The Sooner Intel is an inside look into Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting and is solely for Sooners Illustrated subscribers. It is a sneak peek into what's happening with OU recruiting and is not to be distributed anywhere else.
Plattenburg surprised by OU offer
Houston Lamar four-star defensive back John Plattenburg thought he had it all figured out. He had his top schools and was going to make a decision real soon.
Plattenburg is still going to make a decision, but he definitely doesn't have things figured out anymore. An Oklahoma offer has put a new wrinkle into things.
"I'll have to take it into a good consideration, for sure," Plattenburg said. "Knowing who they are and their tradition, it was exciting to get the offer."
Plattenburg played his freshman season in Houston before playing the last two years at Corona (Calif.) Centennial. He transferred back to Houston Lamar this summer.
It was during his time in California he developed the relationship with the OU coaches, starting with linebackers coach Tim Kish. Eventually defensive coordinator Mike Stoops entered the picture, too, and they both had been keeping contact.
Plattenburg wasn't the first one to know about his offer. It was his wide receivers coach at Houston Lamar that let him know about what happened.
"It was like a few hours after practice," Plattenburg said. "He told me I have an offer from OU. I had no idea what he was talking about. He said to call Coach Kish.
"With it being two-a-days, I knew it would be tough to get in touch with him. But I did, and he confirmed the offer. I'm probably going to take an official visit Oct. 4 [TCU weekend]."
The offer is intriguing, but Plattenburg reiterated that it's not going to change his decision process. He still will have it done soon, but he's also looking at taking all five of his official visits despite any pledge made this month.
Plattenburg's most recent trip was to UCLA, but Washington, Oregon, California, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are all squarely in the mix, too. Plattenburg, of course, isn't the first four-star defensive back from the school to be offered by OU. The Sooners offered John Bonney back in the winter.
"Me and John have been cool since little league football," Plattenburg said. "We make each other better. We talked about being a package deal the other day. We were at Chuck E. Cheese and thinking about it. I don't know."
Plattenburg hasn't seen the OU campus yet, but Bonney has. Three times, in fact, including one more trip last weekend.
"He said OU has been real good to him," Plattenburg said. "That means a lot because that's somebody whose word and opinion I trust a lot."
Havili sets Sooners visit
The Sooners need defensive tackles, and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is hoping he can take one from Utah.
Tooele (Utah) Stansbury defensive tackle Allan Havili has been a firm Utah commit since February, but an offer from OU has Havili doing some thinking.
Havili was hoping to make a visit to OU last month. That never happened, but a visit has been set for this season.
"I will visit in October for the Texas Tech game," Havili said. OU plays Texas Tech on Oct. 26.
Havili talked about his connection with Montgomery as the main reason he is even considering the Sooners right now. Because, frankly, he's not considering anybody else.
"No, not right now," Havili said. "I like Utah and OU. I really like the way Coach Montgomery runs things so I want to see the campus and see how everything goes from there."
OU is looking at signing three or four defensive tackles for this class. The Sooners have one at this stage and Havili seems like a strong candidate to fit in with the group.
Sunderland gets another taste of OU
All it takes is one camp performance to change everything. For Midwest City (Okla.) High safety William Sunderland, that camp performance came two months ago at OU.
Sunderland, a Class of 2015 prospect, was dominant at OU and quickly became a player to watch for the Sooners this season. There were rumors of an OU offer following the camp, but it was clarified Mike Stoops said he wants to offer Sunderland if things keep progressing the right way.
Things took another step in the right direction this week when Sunderland, along with several other top in-state names, made an unofficial visit to OU for practice.
"It went really good," Sunderland said. "I got to see all the safeties, and it was pretty cool watching them work."
Sunderland was a little under the radar two months ago. Neither Stoops brother really knew who he was. Two months can change things. Sunderland said he was bombarded by the OU coaches Tuesday night and got to talk to Bob Stoops for about 25 minutes.
"This time around they talked to me like I'm family," Sunderland said.
His offer status was addressed. A hypothetical situation was set up that if he was offered right now, would he commit? Sunderland said he would want to, but he also believes it is best to keep all of his options open.
He said he is up to 186 pounds right now and the OU coaches had no issues with him playing basketball this summer.
