The State's Top 35

I have refrained from ranking the state's top players over the years, and have usually put together an alphabetical list of recruiting targets in Oklahoma. The reason goes back to my old belief that in recruiting, like many other aspects of life, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Well, this year is different and here are's top 35 high school prospects from Oklahoma for 2012.

If a program needs a defensive tackle, then defensive tackles will be prettier. If they need a quarterback, then quarterbacks will have that special shine. If they prefer speed, well the faster prospects will rise to the top on their board. If they are looking to get bigger, then size is what will carry the weight in their recruiting.

However, now there are enough lists out there that make little sense in many ways so I'm going to add mine and let you, the subscriber and fans, and those others out there publishing lists that I think my be rubbish, take their shots.

My motivation came from viewing a list that was obviously taken off a website because of how close they both were in makeup and rankings. Remember, I believe "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but leaving the top quarterback in the state off both lists was in my opinion egregious.

Jerame Littell out of Stillwater has great size, arm strength, and accuracy, besides being athletic enough to help himself in a bind.

I had to go back to the video to make sure I wasn't crazy. Littell shows the ability to throw out of the gun and from under center. He can throw the out from the boundry to the field side, a tough throw for many quarterbacks and a separating point for all. He throws downfield to the right shoulder for the receiver to make the play and the defender to not have a chance for the catch. He also zips the ball deep on the lead to the receiver.

Littell goes into his senior season owning several Stillwater High School passing records, having passed both Josh Fields and Matt Holliday. He trails Holiday by 175 yards in total passing yards and by 12 touchdowns in passing touchdowns. He should break both those records early in the 2011 season.

Mustang High School's Brandon Taylor was also missing. I know many think Mustang is a system offense, but system's need good players, and David Glidden wasn't throwing all those passes to himself. I have seen Taylor many times, just like Littell, and could not believe anyone could leave him completely off a list of the state's top prospects.

I know everybody has the right to their opinion. I'll be glad to size it up, grade it out, and at the end I believe my list is a much better list. That said, there will be some players that come out of the background and emerge as college prospects this spring, summer, and next fall. However, I like my list a lot.

Here goes, and this lists goes 35 deep because on average over the past 10 years that is how many Oklahoma high school products have signed an NCAA Division I letter of intent. Here are the numbers on that. The actual average comes out to 36.9 scholarships per year in Oklahoma.
2011: 45
2010: 38
2009: 54
2008: 30
2007: 36
2006: 41
2005: 37
2004: 27
2003: 38
2002: 23's 2012 Oklahoma Top 35 Prospects
1. Barry J. Sanders, RB
5-11, 185, 4.5
Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall)
It is very impossible to even think that Sanders could be as good as his father, who was the best that I have ever seen, but the younger Sanders is very good. He comes as close to a "chip off the old block" as you could expect. He is legit with speed, vision, and moves. He also has a great attitude to dealing with being the son of a college and pro Hall of Famer. He needs to get the foot injury from his junior season rehabbed and over with. It is no accident that OSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, UCLA, Tennessee, Florida State, Florida, and Notre Dame have all come calling. He has been to Junior day at Florida State and is going to Alabama later in February.

2. Sterling Shepard, WR
5-9, 170, 4.5
Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall)
Another "chip off the old block" and absolutely provides "on the edge of your seat" excitement as a playmaker. His state championship performance was legendary and the ability to do what he does as a runner, receiver, returner, and defender is outstanding. He has multiple offers including Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

3. Jerame Littell, QB
6-3, 197, 4.7
In my opinion, the best quarterback prospect in the state and two Big 12 assistant coaches have voiced the same opinion. He stands in the pocket and fires the out route to the far side of the field, hits receivers on the right shoulder downfield, and guns the ball deep. This young man is what you want to conduct a multiple offense that has a strong passing chapter to it. He has heard from most regional schools including Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Tulsa, and he attended Oklahoma State's Junior Day.

