The upcoming recruiting cycle, the class of 2018, in Oklahoma is an excellent year for offensive linemen, particularly, offensive tackles. Two of the better ones in the state have been in Stillwater the past four days to meet with new Oklahoma State offensive line coach Josh Henson.
Henson, himself, a product of Oklahoma high school football playing at Tuttle High School, knows the value of having really good players in-state stay in-state and suit up for the Oklahoma State program. It's similar at other Division I schools in-state. Players from Oklahoma know a little more history, know a few more people that are alumni, and usually, as a result, feel a little stronger about those letters on the front of the jersey.
Bixby's Bryce Bray and Oklahoma City McGuinness' Owen Condon fit that criteria of being in-state and they were the two linemen that were in the West End Zone and on the Oklahoma State campus since Friday.
Condon was in Stillwater today with his mother meeting with Henson. Condon, who is 6-6 1/2 and 300 pounds, is also a standout for the Irish basketball team. He was a major reason that McGuinness finished playing Carl Albert for the Class 5A state championship this past season. In games where I saw McGuinness in person, Condon often blocked outmatched defensive foes to the extent that it looked like Michael Oher in high school in the movie the Blind Side.
On the phone, Condon and I laughed about it from the start of the second half of the earlier meeting during the regular season with Carl Albert, a huge McGuinness win where they scored on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and then immediately got the ball back on a turnover and scored again. The Irish won that first meeting 38-10.
Condon already has offers from Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Washington State, Kansas, Texas Tech, SMU, and Tulsa among others. He said he enjoyed meeting Henson.
"You know it was good to get to know him," Condon said of the Monday meeting in Stillwater. "He's kind of new getting back and it was good to establish a relationship with Coach Henson."
Condon told me he is looking to major in something business related and as for his major criteria in choosing a school? "Someplace where I fit in with the guys, where I am a fit with the culture of the program," he said. "I'm looking for a place where I can be happy going to school the next four years."
Bray, who just collected a third state championship ring at Bixby as he had a stellar year blocking for the Spartans offense on the way to the Class 6A-II title, was in Stillwater with his folks on Friday. The 6-6, 290-pound Bray told me he doesn't have any offers yet, but he will. Bray is athletic for his size and he has improved in his strength and his technique and really progressed on a steep incline through this season.
"(Coach Henson) was good to spend time with," Bray said of his meeting on Friday. "He was nice to talk to as he was really kind of moving into his office. I think it was good to get there and get to know him as early in the year and as early in the process as I could."
There are other really talented offensive linemen in the state this upcoming year as Hunter Anthony, a standout at Tuttle, the same alma mater, is another talent. One of the top lineman in state, Brey Walker of Southmoore, is already verbally committed to Oklahoma. It's a good year for offensive linemen in Oklahoma.