"They said they love guys that play other sports," Sunderland said. "They love having athletes like that. It was a great visit."
Sunderland is poised to be the top-ranked defensive back in the state for 2015.
Sooners offer goes a long way for Hartbarger
Earlier this week I examined OU's special teams situation for recruiting. There wasn't much to write about. Less than 24 hours later, there was as OU offered Whitehouse (Ohio) Wayne punter Jake Hartbarger.
He recently competed in a national kicking competition where he ended up being ranked second in punting and also earned an invite to the Under Armour All-America game.
From there it didn't take long for OU special teams coach Jay Boulware to get into the mix. The first week they talked, Hartbarger said they talked every single day. The next week it was every other day.
"We have a real close relationship right now," Hartbarger said. "Things have developed quickly."
But the last call was a different one. Hartbarger and Boulware were talking when Boulware passed the phone to Bob Stoops, who officially offered Hartbarger.
"I was not expecting that at all," Hartbarger said. "He said to hold on one moment and put Coach Stoops on the phone. I was so stunned. I didn't know what to say."
Hartbarger said other schools are showing interest, but he is content right now with his offers. Yes, that's a good thing for OU. He said he is looking to take an official visit to OU either Aug. 30 or Sept. 6, one of the first two weekends.
He implied a commitment would happen. When I asked for clarification, he didn't say I was wrong.
"Once I make that visit, everything should fall into place," Hartbarger said. "It will be a quick decision."
The sole delay will be that only one of his parents will be on the official visit. He said what most likely will happen is he will return home, discuss things as a family and then commit.
OU back in play for Goolsby
So first impressions aren't everything in recruiting. Because if they were, OU wouldn't stand a chance with Derby (Kan.) High tight end DeAndre Goolsby.
Not a single chance.
Goolsby, a three-star prospect, visited OU in the spring and came away thoroughly unimpressed. It was at that point I had sort of closed the door with OU and Goolsby.
Goolsby gave OU one more shot last weekend, and it paid off. Goolsby said seeing the new completed Headington Hall and seeing the vibe on campus has changed his first opinion about the Sooners.
How much? Well, enough for Goolsby to have already set up an official visit Sept. 6, the weekend of OU's game against West Virginia.
This doesn't mean the Sooners are in the lead for Goolsby. With so many quality schools in the mix, it won't be easy. But it's no longer a lost cause like it appeared to have been at this time last month.
Green working on Lodge to become a Sooner
Two weeks ago Cedar Hill (Texas) High cornerback and OU commit Marcus Green came up to Oklahoma City for a QuickTwitch skills event.
After the event, he made another unofficial visit to OU to hang out with Mike Stoops. But it's clear what his No. 1 goal is right now: to get DaMarkus Lodge to Norman as well.
"I'm talking to him all the time," Green said. "He is going to be so good for us this season. I can't wait to watch him work. I really want him to join me at OU. I'm going to make that happen."
Lodge, a stud 2015 receiver at Cedar Hill, made his first visit to OU on Wednesday and said it was great. He said OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell is definitely somebody he could see himself playing for.
The visit was huge because Lodge is expected to be one of the state's best receivers, but he had only visited Texas and TCU before Wednesday.
Now at least OU has given him something to think about. It's a marathon for Lodge and not a sprint. An unofficial visit this season for a game would go a long way, too.
The Cali impact
What more can be said about the impact OU is having in California? TCU weekend is an amazing example of how the Sooners have been able to reach out to kids on the west coast.
Five official visits from California recruits have already been set, including La Mirada (Calif.) High four-star wide receiver commit Dallis Todd.
Two of those are five-star recruits in Oakley (Calif.) Freedom running back Joe Mixon and Fresno (Calif.) Central recruit Michiah Quick. And then two more were added this week in a position of huge need for the Sooners. Los Angeles Salesian linebackers Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware are both going to visit OU on that weekend, too.
It's highly unlikely OU will earn a commit from the weekend. Those four recruits could all potentially use every single official visit. But the weekend is huge for OU to pick up some momentum with all of them going forward and to seal the deal once again with Todd.
It has been a bad month in the state of Texas with recruiting, but some of that disappointment can be pushed to the side if the Sooners continue to make headway into California like they've done in the last 3-4 years.