Over the first two weeks in June, Oklahoma persuaded three more Texans to come to Norman and landed a highly regarded east coast prospect, as well.
Tight end James Hanna's father attended OU, so the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder grew up a Sooner fan. He received an Oklahoma offer in late May and committed to head coach Bob Stoops during his visit last week. Hanna was a second team all-district selection in 2006 after catching 20 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns. In March, he was named to the All-Combine team during the Scout.com Combine that was held at the Dallas Cowboys training facility in Valley Ranch, Texas. Hanna also held offers from Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Louisville.
Usually, when a prospect from the Dallas area is good enough to earn offers from schools like Michigan, LSU, Miami, Texas A&M, and Alabama, the University of Texas makes him a high priority. But 6-foot-2, 192-pound Joseph Ibiloye from South Garland High School in Garland, Texas never received a Longhorn offer and recently he committed to Oklahoma. Last fall, Ibiloye made 85 tackles from his linebacker position and was named first team all-district. He could play outside linebacker or strong safety for the Sooners.
Defensive tackle Casey Walker plays across town from Ibiloye at rival Garland High School. In 2008, however, they will be teammates as the 6-foot-1, 290-pounder also picked Oklahoma. As a junior, Walker was an honorable mention all-district selection after totaling 25 tackles and two sacks. He chose Oklahoma over TCU, Ole Miss, and Colorado.
The one non-Texan to commit to Oklahoma may be the best of the bunch. DeJuan Miller is originally from Oklahoma but now resides in Metuchen, N.J. He will probably start out at wide receiver for the Sooners, but after registering 52 tackles and picking off seven passes last fall, he may also factor into their defensive backfield plans. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder is also a star basketball player and may try to play both sports in college. The four-star prospect turned down offers from Penn State, Iowa, Rutgers, and Boston College when he selected the Sooners.
Not to be outdone, Oklahoma State has had some fun of their own, landing ten Texans since May 22nd. The Cowboys currently have 12 commitments and all of them hail from the Lone Star State. The headliner is linebacker Alfred Dupree from Skyline High School in Dallas. Dupree is rated as a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 37 player in the southwest by Scout.com. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder had offers from more than two dozen programs, including Alabama, Texas A&M, Michigan, and LSU.
But not all the Texans are leaving the state. Speedy 5-foot-10, 165-pound wide receiver Desean Hales will be suiting up for the Texas Longhorns in 2008. Hales committed at the conclusion of the Longhorns' summer camp this past weekend. The Spring native was an all-district selection after scoring 18 touchdowns in 2006. LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech were his other finalists.
Michigan lost out on a big time defensive tackle prospect when Omar Hunter picked Notre Dame. But the Wolverines rebounded, getting Redford, Mich. defensive tackle Mike Martin. The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Martin is a three-sport standout, as he won state championships in both wrestling and the shot put as well as piling up 75 tackles and eight sacks for the Detroit Central Catholic football team last fall. Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan State were some of his other offers.
The Wolverines also received a commitment from three-star linebacker Marcus Witherspoon of Abescon, N.J. Witherspoon had a huge season in 2006 with 90 tackles, 17 sacks, and three interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder named Michigan as his leader after visiting Ann Arbor in April. He returned to the campus with his father during the first week of June and committed on the visit. While Michigan had been the overwhelming favorite for some time, he also had offers from Clemson, Boston College, Florida, and Pittsburgh.
Several other top programs picked up multiple commitments during the past couple of weeks. Miami added three players, including linebacker Jordan Futch, who was a teammate of incoming Notre Dame freshman Emeka Nwaknwo at Chaminade Madonna College Prep in Hollywood, Fla. Georgia picked up four commitments, one of them being four-star defensive end Toby Jackson from Griffin, Ga. Also, UCLA landed four recruits while LSU took in three commitments.
Lastly, three Big Ten teams recently received important commitments. Penn State's second commitment of the season came from Youngstown, Ohio linebacker Michael Zordich. Zordich also looked at LSU, Ohio State, and Michigan State. Wisconsin got four-star wide receiver Wes Kemp of St. Louis. Kemp had offers from Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa along with the one from Wisconsin. And Iowa lured Belleville, Ill. running back Jason Ford to Iowa City. Some of his other offers included Boston College, Colorado, and Wisconsin.
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