BY TRENT SHADID
NORMAN — Oklahoma must replace both of its starting safeties next season, and OU commitment Hatari Byrd told The Oklahoman one of the spots already belongs to him.
Byrd, a four-star prospect from Central High in Fresno, Calif., said Sooner coaches have told him that he's going to start as a true freshman.
“I'm going to come in and work really hard — that's the type of player I am — but they told me I'm going to be the starter,” Byrd said in a telephone interview.
“They told me it's my spot.”
Byrd didn't specify whether he'd be a strong or free safety in Norman, but did say he's more comfortable playing pass defense.
“I can come up and stop the run, but I'm more of a cover guy,” Byrd said.
Byrd is one of two safeties in the Sooners' recruiting class of 2013, along with three-star Miami prospect Ahmad Thomas, who graduated early and is already enrolled in classes at OU.
The Sooners' two safeties from last season — Javon Harris and Tony Jefferson — are gone.
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