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.
Clark back in play…again
The saga of Denton (Texas) Ryan three-star defensive end Sekou Clark and Oklahoma has had so many twists and turns that almost nothing at this point would surprise me.
Clark camped at OU three straight summers, was a permanent fixture at OU home games last season and then vanished. By the spring, it was obvious OU had moved on from Clark.
Or had they? Clark was invited by defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to be at OU's satellite camp in Carrollton, Texas, in June. Clark performed well and Montgomery said he would be staying in touch.
Nearly three months later, though, nothing new to report until late last week. Montgomery messaged Clark and said if he's free, to come up to Norman for the season opener. Clark brought his parents and was back at OU once again.
"It was a lot of fun," Clark said. "The defensive line looked a little young and inexperienced, but they were hungry. They played really well against ULM."
Clark said he was able to talk with Montgomery and OU coach Bob Stoops before the game, saying Stoops likes him as a player. But the biggest difference has been the personal connection Montgomery has been building with Clark.
He said that is clearly the biggest difference with how OU is recruiting him this year compared to last year where he didn't feel that bond with the Sooners coaches.
"When they were stretching before the game, I was able to talk to him, and I talked to him after the game," Clark said. "He asked me to come back again so I can get a better feel for him and him for me."
Clark said they talked about where he stands with an offer, and Clark said Montgomery said he should know in a couple of weeks. Clark has been pigeon-holed as more of a pass rusher than an every down defensive end, which is something Clark said he has been trying to change.
That first opportunity came last week during Denton Ryan's 38-7 victory. Clark didn't play the second half but said things definitely feel different now that he's a senior.
"Every game is my last something this year," Clark said. "This is it. I'm more aggressive and stronger and smarter, too. I'm able to see what coming before it happens now."
Coincidentally, Clark is going to visit ULM this weekend and said there are a couple of schools he is also eyeing. But things between him and OU might finally be on the same page.
"Yeah, it does feel good right now," Clark said. "But if it doesn't happen, I'll be fine. I'm still trying to figure everything out."
Windham excited for OU visit
OU has a history of finding some diamonds in the rough with under the radar prospects. OU fans certainly hope that's the case with Gulfport (Miss.) Harrison Central cornerback Tito Windham.
OU was his first offer in May, and he committed that week. The pledge was a bit confusing because his 5-foot-8 frame isn't usually what defensive coordinator Mike Stoops looks for.
Stellar summer camp performances have made OU fans more excited about his commitment, and Windham is set to see the campus for the first time this weekend.
"It's going to be a big weekend," Windham said. "I'm ready to see the game, actually, but I want to see the campus and meet the coaches in person, too."
Windham said he is talking to OU coaches about 2-3 times a week, mostly with cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright and graduate assistant Chip Viney.
He has already started his senior season, winning the first two games. Right now he is playing defensive back and quarterback but said he is spending most of the time at defensive back. He returned a fumble for a touchdown last week.
Interest hasn't slowed down. Florida State offered almost immediately after his commitment. Louisiana Lafayette called Monday, and he said he is receiving steady mail from Auburn. He worked all summer on getting faster and said he is pleased with the results.
Windham said there is one OU player he is looking forward to watching this weekend.
"I'm definitely trying to watch Aaron Colvin," Windham said. "I know how good he is, and I want to see him work in person. The defense put up a shutout last week so that's good. I'm pretty impressed, and I know I can fit in."
Goolsby, Lodge top weekend visitors
Windham isn't the only official visitor for the weekend as Derby (Kan.) Scout 300 tight end DeAndre Goolsby is also visiting Norman this weekend.
This will be Goolsby's third visit to OU since the spring. The first one was nothing to write home about. Gooslby said he didn't have much to say about that one. But he went to OU again late in the summer and was so impressed that he set up an official visit for the weekend.
This is the second weekend in a row where a tight end is taking an official visit. Last week it was junior college prospect Jean Sifrin.
OU looks like it will be taking two tight ends for the class and already has one quality commit in Tulsa (Okla.) Union three-star prospect Carson Meier.
Do not expect a commitment from Goolsby this week. But if there is any movement with Sifrin, that might be an indicator of how things have gone with Goolsby.
Two weeks ago Goolsby released a top five of OU, Kansas State, Arkansas, Florida and Ohio State. His family ties have him going to the Wildcats, but I've felt the Buckeyes are the team to beat as of now.
He wants to take all of his official visits before any decision so OU being this early could be good or could be bad. Either it makes a huge impression that no other school can match or it's simply forgotten by the time November or December roll around.
And then Cedar Hill (Texas) 2015 Scout 300 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge is also set to return to OU. If this happens, this might be more noteworthy than Goolsby.
Lodge and Cedar Hill have a tough, tough game against Allen (Texas) on Friday night so it's possible Lodge won't make it to OU.
It would be Lodge's second trip to campus in a month, and the first visit opened his eyes as to what the Sooners can offer. Another trip would mean more one-on-one time with receivers coach Jay Norvell, and we all know that's never a bad thing.
Teammate and OU commit Marcus Green is going to visit as well, and Green has been banging the OU drum to Lodge for the last few months.
Hansen embraces responsibility
Recruits view themselves as recruiters differently. Some love putting the recruiting hat on and trying to entice others. Some like to stay low key and let their friends make their own decisions.
That isn't to say Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas didn't try to get some recruits to join them at OU, but Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe Scout 300 quarterback Justice Hansen sees it as his duty to get other recruits to play with him.
