2013 Recruiting Update 12-20
Verbal Commitments: 19 (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
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, 4.7 LB Dallas
Quincy Russell 6-4, 315 DT Trinity Valley CC Tex (HS highlights)
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo 6-3, 220, 4.6 DE/LB Houston
Kerrick Hughes 6-4, 285, 4.9 DT 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
Christian Daimler 6-6,280, 5.1 Houston
Josiah St. John 6-6, 310, 5.2 Trinity Valley JUCO TX
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 adds five, loses one.
The loss was fairly predictable at this point. Dalton Rodriguez decided that he wanted to play DE in college and not even try OT. OU needed him at OT not DE. Better for Rodriguez to bail now and not much later in recruiting where OU cannot attempt to replace him. Now to the five new verbals, I’ll admit to being surprised that OU took Ogbonnia after backing off Dimarya Mixon several weeks ago. It looked liked OU was only focusing on Ogbonnia’s teammate Torrodney Prevot instead. However, OU last week visited his HS and landed a commitment. Ogbonnia. Ogbonnia at 6-3, 220 is going to need to add some to his frame (legit chance that Ogbonnia might end up taller. His dad is 6-7). Fortunately, his frame looks like it can easily handle another 20 or so pounds. There’s also a possibility that OU uses him as a big OLB on running downs and then a pass rush specialist on later downs. His highlight reel is great, making plays and tackles all over the field showing both power and speed to his game. He’s lined up inside and outside and still making plays. He’s a power lifter in HS and you can see that strength in how he disengages from blocking to make plays. OU has a very good overlooked DE class at this point.
Now to the main event, the new DTs verbal commitments landed by OU. OU after absorbing the Manning news almost immediately landed their first DT commitment from Dallas Skyline DT Kerrick Huggins. Huggins had bene an early ATM verbal back in the spring. Now, the MO with Skyline kids is grab an early offer, commit, then after the season is over decide where you want to go. So either ATM dropped Huggins due to having 4 DTs or Huggins decommitted from ATM to choose OU. It’s hard to tell since the Aggie spin is that Huggins won’t qualify. OU seems to think that he will. Huggins is a big DT with the frame to easily be 6-4, 300 in year or two. He’s a 4 star DT by most services, just below Manning and A’Shawn Robinson in Texas rankings. I’ll go into more detail on the Texas HS DTs in the position section.
After getting the good news on Huggins, OU got more immediate help at DT with the verbal of Quincy Russell JUCO DT from Texas. Russell originally signed with UT out of HS. Didn’t qualify and went to Trinity Valley CC, sat out last year with an injury. Russell at 6-4, 310 had a very productive 2nd season at TVCC being named First Team NJCAA All American and posted 75 tackles (very productive stat for a DT), 5 tackles for loss, with 2 sacks. The story on Russell in HS was amazing frame, big time athleticism for a guy his size, raw technique wise and took some plays off. He certainly seems to have solved the production/energy issues, and he gets to enroll at OU for winter conditioning and spring ball. It’s not exaggerating to say Russell is the most important player that OU will sign (his LOI is already in) this recruiting campaign. Russell increased the numbers, talent, experience, and competition at DT this spring. And finding replacements for the trio of senior DT is very much job 1 this spring.
OU had a very good day from Trinity Valley CC with the addition of the verbal commitment of Josiah St. John. St.John is not a mid term enrollee like Russell but he’s in good academic shape to be in Norman by August. St. John’s a 6-6, 300 OT who should be able to compete for a spot at OT, or St.John will be provide depth at OT and OU can perhaps go with another 3 player rotation at OT with St.John,Thompson, and Williams. St.John also provides depth against any kind of injury issues at OT. He’s rated the top juco OT by ESPN.
If St.John is projected to help OU’s present situation at OT, then Christian Daimler represent the future at OT. Daimler who decommitted from ASU when he received his OU offer is a 6-6,275 OT from Houston. Daimler’s film from junior to senior year shows great improvement, even still his best days at OL are ahead of him. He shows a nasty attitude in run blocking and has great agility and a huge wingspan to be an elite pass protector down the road. It’s not hard to project Daimler as a key contributor down the road to the Sooner OL 2 deep. He’s the kind of prospect that OU has done a good job developing on the OL.
For those that were freaking out OU 8 days ago when OU was ranked 31st in Rivals rankings, please note with 18 commitments OU is now ranked 10th on Rivals and 19th by ESPN. That’s called recruiting momentum.
So OU has 18 verbaled and anywhere from 5 to 7 ships left in play.
With the general Sooner fan panic over DL and OL recruiting now somewhat mollified by the influx of line verbals, OU heads into the home stretch of January. It’s going to be slow going for OU recruiting news between now until after the Cotton Bowl. OU’s first visit weekend will be January 11th and OU is already scheduling kids for that weekend. Right now visits are scheduled by verbal commitment Christian Daimler and DT target Charles Walker. Last year OU added 9 verbal commitments after Christmas so 7 verbals is easily possible. In addition, there’s bound to be even more de-commit action throughout the nation. OU the last 7 recruiting classes (from Ryan Broyles to Zach Sanchez) has gotten a late de-commit from a rival and in the last couple of weeks has lost one kid. Will that trend continue?
