Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Even more OU recruiting news and notes from this last week.

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.

Another Buechele headed to Norman?

It has been well documented about how rare it is for quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel to make an early offer to an underclassman.

Perhaps noticing he was falling a little behind with how late he did the offers for 2015 recruits, Heupel is out in front of the game for 2016.

That first offer went to Arlington (Texas) Lamar prospect Shane Buechele. If that name rings a bell, it’s because it has been around OU for a long time now.

His older brother, Garrett, played baseball for the Sooners, while he has two sisters enrolled at the university right now.

“It was more exciting than shocking,” Buechele said. “Knowing how picky they are about making offers, it does mean a lot.”

Buechele got a chance to strut his stuff in front of Heupel and the OU coaches at the satellite camp in the Dallas area two months ago. He thought he performed as well as he could. Turns out he was correct.

He spent all summer working on the little things necessary to become a better quarterback, but there’s one thing you can’t do just in summer workouts.

“To me, leadership on the field is the biggest thing,” Buechele said. “As a quarterback, you have to be that field general. You have to take control.”

Buechele has visited OU a bunch of times, usually to watch Garrett play baseball. But he did make one trip to an OU football game four years ago when Florida State came to town. His plan, he said, is to try to make at least one this season.

Though there is a family tradition of sorts of going to OU, Buechele said he feels no pressure about continuing that OU pipeline.

“Three of the five kids are going there so I understand why people say that, but it doesn’t really matter to me,” Buechele said. “If I want to go to OU, it’s because it’s the place for me. It’s the place I’ll feel most comfortable. It’s great OU is an option, but I haven’t even thought about making a decision.”

Buechele, just bumped up to a four-star prospect in the Scout 300, said he enjoyed getting to work with Heupel at the camp. It’s a nice start, and he’s hoping the relationship will only grow with time.

He was busy this summer with trips to Texas, Stanford, Arizona State and TCU, but he’s ready to focus on his junior season and showing off what he does best.

“I think my biggest strength is making plays for myself when everything collapses,” Buechele said. “If a guy is rushing me, I can make a lot of plays happen in open space and getting out of the pocket.”

Anderson comfortable with OU

One of the biggest things to happen for OU this summer was the commitment of Katy (Texas) four-star running back Rodney Anderson.

Making his third trip to campus, Anderson and his family spent the weekend of OU’s camp in Norman and pledged before driving back home in June.

A one-time Texas A&M commit, the addition of Anderson was huge in both perception and reality. But it wasn’t a guarantee.

“We didn’t go there planning to commit,” Anderson said. “Everything just felt so good, felt so right so I decided to do it there.”

Those that don’t follow recruiting are of the belief OU tried to come in and steal Anderson from the Aggies. That wasn’t the case at all.

One of Anderson’s first contacts was with running backs coach Cale Gundy. But Anderson made it clear that after he committed to A&M, Gundy backed off.

It wasn’t until Anderson decided to open the lines of communication again that things between him and OU heated up once again.

“Starting from the beginning, OU was always one of the top options,” Anderson said. “I always liked OU. I committed to A&M before school last year and just felt like I didn’t fit in real well.

“As soon as I decided to decommit, one of my first calls I made was to Coach Gundy.”

Anderson said it boiled down to OU and Alabama. You could make a case for Baylor and LSU, but Anderson said it was basically just the Sooners and Crimson Tide.

And like last year, when Samaje Perine picked OU instead of Bama, the Sooners came out on top again for Anderson, especially following the camp.

“I got to see the campus a lot more in-depth, but things really changed when I got to be coached by Coach Gundy,” Anderson said. “Just getting to know him better and the coaches better and seeing how they work – it just all clicked for me.”

Anderson said Katy has a lot of unfinished business after not taking home the state championship last season. As excited as he is about his senior season, he’s ready to head to OU as soon as he can.

“I don’t know when I’m taking my official visit yet, but I know I will,” Anderson said. “Right now I’m set to graduate early. That’s the plan – to be there in January.”

Of course cannot talk running backs without mentioning Joe Mixon. OU’s five-star recruit was suspended for the season by OU on Monday afternoon.

Anderson, though, didn’t have much to say about that.

“I’ve been kind of keeping up with it, but I don’t know too much,” Anderson said. “It’s a real unfortunate thing with him. I hope everything works out for him. But I haven’t talked to Coach Gundy about it or anything. It doesn’t change anything for me.”

Decision day for Samia

It’s decision day for Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley four-star offensive tackle Dru Samia. Or is it?

Last couple of these deadline decisions haven’t actually happened. Four-star safety Kahlil Haughton decided he needed more time to make his choice as did junior college offensive tackle Jamal Danley.

So once again the Sooners are in another tight battle to land a coveted prospect. This time around the Sooners are battling UCLA.

The Bruins were the clear favorite until Samia’s visit to OU two weeks ago. Now it’s all up in the air and anybody’s guess as to who Samia is going to choose sometime Friday. He said he is going to tweet his decision.

Samia, like Haughton, has been adamant about making this decision before his senior season starts. A tweet Wednesday evening confirmed what everyone had thought that it was down to the Sooners and Bruins.

It will be interesting to see if Joe Mixon plays any role in this decision. Mixon, the five-star running back from Oakley (Calif.) Freedom, is trained by the same trainer as Samia.

Mixon, of course, was suspended for the season by OU on Monday afternoon. If there are any lingering bad feelings about that, it could show up Friday with a UCLA choice.

Obviously he could also pick UCLA just because he has forged such a deep bond with the Bruins as well, but it will be interesting to see if he has talked to Mixon this week or if Mixon talked to their trainer about his scenario.

Samia is among those recruits who were offered while on campus and developed a quick bond with OU coaches Bill Bedenbaugh and Bob Stoops.

Since his visit, his only other tweet in the last 15 days was the one Wednesday night, alerting everyone his decision is Friday.

Samia told Sooners Illustrated on Thursday his announcement will come after his scrimmage. His scrimmage starts at 9 p.m. CST so it will be late, late into the evening.


Scout Football Top Stories