma's roster.
Cornerback Gary Simon is just starting to tap into his potential. A high school standout on the basketball court, Simon has spent his first season on campus learning the cornerback position and preparing himself to become a bigger part of OU’s defense in 2013.
Simon has seen very limited playing time during his freshman season, recording just two tackles, but one of the Sooners' best players has seen enough to predict Simon’s future in crimson and cream.
“He’s going to be great corner at OU,” All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “He’s still maturing, still a young guy so he has some things to learn. When it clicks, he’s going to be a great asset to this team.”
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Simon brings unusual size and length to the cornerback position. His unique frame and skill set has caused problems for the Sooners receivers during practice this season.
“He’s athletic,” receiver Justin Brown said. “He has long arms, so he’s able to get his hands on you quicker than a lot of defensive backs. He’s taller, with long arms and great speed.”
Colvin compares the Sooners freshman cornerback to three-time NFL Pro Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“He’s a real rangy corner,” Colvin said. “It’s hard to get away from him, he’s so long, he can keep his hands on you. He’s almost an Asomugha-type guy.”
If Simon and redshirting freshman Zack Sanchez continue to develop in the secondary, the Sooners could be better equipped to handle the departures of seniors Demontre Hurst and Javon Harris. Colvin has been trying to mentor the duo and make sure those guys will be ready when called upon.
“I see so much talent and potential in them, so I try to stay on them,” he said.