4. Kevin Peterson, CB
5-11, 165, 4.5
Teriffic athlete who does what most cornerbacks strive to, discourage the opponent from throwing to their side of the field. He has made his teammates into better players. He has all the tools. Became well known as a sophomore with 77 tackles and 5 interceptions. On offense he rushed for more than 700 yards and 9 touchdowns as a junior, and on defense he had 52 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and 9 pass breakups. Peterson is hearing from regional schools.

5. Cayman Bundage, OL/DL
6-2, 293, 5.2
Oklahoma City (Douglass)
First, you have to decide which side of the ball you want him to play. On offense, he is a tackle at Douglass, but will need to move inside to guard or center in college. He is athletic and has good feet. I like him better on defense where he is a good run stopper and can control his gap and more. He also had five sacks and is able to get punch that makes those around him better pass rushers. He is already being recruited by schools across the country.

6. Alex Ross, RB/LB
6-0 1/2, 205, 4.5
Strong and powerful, few defenders could bring him down and not many had a chance as he has really good speed. He rushed for 1,656 yards and 28 touchdowns on just 125 carries after starting off the season at defensive end. He recently committed to Oklahoma.

7. Blake Belcher, OT
6-6, 271, 5.1
Belcher first attracted attention as a sophomore starter for the Blue Jays and last spring became a popular spring football target as recruiters made the trip to Guthrie to check out teammate Kentrell Brothers. Belcher is legit size and projects as a tackle in college. He has been to both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and also lists Oregon State as schools that have his attention.

8. Sheldon Wilson, RB
5-11, 175, 4.47
It is not by accident that Wilson rushed for 2,798 yards and 49 touchdowns on 261 carries as a junior. Wilson is a running machine that combines speed, power, and great vision to create more cross country highlight runs than any high school back seen in this state on the high school gridiron in awhile. The only question on Wilson is academics and if he will be a qualifier. As a sophomore, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has the attention of schools from UCLA to BYU to Tennessee and almost everything in between, including the state schools.

9. Javonte Cross, LB
6-3, 230, 4.7
Tulsa (East Central)
What part of 187 tackles don't you like? I'm sure none as Cross has speed, power, and a real awareness on the football field that allows him to make so many plays. He is a joy for a former linebacker to watch. All of the state schools are aware and garnering for his attention. As other schools come through this spring they will see too. He was a major reason for the Cardinals being in the Class 5A championship game again last season.

10. Cole Swayze, QB/Ath.
6-2, 170, 4.4
Swayze tore his left ACL this past season but not before rushing for 669 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had clocked a 4.4 in the forty at an Oklahoma State camp in the summer and the Cowboys followed up with an offer. His parents both went to Oklahoma State, but he is checking out schools having gone to Junior Days at Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Oklahoma. He is getting attention nationally as well.

11. Adrian McDonald, Ath.
5-10, 160, 4.5
Lawton (Eisenhower)
He plays quarterback for the Eagles and rushed for 1,092 yards and 9 touchdowns this season while passing for 879 yards and 8 touchdowns. He will take his fleet feet to wide receiver or the secondary in college. He will remind Oklahoma State fans of recent signee Jonovan Griffin out of McKinney Boyd High School in Texas. No offers yet, but Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Tulsa are aware of his talents.

12. Damian Gibson, DE
6-3, 220, 4.8
Tulsa (East Central)
He has been listed as a tight end and certainly could play there, but I prefer his 10 sacks from last season on the defensive side. Defensive ends are a lot more en vogue than tight ends with all of the spread offenses. Gibson doesn't have any offers yet but besides the state schools he has heard from Oregon State, Penn State, and Miami, Fla.

13. Victor Williams, CB
5-9, 165, 4.5
A quarterback during a down season this past fall at Muskogee, Williams rushed for 947 yards and 7 touchdowns and threw for 1,351 yards and 7 touchdowns. He could get a move this upcoming season under new head coach Josh Blankenship. He will get a move in college to the secondary where he had 24 tackles last season. He only returned two punts (47.5 yards avg.) and two kickoffs (49.0 yards avg.) and we predict he will get more opportunities. He is on the list of all three in-state Division I schools.

