2013 Recruiting Update 12-9
Verbal Commitments: 15 (class size 24 to 26)
DJ Ward 6-4, 235, 4.6 Lawton DE
Hatari Byrd 6-2, 195, 4.55 DB
Matt Dimon 6-3, 255, 4.8 Texas DE
Dalton Rodriguez 6-6, 255, 4.8 OT Tulsa
Stanvon Taylor 5-11, 175, 4.4 Tulsa CB
Cody Thomas 6-5, 220, 4.6 QB Texas
Ahmad Thomas 6-0, 200, 4.5 SS Miami
Jordan Mastrogiovanni 6-3, 225, 4.75 LB Dallas
Jordan Smallwood 6-2, 195, 4.55 WR Jenks
Jordan Evans 6-3, 210, 4.55 LB/DE Norman
Jed Barnett 6-2, 210 Punter JUCO
Dominique Alexander 6-2, 195, 4.5 LB/S Tulsa
Austin Bennett 6-0, 170, 4.45 WR Texas
Tee Shepard 6-1, 185, 4.4 CB Fresno,CA (highlights from 2010)
Keith Ford 5-11, 200, 4.5 Texas RB
2012 additions (redshirting due to transfer rules)
Cortez Johnson DB 6-2, 195 from Arizona (Mike Stoops thinks that the kid can be an elite DB in college.)
Verbal/Update: OU has added a potential January enrollee in CB Tee Shepard. Shepard a top five CB in 2012 signing class enrolled early at ND but ran into Clearinghouse issues. In addition, in his attempt to enroll early at ND, Shepard changed HS and like DJ Ward was not allowed to play football his senior year. So he’s been out of football for a bit. He left ND around spring practice. He’s spent all fall working on his test score, and appears to now have a qualifying score. Now, he’s on the record talking about enrolling at OU if the paperwork is all good. Shepard if he can get on campus is simply the highest rated CB signed by OU since Marcus Walker in 2004. He will have 4 years to play and will go thru spring football. He’s a huge addition to Mike’s rebuilding of the talent in the OU secondary.
Let’s get to it. Justin Manning chose ATM. It’s a huge blow for OU recruiting mainly due to the fact that he was probably the best DT in Texas. There are very few elite DTs in Texas this year (Manning and UT verbal A’Shawn Robinson). There are none in the state of Oklahoma, again. Now Manning was not going to be a freshman star like Tommie Harris, but after a redshirt year if he hits the weights right could be a factor as a 3 technique DT for the right scheme (OU’s scheme actually). There’s also a downside to Manning. He’s not overly big and would he maintain his speed/explosive after adding some weight. To recap, the real concerns are in no real order;
1. ATM’s push to the SEC is aiding their recruiting particular in Dallas an area where OU has dominated ATM
2. Jackie Shipp badly misread this whole recruiting situation and is getting stale and lazy on the recruiting road. Shipp’s only real recruiting role is the signing of blue chip DTs. And he signed no one last year.
3. OU is going to need to adjust their recruiting strategy and offer more out of region DT kids and really get aggressive in extending those offers which is counter to Shipp’s MO.
4. Sumlin is turning ATM into a Texas based recruiting juggernaut creating all kinds of problem for OU.
5. Shipp hasn’t landed a big time DT outside of Texas or Oklahoma save for Jordan Phillips. Shipp does not recruit well nationally.
Moving on from the Manning debacle, OU still needs 2 JUCO DTs and ideally 2 HS DTs. Nothing has changed. OU has 3 prime JUCO DT targets Quincy Russell, Ben Bradley, and Toby Johnson along with 2 or 3 other targets on hold waiting on decisions from Russell etc. OU needs these JUCOs to go with the returning young players, but also needs young DTs to get into the program. HS DTs is where the problems really are. Outside of Maquedius Bain who just visited but also has interest from LSU and Miami, there’s no one on the board that’s leaning to OU. Greg Gilmore is with LSU. Keith Bryant is a great looking DT prospect but no sign of an OU visit. D’Asian Richardson has fallen off the map after his off the field issue. Deadrin Senat seems locked into FSU. Donovan Munger is at least scheduled to visit OU but getting him away from Ohio State will be tough. OU cannot keep putting off signing blue chip DTs. OU cannot go two years in a row of no HS DT talent.