"Absolutely," Hansen said. "I do think it's up to me to build the relationships and get comfortable with everybody. You want these guys to know you want them with you."
The Hansen relationship is the one reason why no matter how many rumors swirl, simply not scared regarding La Mirada (Calif.) Scout 300 wide receiver Dallis Todd and his pledge to the Sooners.
Todd and Hansen have built such an incredible rapport over the last five months that I cannot see Todd looking at any other school with any real intent.
Of course the No. 1 target for Hansen is his good buddy Jenks (Okla.) Scout 300 safety Steven Parker. Hansen was once again chatting it up with Parker on the sidelines last week before OU's game against ULM.
"I've been real active, and I'm going to be real active doing that," Hansen said. "A lot of other recruits have helped, too. We know who we want, and we want the best."
Door closing on Houston Lamar duo?
Some of you have already closed the door and can't blame you too much. Though Houston Lamar Scout 300 safety John Bonney has visited OU three times in the last year, it certainly looks like the Sooners are on the outside looking in.
Bonney, in talking with Scout.com's Annabel Stephan last week, said nothing that should get OU fans excited about a pending commitment. Sure enough the OU window closed Thursday night when he committed to Texas. The Longhorns were his childhood favorite growing up.
His teammate John Plattenburg wants to commit soon, and OU doesn't look to be in great position there, either. The Sooners were awfully late in reaching out to Plattenburg and other schools have been down in the trenches for a lot longer.
If OU cannot get Plattenburg to campus, it's obviously a done deal. But this is not a package deal. They might tease being a package deal, but we know how often that rarely ever happens. These two will most likely go to different schools. But as of early September, it just doesn't like it's OU for either one of them.
Bond back in play
The winner of the most unusual story of the week goes to junior college linebacker Devante Bond. Does the name sound familiar?
Bond, who has played the last two seasons at Sierra College in Roseville, Calif., was a major OU linebacker target for the 2013 class. In the end, Bond signed with Miami (Fla.) so everybody moved on.
But a new wrinkle has been thrown into play.
"I fell short a class," Bond said. "I just didn't handle what I needed to handle and fell short. I fell short three units. I needed 12 units, and the NCAA only took nine because they didn't accept one I took in the summer."
So Bond is back in the recruiting business. He's not playing this season but is just working out and keeping himself in the best shape possible. OU was a favorite last year, and the Sooners haven't backed down this year.
Bond said OU linebackers coach Tim Kish was among the first to really start making that push again after he learned Bond wasn't going to be a Hurricane.
There was some talk of having Bond visit the campus this weekend, but things couldn't be ironed out that quickly. Instead all the talk is being centered on the mega-weekend of the season, Oct. 4 weekend when TCU comes to town.
Bond can play defensive end or linebacker, and if you're looking for a comparison, OU sophomore Eric Striker is the best place to start.
"I'm going to be more of like a hybrid guy and a linebacker," Bond said. "I like playing that hybrid spot where I can move around in space and rush the passer and create things. It fits me well."
OU isn't the only school in contention, though. He visited Fresno State last weekend, and Bond said schools like Nebraska and Texas A&M are also showing strong interest. Miami hasn't been ruled out, either.
OU offers two at Mustang
Not too much to report in the world of OU basketball. The Sooners do not have a commit at this point for the 2014 group although OU has made a strong move for Bixby (Okla.) power forward Mitchell Solomon.
Long is 6-6 and Meyer is 6-8. Long was offered by Wichita State last year and is the son of Mustang coach Terry Long, who helped orchestrate a mini-dynasty at Oklahoma City Douglass.
"It means a lot to get the offer right now because it means I'm doing something good, doing something right," Jakolby Long said. "It was definitely a little bit of a surprise."
Long said Oklahoma State and Tulsa are both looking at him, too, but Long said he doesn't have any favorites and didn't grow up with any favorites.
He is excited about Meyer getting the offer with him.
"That was pretty cool," Long said. "It's pretty good to have my teammate offered and to know we could play together if we want to."
Right now, though, Long is focused on football. He was hurt last year so he didn't play. And after a bone spur injury in his knee this summer, Long just wants to be active again and is going to be a receiver for the Broncos.
"I want to have fun and get better," Long said. "I have a month or so to get back to basketball after football, and I'll get in shape. I'm not worried about that."
Sunderland puts on show
The Oklahoma high school football season got underway for a lot of teams Thursday and one marquee matchup was Edmond Santa Fe and Midwest City.
The game lost some its luster when Justice Hansen didn't play because of a hamstring injury, but it was a coming out party for 2015 Scout 300 safety Will Sunderland.
Sunderland was everywhere in recording seven tackles, intercepting a pass and breaking up another.
"I was kind of nervous," Sunderland said. "I thought I did really good for it to be the first game of the season and show people what I'm made of."
Sunderland made the play of the night in the first half. Edmond Santa Fe ran a reverse at the goal line, and Sunderland was the only line of defense. Sunderland stopped the Wolves short at the one-yard line en route to a 3-0 defensive battle victory.
"In my mind, I was thinking I got to get him, got to get him," Sunderland said. "I thought he would cut inside, but he stayed outside. I hit him as hard as I could, and he didn't get the touchdown."
Sunderland talked with OU assistants Cale Gundy and Mike Stoops earlier this week and confirmed he is going to be at OU this weekend. It will be his first Sooners game in person.
"They said they wanted me to come since I missed the first game," Sunderland said. "I'm very excited. I've always wanted to be on the sideline for college. Now I can. I can't wait."