14. Kason Key, QB
6-4, 195, na
Like Littell, he is more of a pocket passer and has a legit arm. We have not seen as much of him, but he completed 166 of 287 passes for 2,079 yards with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He is also hearing from regional schools with Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas joining Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Tulsa. He did attend the Oklahoma State Junior Day.

15. Andrew Long, RB
5-9, 175, 4.5
Moore (Southmoore)
Long is coming off a foot injury which bears watching, but he is one tough son-of-a-gun that rushed for 1,499 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and 1,542 yards and 9 touchdowns as a sophomore. He has not been offered but has heard from a lot of schools ranging from UCLA, Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, and all of the in-state schools. I have seen a lot of him and he has convinced me with his speed, toughness, and vision.

16. James Flanders, RB
5-11, 170, 4.45
Midwest City
Another Flanders, so why wouldn't you recruit him as the others have turned out pretty good? I think he might be a better defender but you had best give him a chance on offense as his ball skills are so good. He rushed for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns and does a great job catching the ball and is good on returns. No offers yet, but he has heard from the state schools and Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.

17. Donovan Roberts, RB
5-10, 190, 4.6
Roberts is a big back who really burst on the scene this season for Norman with a Class 6A-leading 1,761 yards and 28 touchdowns. He has good size and elusiveness, but is dedicated to working on his speed. He has an early offer from Indiana and is being evaluated by a number of other schools.

18. Brandon Taylor, QB
6-2, 210, 4.8
I like Taylor a lot as he makes really good decisions and has been coached up well by one of my favorite high school offensive coaches in Ty Prestidge. Taylor completed 237 of 404 passes for 3,304 yards with 36 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Do the math, 12 interceptions on 404 attempts is one interception every 34 attempts. Meanwhile, you are getting a touchdown every 12 attempts. Taylor is on the radar of the Division I schools in Oklahoma and should be getting more attention as the recruiting for 2012 progresses.

19. Zack Robinson, WR
6-2, 185, 4.5
Tahlequah (Sequoyah)
An excellent athlete, Robinson had 41 receptions for 712 yards and 8 touchdowns this past season. He combines size and speed along with ball skills to average more than 17 yards a catch. He is hearing from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Tulsa, TCU, and Arkansas.

20. Darrack Harger, QB
6-2, 200, 4.7
Sand Springs (Page)
A dual threat quarterback that emerged and took over at a young age when standout Johnny Deaton was injured. Harger has been to Junior Days at Missouri, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. This past season he completed 134 of 277 passes for 1,729 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for nearly 800 yards. He is also being recruited by TCU, Arizona, and Nebraska.

21. Ricky Reeves, CB
5-11, 175, 4.5
Midwest City
Another really solid defender for Midwest City, Reeves finished with right at 80 tackles and 3 interceptions last season. His defensive coordinator, Chris Rose, loves him and believes he can go man-to-man with any receiver in Class 6A in Oklahoma. He does not have a scholarship offer as of yet, but the attention of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas Tech, and Arizona among others.

22. Connor Sherwood, LB
6-2, 215, 4.7
Tulsa (Cascia Hall)
A very solid linebacker in the making, Sherwood has progressed nicely at Cascia Hall in a top-flight winning program and as a result he is being recruited by programs coast to coast. No offers as of yet, but they will come in time. Last season he had 98 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and 2 sacks.

23. Ronnie Davis, CB
6-1, 170, 4.55
Midwest City
Another top flight defender for the Bombers, Davis has great size and could wind up as a big, physical corner or a strong safety. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Tulsa are aware of Davis, who is a developing player.

24. Ramsey Hamilton, QB
6-3, 187, 4.5
A dual threat quarterback that led Beggs deep into the playoffs, Hamilton completed 140 of 248 passes for 1,676 yards, 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He has been to Junior Days at Arkansas and Oklahoma and calls those two schools his favorite. He has also shown interest in Oklahoma State and Tulsa. He has an older brother that works in the football office at North Texas.

