Oklahoma State Football: What Jason Jones' Departure Means for the Pokes Defense

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2013

Dec 1, 2012; Waco, TX, USA;Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert (4) and safety Deion Imade (28) prepare to face the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Cowboys 41-34. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys' coaching staff has gone through quite a few changes during this offseason, replacing both coordinator positions, the defensive line coach and the receivers coach.

Add cornerbacks coach to that list after the recent departure of Jason Jones to the Ole Miss Rebels.

This move comes at an all too unfortunate time for Oklahoma State, who is just one week away from beginning spring practices.

In addition: It has the potential to have a big impact on the team, because the cornerback position is one of the places the Cowboys need to improve the most.

Last year, the team ranked 110th nationally by allowing 280 passing yards per game, largely due to defensive breakdowns in the secondary.

Now, the unit that needed to step up the most in 2013 is without its coach and in the middle of replacing long-time starter Broderick Brown.

However, it's not all doom-and-gloom in Stillwater. The team does have quite a few young guys to go to.

Obviously, Justin Gilbert will remain a starter, and he will hopefully improve his game over the course of the next few months.

Gilbert has prototypical size and athleticism, he just needs to learn how to better harness his ability; something that we should see now that he's in his senior year at Oklahoma State.

Outside of Gilbert, the team has a lot of potential at the position, but not much of it is proven.

Junior Devin Hedgepeth has the most experience in the system. With that said, he's also struggled with injuries during his career.

Behind him are Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lumpkin—both won playing time as true freshman last year.

Then the Pokes have three quality incoming freshmen in Darius Curry, Jerel Morrow and Tre Flowers. Anyone of them could make a case for time on the field.

As you can see: The cornerback position is in a bit of a flux due to all of the young talent, something that wouldn't be as big of a deal if the team had its position coach in place.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys no longer have that.

It will be interesting to see how they go about evaluating their talent, but Cowboy fans should have plenty of faith in head coach Mike Gundy and new defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer to get the job done.

It's unlikely that Jones' departure makes a big impact during the actual season, but his leaving so close spring practices could hinder the development of some of the team's many young cornerbacks.

Look for Coach Gundy to patch this up quickly, insuring that the team has the guys in place to make improvements at one of its worst positions in 2012. 


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