The Sooner Intel is an inside look into Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting and is solely for Sooners Illustrated subscribers. It is a sneak peek into what’s happening with OU recruiting and is not to be distributed anywhere else.
He’s the Mann for OU
There was a certain buzz last week when the Sooners finally made the offer to Burleson (Texas) High defensive end Kenneth Mann. It was a feeling that this wasn’t just another offer and good things were going to come probably a lot sooner than everybody realized.
Those feelings were spot on as Mann made sure to return to Norman on Wednesday and committed to the Sooners.
There were a couple of things surrounding his visit that made a commitment unlikely, but in the end, it didn’t matter. For one thing, it was pretty clear from the get go OU head coach Bob Stoops wasn’t going to be there because of media obligations at ESPN.
Mann shrugged that off and said that didn’t matter much. The second part was he wanted his mother to join him for the visit but that didn’t happen, either.
“It would have been nice, but it’s not like my mom is going to be with me for college,” Mann said. “It’s a decision I had to make on my own. I know I have her support.”
Mann said he didn’t enter the visit thinking he would leave as OU’s ninth pledge of the class, but he was so happy with how the visit shook out that he saw no point in waiting anymore.
“OU was the place for me so I said why wait on it,” Mann said. “After the tour and everything and talking with the coaches, I knew.”
The one coach in particular was OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, who provided the usual “BOOM” tweet whenever OU gets a commitment.
The commitment felt inevitable, but the offer sure wasn’t. Mann visited OU for the spring game and was hopeful then for the offer. He said he really thought it was coming his way. Once it didn’t, he said he had accepted the fact the Sooners weren’t looking in his direction.
But as we all know with OU coaches, when they say they’ll get back to you, they usually mean it. And once the coaches agreed Mann would fit in well with the system, he received the offer.
“I was really surprised by the offer,” Mann said. “I thought everything was done.”
One of the biggest highlights for Mann was getting to talk to fellow defensive end Charles Tapper. After posting a picture on Twitter, OU fans got a lot more excited about Mann because of how he looked next to Tapper.
However, what got Mann excited about Tapper had absolutely nothing to do with size or depth chart or even football. It was all about Montgomery.
“I had a chance to talk to Tap for a long time, and I asked a lot about Coach Montgomery,” Mann said. “He said he’s a great coach who treats you right. He said he’s not somebody who is going to say things to recruit you and then change when you get there. It meant a lot.”
Mann has more than 20 offers, but he said the recruiting process is done for him. The craziest thing about Wednesday was his Twitter account. He started the day with a locked account and around 220 followers. He ended the day with more than 500 followers and gave up on being a locked account.
“I had no idea it was going to be like that,” Mann said. “So many OU fans wanted to follow. I didn’t know what else to do so I just changed it.”
Mann is a three-star prospect and was OU’s second defensive end commitment of the week.
Humphrey ready to return to Norman
A good chunk of this Intel deals with the OU-Texas recruiting battles. No doubt Lampkin is one where it feels like the Sooners might be on the outside looking in.
Conversely, the script seems flipped in regards to Clear Falls (Texas) League City wide receiver John Humphrey. Originally scheduled to visit OU this month, it felt like he delayed the visit so he could see Austin last week.
The prevailing thought for some was Humphrey would showcase his speed, get the offer from the Longhorns and then who knows what would have happened next.
Um, that’s not even close to what happened. Humphrey texted last weekend and then tweeted earlier this week that Texas is no longer in consideration for his services. The general feeling was the interest wasn’t nearly as high as Humphrey wanted it to be.
Not the first time that’s happened with a Texas high school recruit who was leaning toward the Sooners. Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson four-star cornerback P.J. Mbanasor felt the same sort of slighted feeling with Texas with his recruitment. Mbanasor committed to OU nearly two months ago.
Humphrey, once committed to Baylor, seems like he’s OU’s to lose at this point although Notre Dame is still in the picture. He is still slated to return to OU next weekend for the Sooners’ practice Aug. 2. If he does indeed show up, nobody will be surprised if he commits even though he said he’s going to wait until the Semper Fidelis All-American Game.
Approaching a broken record at this point, but it’s obvious Humphrey is in the short list for the Sooners for a slot receiver for this class.
Brown is a Longhorn
Not too much in the news of OU targets committing elsewhere but one that did happen was with Burton (Texas) High defensive prospect Louis Brown.
A one-time Baylor commit, Brown committed to Texas on Monday. After his decommitment from the Bears, it felt a two-school race between OU and Texas.
But as time wore on, it became pretty clear to everybody that Texas wasn’t going to lose this battle. The Longhorns turned up the heat in his recruitment, while OU sort of faded away and moved on.
Williams the next offer?
Don’t look for any commitments this weekend, but one big offer should be made this weekend to Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints defensive lineman Mike Williams.
Williams, a four-star prospect for the Class of 2016, is ranked No. 9 at defensive tackle right now and has offers from several top schools. This is an offer that has felt like it’s a longtime coming.
Williams tweeted earlier this week he is heading to OU this weekend. Provided he does arrive in Norman, the biggest shock would be for him to leave without an offer.
Even though the Sooners aren’t officially in the race yet, he has spoken highly of OU multiple times so it just feels like it’s a case of making it official and having him as a top target for 2016.