25. Casey Curtis, RB
5-8, 175, 4.5
Oklahoma City (Putnam City)
Curtis stepped out last season with 1,659 yards and 21 touchdowns on just 207 carries. He is a speed back that will work on getting bigger and stronger this offseason. He is also a double threat on special teams. He doesn't have an offer yet but will soon. He was in attendance at Oklahoma State's Junior Day.

26. Quintaz Struble, DE
6-2, 230, 4.9
Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall)
Struble will not likely get big enough to be a defensive tackle where he currently plays, but he is athletic enough to shift to defensive end. He had 15 sacks last season as did his partner at Heritage Hall in Markus Wakefield, Wakefield is 6-1, 270 pounds and really better on the offensive line, but maybe too short to rise to a high profile prospect on that side. Keep an eye on both of them. No offers for either, but a lot of interest.

27. Eric Dockins, RB
6-0, 195, 4.6
Broken Bow
Dockins rushed for 1,175 yards and 18 touchdowns last season on 183 carries. He could end up playing on defense or wide receiver because he is so gifted overall as an athlete. No offers yet, but he has stated he really wants to play at Oklahoma.

28. Marc Robinson, LB
5-11, 200, 4.5
Oklahoma City (Millwood)
Robinson sat out the past season after transferring from Heritage Hall to Millwood. Just imagine if this tackling machine, who had 147 tackles and 11 sacks as a sophomore at Heritage Hall were still with the Chargers and the likes of Sanders, Shepard, Struble and combo lineman Markus Wakefield. Robinson will be good at Millwood and recruiting action will pick up as he is rediscovered. The schools in Oklahoma know where he is.

29. Zeke Lewis, LB
5-9, 200, 4.7
Midwest City
Lewis is another of the undersized linebackers who could wind up at safety or could play the hybrid LB/DB position many defenses now call for. He had 154 tackles for the Bombers last season and has garnered the attention of all the Oklahoma schools and Kansas and Kansas State among others.

30. Garrison Lee, LB
6-1, 215, 4.6
Oklahoma City (Casady)
Here is your hidden gem that thanks to talented teammates Cassius Calhoun (RB) and Graham Bennett (DE/OL) has been spotted and now is being recruited. Lee had 153 tackles last season in the Southwest Prepatory Conference that sees Casady play multiple games in Texas. Lee is a legit defensive playmaker and a really solid fullback too.

31. Jimmy Carter, CB
6-0, 160, 4.5
Carter benefits from the presence of Peterson and last season used the opportunities to intercept six passes. His height makes him an even more intriguing prospect as he could top out at 6-0 and around 190 or 195 pounds and that is great size for a college cornerback. All of the Oklahoma schools know where he is.

32. Corben Jones, QB
6-2, 185, 4.75
A good decision maker that has a reliable arm. I was very impressed with him the last two seasons and also when I have watched him in 7-on-7 action. Jones, last season, completed 180 of 276 passes for 2,294 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He is on the list of most all of the schools in the midlands and southwest. He is a great fit for any spread offense.

33. Alton Adkins, RB
5-10, 180, 4.5
I will yield to my Scout cohort and Midlands Scout analyst Greg Powers, who has seen Adkins much more than me. The numbers are very impressive with 2,098 yards and 25 touchdowns on 224 carries for a school in Glenpool that seems to make a habit of producing top flight runners. Adkins is good size, good speed, good strength, and will continue to get better.

34. Jesse Vester, WR
5-10, 180, 4.5
The top pass catcher for Littell, Vester is prototype inside receiver in the spread offense and may get a featured role at that position with Stillwater's new head coach Tucker Bernard, who will bring that offense with him from Shiloh Christian in Arkansas. Vester had 61 receptions for 868 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. Oklahoma State, Tulsa, and Arkansas are very aware of him as are others in the region.

35. Landry Chappell, LB
5-11, 210, 4.6
Chappell is a lot like Robinson at Millwood, undersized a tad, but just makes a ton of tackles. He had 178 tackles last season with 5 sacks. He was seen by a number of recruiters looking at Kentrell Brothers and will enjoy the same advantage this season courtesy of Belcher.

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