Sooner Intel, Pt. I: News and nuggets

Could this be a weekend for a commit for the Sooners?

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.

OU eyeing Caban

The quest for linebackers continues for the Sooners for the 2015 class. A lot of targets are still on the board, but a new one has emerged that might become one of the more probable ones.

It wasn’t too long ago OU offered Smiths Station (Ala.) High prospect Amonte Caban. And with one look at his highlight tape, almost all OU fans were quickly onboard with the offer.

Caban, a three-star prospect, has offers from schools like South Carolina and Louisville, among others, but the offer from the Sooners came as a surprise. Not only because OU doesn’t recruit the area often but because he had never heard from the Sooners at all until the offer.

“It was a huge surprise,” Caban said. “I hadn’t talked to them before, but now we talk a lot.”

Caban said he is slowly developing that rapport with linebackers coach Tim Kish, but it was actually Corey Callens, known for his help with the defensive line, who made the first contact.

Being an Alabama kid, Caban was watching the Allstate Sugar Bowl like everybody else. The game didn’t paint OU in a new light for him because he said he knows about OU’s tradition.

Like a lot of recruits, Caban had circled OU’s showdown against Tennessee as a potential official visit. But that’s one visit he’s going to have to wait to make.

“I wanted to come for Tennessee, but they told me to wait for another game,” Caban said. “With so many recruits going to that game, they said they want to make sure I get all the attention I deserve.”

Caban said he has gained 15 pounds since the end of last season and said the biggest difference with his game right now is that he’s a smarter player.

He plans to take trips to South Carolina and Mississippi State pretty soon and has a pretty good idea of what he is looking for.

“Being comfortable is definitely the biggest thing,” Caban said. “Education means a lot and the opportunities at the university. Conferences don’t matter. I’ll go wherever I need to go and show what I can do.”

Wariboko back in play

It wasn’t huge news that OU made the top eight for Oklahoma City Casady offensive guard Josh Wariboko, but it did confirm how the Sooners and Wariboko are on the same page once again.

Wariboko, a Scout 300 prospect, was committed to OU for almost a year before decommitting in April. The prevailing thought was the two sides would never reconnect because OU has never shown much interest in Wariboko’s younger brother, Max.

But Josh was back at OU earlier this month and released a top eight of OU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, California, UCLA, USC , Ohio State and Louisville.

Wariboko has made unofficial visits to UCLA and USC this summer and plans to return for an official with the Bruins in November. It’s tough to see Wariboko fitting in with A&M at this point although there could still be room.

The wild card is Ohio State. If OU can survive an inevitable trip to Columbus, then the Sooners might be able to reel him back in.

Wariboko is friends with OSU lineman Demetrius Knox, who played high school at Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints in the same conference as Wariboko.

As Wariboko gets further and further away from talking about playing with Max, the closer he gets to schools like OU and Ohio State.

It’s still clear he would like to play with Max and a school like Louisville would definitely offer up that opportunity, but after a summer’s worth of thinking, it’s no longer the make-it-or-break-it part of the equation.

Milton to make decision?

The focus is always going to be on football at this time of year, but a big development could be stirring just down the road at Lloyd Noble Center for Lon Kruger.

Owasso (Okla.) High four-star shooting guard Shake Milton is making an official visit to campus this weekend for OU’s alumni weekend.

This weekend has become the premier recruiting showcase event for Kruger since he took over in Norman. It hasn’t always led to commitments, but it has always led to an incredible atmosphere that gives recruits a lot to think about.

Milton recently released a top four of OU, SMU, Indiana and Illinois. Not saying Milton couldn’t survive in the Big Ten, but it just feels like he’ll stay closer to home.

And no coach has been with Milton longer than OU assistant Chris Crutchfield. It was Crutchfield who first noticed Milton during his sophomore season and made the offer to him.

It has been Crutchfield who has routinely made the trip from Norman to Owasso to check out Milton in action. A huge summer outing by Milton has made him an even hotter commodity than he was, but there’s no reason to think it won’t be OU in the end.

The question is whether or not it will happen this weekend. A lot of stars from OU’s past will once again be on hand and sometimes seeing that tradition up close and personal like that can help sway things and help a recruit make the call.

If he doesn’t, no doubt OU will still remain locked in with Milton until the end of his recruitment.

Hogan continuing to make strides

The offers still haven’t come his way, but all Norman (Okla.) North running back Quan Hogan continues to do is produce on the field.

Nothing has changed for the junior, the only OKPreps prospect in the Scout 300 for 2016, as Hogan once again showed his versatility in Thursday’s scrimmage.

Hogan was Norman North’s full-time running back last season but caught as many balls as a primary receiver. There’s no longer that question of what is he.

Hogan is both. He is playing full-time at running back and wide receiver. Some plays he’s next to Oklahoma State commit John Kolar, while others he is lined out wide and is a pure receiver.

“It’s a lot of work, for sure,” Hogan said. “But I just want to play football. I don’t care how it happens. I’m ready.”

Hogan still isn’t receiving massive recruiting interest, but he has put on a lot of pounds since the spring and is more than 200 pounds.

With the whole offense his responsibility, Hogan might finally be able to put defense in the past. He said his days as a defensive back should be over with.

Sooners Illustrated will get another chance to see Hogan next week at the Mustang Preview, a top scrimmage in the state featuring eight schools.

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