Oklahoma will be shorthanded for the season opener Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe, as starting cornerback Cortez Johnson will be suspended for violation of team rules, team sources have told Fox Sports Southwest.
This incident could be related to the arrest that also involved wide receiver Jalen Saunders. Both players were arrested in December on a complaint of possession of a controlled substance, per Jake Trotter of ESPN.
Johnson is an Arizona transfer who sat out last year, per NCAA rules. He is expected to be a key player this season, with hopes he can help improve a defense that allowed nearly 400 yards a game.
Does Louisiana-Monroe have a chance with key Oklahoma players suspended?
He played in eight games as a freshman for Arizona in 2011, finishing the season with 16 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss and one broken up pass.
Johnson spent last season on the scout team and is projected to start across from All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin. He brings great size to the secondary at 6'2" and is a rangy athlete who has the potential to develop into a terrific player.
Oklahoma heads into the season with multiple questions defensively. Only four defensive starters are returning, and last year's efforts were disappointing. The defense allowed more than 400 yards in five games, including a ridiculous 633 yards in a 41-13 loss to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
Starting defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue is also expected to be suspended, per the Fox Sports report. Ndulue was arrested by campus police in July on a DUI charge. The junior defensive lineman played in 13 games last season.