OU took their shot at Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell didn’t verbal and will probably wait until signing day. OU’s in the battle here, and it may swing on whether Michigan can re engage with the kid. Otherwise, it’s going to be battle between OU and Ole Miss (OSU will get a visit as well but Monken leaving might have hurt them) for his signature. Big day from the OU WR corps in the Cotton Bowl could not hurt. At TE, OU really needs to figure out which TE is now at the top of their wish list. Could OU skip TE in this class? Yes, but I think that a HS TE would be great, unless there’s some cannot miss JUCO TE ready to help that was missed in recruiting initially. There are several excellent HS candidates, but none that looks ready to push for playing time. OL now has 2 clear verbals/commits one HS/one JUCO, both OTs. Ideally OU should add 3 more HS OL. (if OU accepts John Michael McGee back, 4 total OL would be fine). DT needs at least one more name preferably a HS DT. Still it would be nice if OU signed a 4 DT class but that might depend upon the status of OU’s young DTs Marquis Anderson and Torrea Peterson both who had suspension issues this fall. I fully expect OU to keep talking to Justin Manning up until signing day. Mom and brother (Demarcus Granger) are not overjoyed with the atm choice apparently. LB and DE are done unless some amazing prospect re-appears on OU’s radar. DB recruiting seems close to finished OU just needs to play out January and see who will fill those last 2 or 3 spots.
QB: Cody Thomas (1)
RB: Keith Ford (2)
WR: Jordan Smallwood, Austin Bennett (4)
OL: Sean Dowling, Aaron Cochran, Christian Daimler
Josiah St. John JUCO OT, (8)
DT: Quincy Russell, Kerrick Huggins, Charles Walker (11)
DE: DJ Ward, Matt Dimon, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (14)
LB: Mastro, Jordan Evans, Dominique Alexander (17)
DB: Stanvon Taylor, Hatari Byrd, Ahmad Thomas, Lammar Robbins, Dee Shepard(23)
4 mid term players in Quincy Russell, Ward, Barnett, Shepard
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 had an awesome year (some fumbling problems early which need to stop) and is the best RB in Texas. He’s showing power and home run speed. He led his team into the playoffs with big time games
rushing, receiving, and in the return game. Unfortunately, Ford ran into Matt Dimon’s powerhouse Katy team and got knocked out. Ford tried to keep his team in the game but his best effort wasn’t enough.
OU has two excellent verbals in Smallwood and Bennett. With Derrick Woods redshirting, WR is pretty set. Both kids are very under rated but Bennett had a 1k receiving season, and Smallwood playing for a run first Jenks team almost put up 1k as well. I think the only kid left in play is Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell is a special talent that you have to keep chasing if he’s still talking to OU. Norvell 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.
Well Bibbs is back to ISU. Cam Clear is with ATM. Sandland with Miami.
So what Kittle is 0-3 for JUCO TEs. Not a very good return rate at all. I’m sure OU’s limited use of the TE didn’t help at all. Somehow Gresham and Hanna being NFL TEs is not aiding OU.
There are a number of HS names out there. I’m not sure if OU will offer any of them. Personally, I’d offer a TE a year to keep a solid development line in the program. The position is that versatile for OU’s offensive scheme. Also, OU has offered a preferred walk on spot to Nick Jeffreys 6-4,235,4.9 from Bishop McGuinness HS in OKC. He looks very good for a walk-on offer. Here’s his highlight reel and from the looks of it he could be a bigger more athletic Ratarree or a potential Ripkowski like H-Back/FB. A very good looking walk on athlete.
Jason Reese 6-4, 228, 4.7 Euless Trinity TX – Reese is a relatively new name in recruiting. He plays for powerhouse Euless Trinity who usually has a power running game. In his highlight reel, he shows excellent hands and speed. He’s often playing almost a big flanker outside spot.
But he’s really used all over the place in their offense; traditional TE next to the tackle, h-back lead blocker. When asked to block, he looks
pretty good but the majority of the highlights are as a receiver.
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. OU is still talking about offering. Parsons seems like he’s ready to end recruiting for a second time. OU needs to make a move soon with the loss of Bibbs. Looking for a comparison Trent Smith easily comes to mind.
OL: 2 committed, 2-3 more needed
Okay OU has 2 commits at OL. It’s time for OU’s 2 coaches dedicated to OL to finish off the OL class. Nico Fallah (6-5, 275,5.0) just visited for the banquet weekend. Not sure that OU has a real shot at this USC commitment so until some news changes I’m going to leave him off until he becomes a more viable option. Beneoch chose UCLA, Na’ty Rodgers is completely off the board, Trenton Brown chose UF as expected. So OU now has 1 JUCO OT committed so does OU continue to recruit the other two August enrollee OTs Harrison and Finnin? OU has Daimler at OT from the HS class. I think OU wants Dowling, Cochran, and Morris in no real particular order. I can also see Meadows getting an offer depending upon how things go with Dowling/Cochran.
