Recruiting: First Major Weekend For Visitors

By our count only one prospect - Muskogee standout wide receiver Jameel Owens - has taken an official visit to Oklahoma State. Owens is soon going to take his other planned visits to OU, Texas Tech and Florida. Meanwhile, the Cowboys start Friday a parade of prospects over the next two weeks. This will be a moderate weekend and next weekend is shaping up as a monster recruiting weekend.

The last number we were able to come up with for this weekend was eight visitors. You'll notice we have nine prospects listed with the likely player not coming being standout linebacker Lynn Katoa of Salt Lake City, Utah. We were never able to contact him to confirm his visit.

This weekend is a mixture of high school and junior college prospects, while next weekend will have a strong junior college lean to it.

We'll start with the high school players in for the weekend.

Zaviar Gooden and Victor Johnson are two of the best safety prospects in Texas. Both are 6-1 and are hard hitters. Johnson is really a pure safety while Gooden was also a standout running back the past two seasons at Pflugerville. Johnson made a habit of forcing turnovers with big hits including a monster collision that caused a turnover in his last high school game, an overtime loss in the first round of the 5A playoffs against Ennis. The competition for both players is thick as it would look like Texas Tech and maybe OU would be the top competition with Gooden. The Cowboys will have to outshine Miami to get Johnson.

The other three expected high school visitors have all made previous commitments, but those commitments are shaky because of coaching changes.

Josh Williams picked Nebraska earlier this fall in a close race with Oklahoma State. Now with Nebraska looking for a coach the Denton Ryan defensive end is looking around. Williams is a tremendous talent with size and proven ability on the field.

Nigel Nicholas is an excellent tight end prospect from the same high school as Adarius Bowman's little brother, whom the Cowboys will be recruiting for the 2009 class. Nicholas has tight end size with wide receiver speed and is an excellent receiving tight end prospect. He committed to Duke early, but the Duke staff was fired on Monday.

Kyle Mangan of Brenham, Texas, is one of the top middle linebacker prospects in Texas. He was a very early commitment to Texas A&M, but has decided to look around some. This one may be hard to get but the effort is worth it as the 6-2, 225-pounder has 4.6 speed and can really play.

The final high school player making the trip to Stillwater is the Cowboys' most recent commitment in Cooper Bassett, who changed last week from Kansas State to Oklahoma State. The 6-4, 238-pound Bassett is a life-long OSU fan who could end up doing some recruiting of other players on his visit.

All three of the junior college prospects expected to make the trip to OSU are defensive linemen with Coffeyville's Chris Donaldson and Georgia Military's LeRoy Burgess being just what Oklahoma State is looking for to help in the middle of the defensive line. Burgess would project as a one-technique over the center and Donaldson as three-technique head up or outside the guard. Both have good numbers and both could be in during the spring semester.

David Benford is a big, quick, play-making defensive end out of Independence (Kan.) Community College. You can see he has garnered a lot of interest and there is good reason for that. He is a tackling and a sack machine.

As usual we will be trying to track down each of the visitors on Sunday and Monday to see how the visits went over the weekend. Besides the usual tours, meals, and other typical recruiting activities there is a major home basketball game on Saturday with the Cowboys hosting Washington.

Cooper Bassett, TE, 6-4, 238, 4.75, Tuttle, Okla.
Verbally committed to OSU (11/30)

David Benford, DE, 6-5, 240, 4.7, Independence C.C., Kan./West Palm Beach , Fla.
KSU (11/16), WVU (12/7), OSU (11/30), Ark , KU, ISU, USF
Notes: 42-21-63 total tackles, 15 tfl, 13.5 sacks, 3fr, 3fc

LeRoy Burgess, DT, 6-1, 300, 5.2, Georgia Military J.C., Ga.
KSU (12/13), Miss (11/17), NCSt (11/23), OSU (11/30), Troy
Notes: 14-12-26 total tackles, 6.5tfl, 5.5 sacks, 1int, 1fc

Chris Donaldson, DT, 6-3, 280, 5.1, Coffeyville C.C., Kan./Anderson, S.C.
OSU (11/30)
Notes: 14-22-36 total tackles, 9 tfl, 1 sack, 1int, 1fc

Zaviar Gooden, DB, 6-1, 200, 4.4, Pflugerville , Texas
OSU (11/30), Tech

Victor Johnson, DB, 6-1, 175, 4.5, Waco , Texas
OSU (11/30), OU, Tech, Miami

Lynn Katoa, LB, 6-2, 220, 4.6, Salt Lake City (Cottonwood), Utah
OU (9-1), CU (10/20), LSU (11/23), OSU (11/30)

Kyle Mangan, LB, 6-3, 220, 4.6, Brenham , Texas
Verbally committed to Texas A&M, OSU (11/30)

Nigel Nicholas, TE, 6-3, 245, 4.7, Rossville (Ridgeland), Ga.
Verbally committed to Duke, OSU (11/30)

Josh Williams, DE, 6-4, 220, 4.8, Denton (Ryan), Texas
Verbally committed to Neb (9/14), Ky (11/24), OSU (11/30), UT (12/7)

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