If the Manning news was not enough for OU fans to absorb Beau Sandland dropped OU completely. And OL recruiting still is all over the place with new offers to more JUCO OTs,no new verbals, no new verbals/offers to HS OTs. More info in the position updates
QB: Cody Thomas (1)
RB: Keith Ford (2)
WR: Jordan Smallwood, Austin Bennett (4)
TE: Emmanuel Bibbs (5)
OL: Dalton Rodriguez, some HS OT, some HS OT
Josiah St. John JUCO OT, another JUCO OT (10)
DT: Quincy Russell, Maquedius Bain (12)
DE: DJ Ward, Matt Dimon, (14)
LB: Mastro, Jordan Evans (16)
DB: Stanvon Taylor, Hatari Byrd, Ahmad Thomas, Dominique Alexander, Lammar Robbins, Dee Shepard(22)
4 mid term players in Quincy Russell, Ward, Barnett, JUCO OT
Position Updates: (projected number)
QB: Thomas has continued his awesome senior year. He’s a one man gang out there showing an elite arm and good mobility to be effective in some QB run game action. His upside/ceiling looks elite. He may not get a bump in rankings but anyone who has seen Thomas play this fall has commented on how awesome he looks. OU has the best HS QB from Texas in this class.
RB: Ford is having an awesome year (some fumbling problems which need to stop) but looks to easily be locking up the best RB in Texas label. He’s showing power and home run speed. He goes up against Matt Dimon’s fearsome Katy defense in the Texas playoffs.
Gundy has already moved on to 2014 with Devon Thomas of Broken Arrow (5-11, 200, 4.5) committing. One spot gone, one spot left? Nathan Starks of Vegas??
OU has two excellent verbals in Smallwood and Bennett. With Derrick Woods redshirting, WR is pretty set. I think the only kid in play is Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell is a special talent that you have to keep chasing if he’s still talking to OU. Norvell like Gundy is off to a great start with Armanti Foreman 5-11, 180, 4.4 WR from Texas for 2014
Laquon Treadwell 6-3, 195, 4.5 Illinois – Treadwell is visiting for the OU banquet weekend 12/14. Treadwell is probably a signing day decision. He’s talking up OU and Ole Miss. But I’m wondering if he’s not going to end up back at Michigan like everyone thought by the time February arrives. Still, Norvell is a closer and OU is a great fit for Treadwell. Treadwell done everything to support his five star status with an awesome senior year at WR and at Safety.
Looks like it’s Bibbs at TE after Sandland bailed on OU. Not sure if OU will pursue a HS TE as well or not?
Emmanuel Bibbs 6-3, 245, 4.7 Arizona West JUCO – He shows an excellent receiving game both flexed out and inline. Blocking highlights are few, but he shows good overall speed, and good hands catching in traffic. Not the monster athlete that Cam Clear was (6-6, 270) but might be a more polished talent at TE. Would go through spring and could bring back the TE into the offense.
Mitchell Parsons 6-5, 230, 4.6 Colorado – A top flight HS TE who shows great ability to get downfield. Would be a great addition to OU’s young TE core if OU offers a HS TE.
OL : 4-5 (6?)
OU is recruiting 4 JUCO OTs when they have Thompson and Williams returning at OT. Some of these tackles are mid term but others are fall enrollees. It’s not clear if any of the JUCOs can play OG (they would be seriously tall). Also it’s not clear if any of the 4 has 3 years to play which would make a difference. A HS OT hasn’t visited in a month. No signs of verbals from anyone either. This OL class really needs 4 HS players preferably 3 OTs. It’s not trending in a great way right now. OU never offered Jake Campos who left Missouri for ISU. OU never got a visit from Clay Rhodes. OU shows no signs of offering Dan Skipper who was verbaled to Tenn. No news if OU is going to make a run at Jack Keeler from Illinois now that Wisco is hunting for a coach. I’d hope to have listed 2 to 3 new HS names since the last update instead all I have is another JUCO OT. Have to hope Patton/Kittle know something we don’t.
Na’ty Rodgers 6-5, 280, 5.0 DC – Rodgers is an excellent OL prospect very physical and athletic. Sounds like South Carolina now.
Christian Morris 6-6, 295, 5.1 Memphis – Another UCLA verbal that has blown up in recruiting. OU has offered and will try and get him on campus. He’s a big athlete who again looks like he could be a great LT/RT. OU visit needs to happen soon.
Caleb Beneoch 6-6, 320, 5.2 Texas – Former Mich State verbal who has decommitted and received offers from OU, UCLA, and UT. Only this recruiting has gone all around the bend and back. So Beneoch is down to Baylor, UCLA, or maybe OU?
Rob Boyd 6-4, 290, 5.0 Oklahoma
No offer, no signs of an offer.
Sean Dowling 6-6, 265, 5.2 San Diego – Another UCLA commit that OU is after. Dowling has been committed to UCLA since the summer. Dowling visited for the KU game. OU might really be in play for this tackle prospect.
