Who I Like In Oklahoma - Part 1

The other night my wife and I were going to a movie and I ran into a longtime friend and his wife. Tex Rollins has been coaching champions alongside head coach Gary Rose and the rest of the Carl Albert Titans staff for years. They are the Class 5A equivalent in Oklahoma to the Jenks and Union bunch in Class 6A.

Rollins has also been the very successful track coach at the Midwest City school. He started talking about Dillon Lohr, the fine multi-position skill athlete for the Titans who will be a senior this season. I had to stop him at one point and tell him, "Coach, you are preaching to the choir. I love Dillon Lohr. I also like him returning kicks. You guys need to let him do plenty of that."

It all got me thinking that with the newspaper in Oklahoma City running their series on top 30 players, we haven't published our list for a while. We have Scout's list but I used to do more lists. I will be the first one to tell you that my list isn't all that important. Oklahoma State nor is any other school going to come running to offer a recruit because Robert Allen likes him.

However, I do see these players in person in games (fell in love with Lohr last season at the Carl Albert vs. McGuinness game), practices, combines and camps. I also watch tape with my HUDL app. One of the best things ever invented, those HUDL people are genius.

In no particular order, if I were a recruiting coordinator and trying to pull the best from Oklahoma these are my guys. Now, I haven't seen everybody and I apologize in advance if I did not get your guy in here. It may have been because I haven't seen him and it may be because I didn't see him at the right time. It also may be that I wasn't as impressed, but as I often say, "In recruiting, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what player somebody may love, another won't."

Dillon Lohr, Athlete
6-0 1/2, 196
Midwest City Carl Albert
I can see him playing safety, linebacker, running back, maybe a slot, and lots of special teams at the next level. He is going to play north of 210 pounds in college. He is physical and aggressive. He ran a 4.6 with a 4.33 in the shuttle at an OSU camp and similar numbers for Nike. Best of all he is a football player from a football player background. He is also an intense competitor. I like him a lot.

Will Sunderland, Athlete
6-3, 185
Midwest City
I think he is the best player in the state. I used to think that was Overton at Jenks and many others think it is a lineman, either Barnett at Lawton or Wariboko-Alali at Casady. I believe it is Sunderland. He is tall and rangy, very athletic and explosive.

I like him as a safety, but he could wind up as a hybrid defensive player (safety/linebacker) playing closer to the line of scrimmage and more involved in attacking the backfield some. You know he could play offense and be a beast of a receiver. That is nonsense though, he needs to be on defense and he is so dominating at the high school level. Catch him at Nike's The Opening as he may be one of the best in the nation after that event.

Aaron McKinney, Athlete
6-3 1/2, 186
Midwest City
We'll stay in Midwest City, and McKinney is really outstanding. I see him definitely moving into a linebacker in college, the kind of rangy sideline to sideline guys that coaches love. He will get bigger and he combines being a good tackler with good ball skills. He ran a 4.58 in the forty and a 4.4 in the shuttle at an OSU camp. He gets overshadowed a little by Sunderland but McKinney is a good player. His offers are bound to get plentiful here soon.

Jalin Barnett, OL
6-4, 290
Back to what many believe is the top of the list, and I love Barnett. He is a great kid with his head on straight and a strong student. His mom and grandfather have steered and raised this young man well. He is still developing and will get better. In college, he is a guard or maybe with his smarts a center. He just needs to continue to physically develop and get to the point that he can dominate every snap.

Kalin Sadler, WR
5-10, 175
I like Sadler a lot and I started propping him in stories last season after games I watched him play in. He makes tough catches and he has the speed to get himself open for easy plays in the secondary. I also saw him blocking downfield on several key big plays and that is a quick way to earn a spot in the heart of coaches. He is not quite as big as advertised, but don't let that bother you. He can run, jump and catch.

Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL
6-3, 310
Oklahoma City Casady
He's another really big kid. Wariboko needs to strive to be in tip-top shape so he can be most effective. He is a guard in college and when he is at his best he completely engulfs a defensive lineman and can throw off some impressive pancakes on the field. He has a younger brother in Max who is also being recruited (Class of 2015) and you get the feeling that the family wants to see them together, and some schools including UCLA have offered both, and that's tough to do in these days of scholarship limits.

Gary Woods, Safety
6-0, 195
Oklahoma City Casady
Tough spot for me here in that I have watched this kid grow up and his father, Gary Sr., is the oldest Woods brother and a good friend. I'm going to tell you the truth here. He is likely an inch less than you want and he is likely a tick off what you want in the forty. He is a consistent 4.5 and change, close to 4.6 flat in speed.

Now have you seen a Woods yet that could not play football? The answer is a flat no, and Gary is no exception. Watch the tape as it tells a lot. He can cover, and routinely does speed receivers, tall receivers, all receivers. He can tackle and he has a nose for the ball. His instincts remind me of former OSU standout Donovan Woods, his uncle. I have witnesses going back to Donovan's days at quarterback at Millwood. I always wanted him to play defense, safety at the time and eventually linebacker. That is what I see for Gary.

Riley Daniel, OT
6-5, 290
I wanted to include him because I am just fresh off watching Daniel in a linemen camp and he is special. He has that tackle frame that coach's crave and he will even be able to put on finishing pounds at his college destination. He is strong and has good feet and handled about anything he had to in the camp, minus a Division I prospect that got an offer that day.

Daniel also shows me a lot in attitude and his ability to take coaching, hard coaching because the coaches in the camp weren't soft on him like they were some others. He was pushed and handled similar to the way you would handle a Division I player in being stern, coaching hard. Offensive linemen have to take hard coaching and not go soft. I like his toughness.

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