Recruiting: This Weekend Could Wrap It Up

After making good use of the spring and summer with plenty of unofficial visits, on campus camps and satellite camps, and lots of effort in the evaluation month of May to build the foundation of this recruiting class with 11 early commitments, Mike Gundy and his Oklahoma State football staff used two primary visit weekends in December to build the middle of the class. Now it could come down to this weekend in January to apply the finishing touches.

It doesn't hurt that the momentum is there in the athletic department with this week's announcement of Boone Pickens' $165 million donation that will go a long way toward constructing every facility Oklahoma State has on the board for football and athletics.

That message will be conveyed to the prospects coming in for visits this weekend and the overall jovial mood should assist in making it a spirited weekend, think of a good old Baptist revival.

That kind of spirit should appeal to several of the recruits visiting this weekend including recent offensive line commitment Myron McKinney of Putnam City North. Add to McKinney the fact that Spring (Westfield), Texas, wide receiver DeMarcus Conner and Dallas (Carter), Texas, linebacker Adrian Hamilton will be there and the staff should have help in selling several key recruits the positives of joining this class and what they could mean to the future of Oklahoma State football.

Major targets include Muskogee (Okla.) defensive lineman Derek Burton. The big, cat quick Burton knows OSU well since his father was an offensive line stalwart in the 1980s blocking for the likes of Thurman Thomas. Burton has the physical talent and personal determination and work ethic to be a real difference maker.

Richardson (Berkner), Texas, defensive end Ugo Chinasa is cut from the same cloth, and picking up the pair would be huge. Burton has a remaining visit to OU next weekend and Chinasa has already been to Alabama on an official visit while also considering Baylor. Burton is 6-5, 255 pounds and could wind up as an end or a tackle. Chinasa is 6-6, 235 pounds and is a stellar prospect as a run-stopping and pass-rushing end.

Those two, along with Hamilton, could be three serious playmakers for the future on defense. Add in safety prospect Daniel Johnson. His interest in OSU could really be buoyed by the presence of already committed Conner out of the Houston area. Johnson is a 6-3, 200-pound physical safety prosect out of Spring Woods in the Houston area. Texs A&M could be the major competition there.

Antwaun Harris was recruited out of South Garland in the Dallas area to BYU by current Cowboys linebacker coach Todd Bradford. The 5-11, 190-pound wide receiver with solid Division I experience would have three years to play and could really help the receiver corps. He is deciding between OSU and Oregon after this visit.

That brings us to the unconfirmed visitor in Klein (Collins), Texas, running back Michael Goodson. That talk is pretty strong that Goodson is going to make an official visit this weekend. The former OSU commitment certainly looked confused when he balked at making a commitment during the U.S. Army All-American Game last Saturday. Whether he makes it to Stillwater is a huge question. It will be interesting to watch, but it appears OSU is going to go with the flow on Goodson. If he's in Stillwater, great. If he isn't, it won't dampen the spirits of the weekend.

Two other stories to watch this weekend are what happens with Georgia defensive end Eric Norwood. Norwood, committed to the Cowboys since the fall, will visit South Carolina. He has sounded like a prospect set to make a switch. We should know soon after the weekend. Also, the Lufkin, Texas, pair of Leonard Hewitt and E.J. Shankle pulled out of their commitments to Texas Tech and are visiting LSU this weekend. The Tigers are recruiting both as corners and reports out of Waco University High confirms that Perrish Cox has become aware of it and isn't happy. It's worth keeping an eye on Cox, who despite reports, was really close on his decision between LSU and OSU.

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