Aaron Cochran 6-7,330, 5.3 California – A big RT prospect from California who is still on the OU radar. He visited for the Baylor game and Cal where his brother plays may not be the leader everyone thinks. Tedford is gone. But Sonny Dykes is now hired. Will that help OU??
Kyle Meadows 6-6, 285, 5.0 Ohio – Meadows is from a big time Ohio program that produces Division 1 talent. Meadows is a very athletic big man with a frame to add more weight.
Sterling Korona 6-7, 255, 5.0 San Antonio – No offer yet. Beyer’s HS teammate currently committed to Duke. Korona was a former BBall player who has just recently focused on football. He has a huge frame and wingspan for OT. Excellent athlete but very raw at OT
Christian Daimler 6-6,280, 5.1 Houston – No offer yet. Daimler’s senior year film shows a player who is much much improved in pass protect to go along with his physical play in the run game. It’s almost night and day in the quality of his film. His film is the reason why you wait to offer kids as seniors.
Desmond Harrison 6-8, 310 5.2 Cali Juco – A tall very mobile OT prospect that could turn into an absolute star. Unreal ceiling.
OU visit went well from all reports.
Maff Finnin 6-8, 330, 5.3 College of Dupage IL – Finnin is the latest OT offer. Scheduled for a visit in early January. His film looks good but his offer list is pretty average right now. His offer list could blow as folks find his film. He’s a big aggressive RT. Some talk he might have 3 years to play at Div 1.
Trenton Brown 6-7, 350, 5.4 JUCO Georgia – Committed to UGA, bailed on UGA, seems like he’s a lock for UF. Visited Norman for OSU game.
Josiah St. John 6-6, 310, 5.2 Trinity Valley JUCO TX – Just visited for the ND game. He has an OU offer. OU will definitely be in his final 3.
DT: 2 to 3
The Justin Manning pursuit is over. Shipp has a massive problem on his hands. With Manning gone, I’m not sure that OU will sign a HS DT. Gilmore verbaled to LSU and Bain visited OU but no signs of a verbal yet. OU has moved on from Josh Augusta and zero updates on De’Asian Richardson. Donovan Munger at least appears ready to visit OU, but can OU pull a top DT from Ohio that now has a Buckeye offer. Can OU get a visit from Keith Bryant? Can OU flip someone who is verballed elsewhere? Charles Walker from Texas is a possibility but he’s only got one year of great film. OU’s JUCO DT recruiting got a huge twist with the injury to Toby Johnson and the decommitment from Tenn by Ben Bradley. In addition, Quincy Russell finally visited for the OSU game. In addition, OU appears to be tracking California Juco DT/DE Demetrius Campbell as well but Russell/Johnson/Bradley are the top targets. OU has to have at least one JUCO DT in for spring.
DeAsian Richardson 6-3,285, 4.9 Florida – Like Manning it’s easy to see Richardson being able to play both DTs spots for the Sooners. Your typical big mobile physical SEC region DL. Richardson verbaled to WVU but an OU visit was possible at one point. But he had some off the field stuff happen recently leading to a change of high schools so it’s unclear where OU stands.
Toby Johnson 6-3, 300, 4.9 Hutchinson CC – He blew his knee out and it’s put his recruiting into chaos. He may be able to play next fall, but more likely he’s looking at redshirting. He’s still only visited NU and OU.
Demetrius Campbell 6-4, 270, 4.8 Cali JUCO – Campbell plays both inside and outside and has racked up some great stats with over 30 tackles for loss. Great athleticism and a frame to add some weight.
Ben Bradley 6-3, 310, 5.1 Hutchinson CC – Was committed to Tenn but that disappeared with the firing of Derek Dooley. Johnson’s teammate is more of a run stopper but OU needs that as well. Hasn’t visited OU yet but OU is chasing him.
Quincy Russell 6-4, 310, 5.0 Trinity Valley CC Texas– Former UT verbal who had grade issues and went JUCO. UT seems disinterested in resigning him, and OU is evaluating him at DT. Russell like in HS has amazing athletic ability for his size, but still continues to disappear for stretches. His stats at JUCO indicate a much better second half productivity wise. The ceiling is high but so is drop to the floor.
Donovan Munger 6-4, 285, 5.0 Ohio – Another HS DT that might visit OU in December/January. Munger is impressive at both OG/DT. Not sure how OU will get him away from the Big Ten schools but he mentions OU.
Keith Patrick 6-2, 305, 4.9 Florida – Another FL DT. He looks great on film. Big physical DT with a nice burst. Not sure if OU is interested or can get him on campus. He’s a Cane lean but like many area prospects is afraid of the coming NCAA carnage.
Charles Walker 6-4, 285, 5.0 Garland TX – Walker has been hurt the last two years so he’s finally healthy and putting together a good year. He’s not on many recruiting lists and is a fast rising sleeper prospect.