The real question is the final mix of 2/3 kids HS v JUCO. I think OU will go with 3 HS kids. I love the potential of Harrison at OT but OU doesn’t need 2 JUCO OTs not with 2 redshirt Junior OTs with extensive playing time returning in Williams and Thompson. OU has also offered two in state kids preferred walk on positions. Heath Newland 6-2, 290 OC from Edmond (http://www.hudl.com/athlete/202520/highlights/2267383) and
Sam Noble 6-5, 295 from Oologah (http://www.hudl.com/athlete/501096/highlights/32586393). Both kids have some potential in their film and could help OU down the road and earn scholarships.
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 seems like it’s been pushed out until 1/20. Not sure it will even happen.
Sean Dowling 6-6, 275, 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 and Dowling went ahead and de-committed from UCLA. Like Morris Dowling is more of a LT 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.
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.
DT: 2 to 3
Let’s recap. Manning to aTm. Bain to LSU. Munger to Ohio State. I don’t think that OU will continue to purse Toby Johnson now that OU has signed Quincy Russell. Johnson is no longer signing early and I think he’s SEC bound. That leaves only one remaining name at HS DT Charles Walker who seems very interested in OU. So how does Huggins and Walker compare to Manning and A’Shawn Robinson? Manning has the best collection of film over the last 3 years. He’s a perfect 6-2,285lb 3 technique 4-3 DT. There’s little risk at all unless you try to bulk him to 300+ where he might lose his explosive burst that is the best part of his game. A’Shawn Robinson is a huge DT 6-5,310 who might end up being a much better OG. His film is good but he’s very raw and if he adds any more weight he won’t have the burst to stay at DT. Frame and potential are off the charts though. Higher ceiling than Manning, but the risk is greater. Huggins senior year is so much better than his junior year film. It’s easy to see why Shipp offered him in September and made a big push. Huggins is 6-4, 285 has an elite frame and mobility. He can looks light at 280, so he can easily add another 15lbs to his frame. His technique is much better as a senior and he’s making more plays in the backfield and in pursuit. He looks a little like Gerald McCoy in HS. He could be an elite run stopper with pass rush potential.
The curve is moving upwards year over year. Everyone is looking for DTs so how does Charles Walker fall between the gaps? No film due to injuries the last two years. The injury issue is a big red flag. Ignoring that and solely focusing on his senior year film, Walker has the best film of any DT in Texas. He’s making plays constantly in the back field. He’s explosive with a powerful frame that can add additional weight at 6-4, 285. The level of physicality is just impressive. Run stopping and pass rushing both are featured in the highlights. You watch it and wonder where the hell he came from. If he can stay healthy, Walker’s ceiling is probably the highest of any DT in Texas. But he carries the greatest risk. So a DT class of Huggins and Walker has serious potential (similar to the DE class of Tapper and Onouha last year), but would have serious bust risk as well. Manning is a much more certain product at DT.
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. Does OU want another JUCO DT mid term guy? With Russell being the big NG like 1 technique, Campbell could be the lighter speed 3 technique guy.
Charles Walker 6-4, 285, 5.0 Garland TX – Walker has been hurt the last two years so he’s finally healthy (leg and concussion issues) and putting together a good year. He’s not on many recruiting lists and is a fast rising sleeper prospect. His film is just awesome. It’s the best from a HS DT from Texas this fall. But there’s only one year of footage. His twitter traffic indicates that an OU verbal after his visit is very likely.
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’s going to verbal to LSU at the Under Armour game.
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. In addition, OU now has Ogbonnia giving them a very good DE class. There’s a chance that OU might play Ogbonnia at OLB.
Okay 3 LBs are onboard. Mastro’s senior footage looks awesome. Evans and Alexander are the kind of athletes that OU has had great success moving to LB. Both kids had great senior years. I don’t see OU adding another LB since Kish seems to have made real headway with the pool of Texas 2014 LBs (plus in state LB Gyasi Akeem from Broken Arrow) which looks excellent.
Four down, 2 to go.
Mike’s got a great 4 player class going (counting Shepard for now) and just needs to get some official visits/verbals from his remaining targets. Robbins just visited along with teammate Jamal Carter. Adrian Baker visited for the banquet weekend and has officially de-committed from FSU. You also have to wonder if Mike makes a call to Tyler Foreman who had verballed to Wisconsin now that Bielema has left. LJ Moore has reappeared on the OU radar with a January visit scheduled. Lamar Robbins could drop at any moment, but I’m starting to wonder if distance is the issue.
Lamar Robbins 6-3, 185, 4.45 CB 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 along with his recruiting coach, Baker has de-committed. He’s already visited Clemson and OU and now appears ready to choose between those two teams on signing day.
LJ Moore 6-1, 185, 4.45 CB/S Fresno – OU is now back in the hunt for Moore with an official visit upcoming. Moore is an ideal hybrid between CB and safety that would fit the OU defense perfectly. Hatari Byrd has been talking up the Sooners.
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.