OU recruiting: Week in review

Some of it was positive and some of it wasn't so great, but you can't say it was a boring week for Oklahoma on the recruiting trail.

A look back at the week that was with Oklahoma recruiting.

Mixon names OU in his top five

Not a shock at all considering he has already set up an official visit to OU, but it's always good to have confirmation. Oakley (Calif.) Freedom five-star running back Joe Mixon listed the Sooners in his top five this week.

To go along with OU, California, Florida, Wisconsin and Oregon were also mentioned. The Ducks are a new inclusion as Mixon has already set up his visits with the other three schools.

Mixon will visit OU on Oct. 4, the weekend of the TCU game. And he is fired up this week after Adrian Peterson followed him on Twitter. Mixon has made it clear the OU legend is his favorite running back of all time.

Too tough to say at this point what school is in the lead. If you ask me, it's a three-school race between Cal, Wisconsin and OU. The Bears are looking real solid in this race right now but a lot can and will change.

Starks playing the waiting game

OU is bound to get another running back. And if it's not Mixon, then Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek four-star recruit Nathan Starks is the other one.

Starks is still waiting to hear exactly what his eligibility situation is for his senior season, but it's starting to become clear how his college situation is shaking out.

A lot of schools have turned away from Starks, but two have stood by his side and a new one has entered the picture.

OU and Notre Dame have not abandoned Starks, while Florida State is starting to show a considerable amount of interest. It feels like the Sooners have the slight edge right now, but it's a slippery slope.

Notre Dame is certainly back in play following the decommitment of Elijah Hood, and how will the Sooners be able to balance the juggling act with Mixon and Starks?

Starks is hopeful to visit OU for the TCU game as he has never visited the campus yet. That visit has not been finalized.

Gates a realistic option

Starks was once a star at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, and the Sooners haven't abandoned the school. Three-star offensive tackle Nick Gates said OU is among his top four at this point because of all the interest the Sooners have shown.

No doubt the last two months have been a disappointment with Class of 2014 offensive linemen so Gates has become a priority and almost a necessity at this point.

There has been no word about when a potential visit will happen or if it is even being discussed.

Sifrin ready to see OU

You're not going to attract a who's who in recruiting with a game against ULM, especially going against a national showcase game like TCU and LSU. But one name for OU fans to be on the watch for is junior college tight end Jean Sifrin.

Sifrin, with offers from Kansas and USC, is still scheduled to make his visit to Norman this weekend. Don't expect a commitment to happen this weekend, but it will be interesting to see just how much mutual interest there is between the parties.

Sooners make cut for Goolsby

And why is it so interesting with Sifrin? Because of what has happened with Derby (Kan.) High four-star tight end DeAndre Goolsby.

Two months ago the Sooners were all but out of the race. Following a second visit to campus, OU is back in the picture. Goolsby released his top five earlier this week with OU, Arkansas, Ohio State, Kansas State and Florida.

Based on early summer reports, it appeared the Buckeyes were the team to beat. Goolsby is going to visit OU next weekend for the Sooners contest against West Virginia.

Do not see OU taking more than two tight ends. And with already having one in the fold, Sifrin and Goolsby is another intriguing debate.

Is Oregon the school to beat for Hollins?

Two months ago thought Arlington (Texas) Martin three-star defensive end Justin Hollins was a lock to be OU's first pledge at defensive end.

Hollins made another trip to OU earlier this month, and a commitment doesn't feel like it's in the cards anymore. From hearing what he said, it looks like Oregon is in the driver's seat.

Hollins is going to visit Oregon this fall and that should tell the story. If he doesn't commit on the visit or days after, OU is still in play.

He also said Missouri and Oregon State round out his top four. Proximity wise, OU is the closest school to home for Hollins. That could be a way for OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to sway Hollins back to the crimson and cream.

Smallwood re-thinking things

One of OU's first offers at defensive tackle was to Fresno (Calif.) Central four-star prospect Tashon Smallwood. The Sooners made a quality first impression.

But USC came around, and Smallwood committed back in the winter. Things could be different six months later. Smallwood is being open about the fact he's not sure how strong his commitment is to the Trojans.

He's not decommitted, but he certainly doesn't sound like a recruit that is solidly behind his original choice.

If he's not, Montgomery might come in and try to swoop up Smallwood. Teammate Michiah Quick is coming to OU for the TCU game, and it wouldn't shock anybody if Fresno Central defensive backs coach Tony Perry tries to get Smallwood to come along for the ride.

The original plan back in the winter was for Perry, Quick and Smallwood to visit OU in June. That visit never happened.

OU makes run at Thomas

One of the only recent new offers by the Sooners was to Klein (Texas) Collins three-star safety Jordan Thomas.

It was a bit of a head-scratcher since Thomas has been about as firm a commitment to Northwestern as possible for the last six months.

OU fans, rightfully so, are wondering if this is OU preparing itself for missing out on Houston Lamar four-star defensive back teammates John Plattenburg and John Bonney.

Both were eager to announce their college decision before their season started, but it sure doesn't appear it will go down that way. OU is in a better spot for Bonney than Plattenburg, but Baylor, Texas and Ohio State are all legit potential destinations for Bonney, too.

Hartbarger visit delayed

If one commit seemed inevitable, it was from Whitehouse (Ohio) Wayne punter Jake Hartbarger. He was hoping to visit campus this weekend but texted Wednesday the visit is delayed.

He said he hopes to visit next weekend now but also said the other date being discussed is, yep, TCU once again.

Don't read too much into the visit being delayed. Nothing I've read indicates he's backing down from his words that he wants to commit to OU or that he's starting to look around.

But trying to coordinate an official visit from Ohio to Oklahoma is a lot more difficult than say from the Dallas area to OU. This commitment still feels like it's bound to happen once he sees the campus and discusses things with his parents.

Bolton gives OU options

OU did get a commit this week from Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta three-star linebacker Curtis Bolton. As already discussed, this commitment helps continue to build that California pipeline.

And more importantly for this class, it gives OU options with linebacker and safety recruiting. The Sooners have two quality linebacker commits, which will give linebackers coach Tim Kish some leeway in terms of how he wants to close out the class.

The two pledges also might help get OU fans off Kish's back, but what will do that even more is quality play from the linebackers on campus this season.


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