Maquedias Bain 6-5, 290, 5.0 Florida – A huge DT prospect who could also end up on the OL. Bain visited for the OSU game and had a good time based on his twitter traffic. He has more visits he’d like to take but nothing is scheduled.
Does OU need one more DE? BJW struck 3 star gold with Tapper and Ouonha who are both on campus and look like future elite DEs. Dimon is having a great senior year so far, and DJ Ward will be enrolling early giving him a huge chance to be a factor at DE next fall. OU has pulled an offer to Mixon and Okoronkwo. However, Torrodney Prevot appears to be still in play for OU. In addition, Evans could be a 6-3, 245 rush DE as well. Is there a JUCO DE about there? Perhaps BJW loves the 2014 DE group (instate targets included) more, and wants to save a ship for 2014.
Torrodney Prevot 6-4, 220, 4.6 Houston – Verbaled to USC, but their recruiting class is starting to fall apart a bit after their awful season. OU might get a visit in December. I guess OU could turn him?
Okay 2 LBs are onboard. LB in preseason looked like it needed more numbers but overall after two games things seem okay with the young LBs Shannon, Franklin, and Striker looking pretty good. In addition, through 2 games OU is barely playing any 3 LB formations. OU could definitely use another HS LB though. The ND game and OU’s struggles against running teams spreading OU out would seem to indicate that OU needs an upgrade at LB to a more physical every down presence. OU now has Alexander and Evans at LB potentially as well. Mitchell is out, and Levenberry is the only real target left and I don’t think he leaves FSU. Kish seems to have made real headway with the pool of Texas 2014 LB which looks excellent.
EJ Levenberry 6-3, 235, Virginia – Okay he’s verbaled to FSU and didn’t seem to have any real interest in OU after BV left for Clemson. However, Kish and Bob went back to Levenberry. Levenberry is the kind of physical frame that OU wants in an every down LB. He visited for ND, but this is looking like a case where he will stay with FSU. Unclear if Mark Stoops leaving FSU will have any impact.
Devante Bond 6-3, 230, 4.6 JUCO – Awesome looking JUCO star from Pierce CC. Kish will need to figure out if this JUCO addition makes sense but it would be the ultimate insurance against an injury to Nelson or Wort (who is starting to show a tendency for being hurt). The only problem is that I’m not sure Bond can play Mike LB for OU.
D’vante Henry 6-5, 215, 4.5 JUCO – Westmoore grad who was an amazing athlete with bad academics. He’s apparently a mid term graduate and has had productive years in JUCO. The upside is very high, but needs to add some weight to his frame. Enrolling early would allow for that development over winter and summer.
Four down, 2 to go.
Does OU need one more safety in this class? The backup behind Tony Jefferson is Jesse Paulsen, a senior walk-on. The backup behind Gabe Lynn is Julian Wilson who is also the primary dimeback. OU’s playing 5 DBs all the time and 6 DBs on 3rd and long almost all the time, so OU needs to reload the secondary numbers. Mike’s got a great 4 player class going and just needs to get some official visits from his remaining targets. Mike right now appears to be have improved as a recruiter significantly since his last tenure at OU. Mike appears close to fine tuning this final list. Robbins just visited along with teammate Jamal Carter. Adrian Baker is back in play with Mark Stoops moving on. In addition, Mike visited USC verbal Chris Hawkins from California and Tahaan Goodman from California. You also have to wonder if Mike makes a call to Tyler Foreman who had verballed to Wisconsin now that Bielema has left.
Lamar Robbins 6-3, 185, 4.45 Florida – One of the top big CBs in Florida. Very similar to OU CB Gary Simon. Mike has made great progress in getting him to consider OU. OU fans should be loving the thought of an OU secondary loaded with top DBs from SEC Florida and California. Robbins visited for the OSU game and now appears close to committing to OU. Robbins could also end up being a safety in the OU defense.
Adrian Baker 6-1, 170, 4.4 CB Florida – A big time cover CB from Florida. Verbaled to FSU, but with Mark Stoops leaving FSU OU will once again make a big push for a visit. Mike didn’t want to compete against Mark while Baker was verbaled to FSU. He’s the kind of big cover corner that Mike loves and turns into Thorpe winners. He’s visiting OU for the banquet weekend. From interviews, I don’t think Baker will leave FSU.
Jamal Carter 6-2, 195, 4.45 Miami – Teammate of Robbins is verbaled to Miami but just visited OU with Robbins and verbal Ahmad Thomas. He’s the kind of big physical coverage safety OU is recruiting under Mike. He just fits with Byrd and Thomas. And Mike wants to play 3 safeties most of the time.