Sooner Intel, Pt. I: OU news and nuggets

It's a huge recruiting weekend for the Sooners. Big enough that the traditional Friday morning Intel is being broken up into two parts.

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.

Frison ready to see Norman

Oklahoma is going back to a Utah commit and hoping for a much different result this time. The Sooners offered Tooele (Utah) Stansbury defensive tackle Allan Havili in the summer.

Everything seemed good to go for an official visit two weeks ago when OU decided to tell Havili to stay at home. Havili no longer considers OU and is solid to the Utes.

It's another lineman OU is targeting, this time on the offensive side of the ball with West Valley City (Utah) Granger offensive tackle Kenyon Frison.

Frison, a three-star prospect committed to Utah since February, confirmed he is going to take an official visit to OU this weekend.

"It's a mutual thing," Frison said. "A while back they came to one of my practices in the spring and offered me. Everything has stayed consistent. A lot of contact just about every day. They asked if I wanted to come up and see things and it works out this weekend."

Frison said he is being recruited by OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. The Sooners are still in desperate need of help on the offensive line.

Frison hasn't really been looking around. He said he has no problems with the Utes or the coaching staff, but he definitely hasn't closed that recruiting door.

"I'm pretty open to other options," Frison said. "But if I don't find the right fit or something like that, I'll stay committed to Utah. I've made a lot of unofficial visits there."

So this is OU's chance to try to turn things around. Frison said he feels like the OU coaches are great people, but he's excited to meet them and get a more personal connection developing.

Despite being so far away from OU, Frison said the coaches have done a solid job of keeping him up-to-date on everything.

"They've been sending me stuff on YouTube, about what to watch," Frison said. "Every day there are practice updates on their site, too. I've definitely done a lot of research."

Frison's uncle will be going with him. He said his uncle also played football at Utah but that won't play a role in his decision.

What could, though, is distance.

"I'm somewhat worried about the distance," Frison said. "This is my first recruiting trip so I'm looking forward to it and want to enjoy it. My uncle just wants me to go where it's best for me."

Frison said he is also considering a visit to Washington but nothing has been finalized. OU is looking for at least three offensive tackles for the class and currently have no commitments at the position.

Decision time looms for Cooper

Now it's time for the curious case of junior college offensive tackle Fahn Cooper. No academic issues kept him from qualifying. In fact, he started all 12 games last season for Bowling Green as a redshirt freshman.

But something didn't feel right, and he left Bowling Green and has been at the College of Dupage this year in Illinois.

Cooper, expected to sign in December, is ready to get his second recruitment over with, and OU is certainly in the picture.

"It was about the second week of our season when I started hearing from them," Cooper said. "I started talking to Coach Bill Bedenbaugh on Facebook, and we have been exchanging messages ever since."

Coopers said he gave Bedenbaugh his transcripts. And as soon as Bedenbaugh and OU realized he was solid as a mid-year enrollee, everything has been going smoothly ever since.

Cooper has options, but strangely enough they're all in the Midlands area for somebody who grew up in the Midwest.

He took a visit to Texas Tech last month and was all set to see Texas A&M last week until the Aggies told him early in the week to stay home because they had what they needed.

OU most certainly does not have what it needs in terms of offensive tackles, and Cooper is excited to see the campus this weekend.

"In high school, this would have been an unbelievable opportunity," Cooper said. "Everybody knows about their tradition and how much they've won and accomplish. OU is one of the five most prestigious schools in the country. It's still a great opportunity now."

Strangely enough, it won't be a player or coach who could have the most impact this weekend. It's a former high school classmate from Illinois who is now attending OU.

Cooper isn't sure if he will be able to reconnect with her because they were friends but not close friends in high school, but he sure hopes he can.

"She would give me a different perspective," Cooper said. "And it says a lot that a girl from Crystal Lake High School thought OU was a school to attend. She could give me insight to the classes and professors and the campus. You know the coaches just want to talk football."

That's a good thing, though. One huge thing Cooper is looking for is pride. It wasn't playing time he stressed, but pride. In his words:

"One of the biggest things for me is I want to go somewhere I can take a lot of pride in," Cooper said. "At my old school, it felt like everybody had excuses about why they winded up there. They didn't want to be there. When I went on my visit to Bowling Green in high school, it was dead on game day, but I had already made up my mind."

Cooper also had no film of being an offensive lineman. He was a defensive lineman throughout high school until switching to tackle as a senior. He's looking for that camaraderie. He's looking for competition. And if he finds it this weekend, he's not scared to make the call.

"It definitely could happen," said Cooper about a commitment. "I was thinking about waiting to signing day, but I thought that was overrated."

Whatever happens is going to be Cooper's decision and his alone. He said his family wasn't too thrilled about his decision to leave Bowling Green so Cooper is going on his visits by himself.

"What I did (leaving Bowling Green), to me, was like a chess move," Cooper said. "Now this is my next move."

Johnson not committed…yet

Last Friday night was strange. While watching Moore (Okla.) Westmoore and Broken Arrow (Okla.), received two tweets saying Rowlett (Texas) defensive tackle Cedric Johnson committed to OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery at Johnson's game Friday night.

Johnson denied the commitment Saturday afternoon, but he sure didn't deny the fact he should commit to OU eventually.

"I didn't commit, but I plan on going there," Johnson said.

Johnson, a three-star tackle, has made two unofficial visits to OU this season having attended the last two home games.

But "plan on going there" felt too ambiguous so asked for further explanation.

"I'm waiting for my official in January," Johnson texted.

The good and the bad. The good is it feels like you can bank on OU getting at least one major defensive tackle target. Johnson wasn't even talking about Baylor and this was 48 hours after Baylor dismantled the Sooners on the field.

The bad, though, is sometimes waiting doesn't turn out to be exactly the way it was planned. A lot can change with Johnson and his recruitment. The longer he keeps it open, the more possibilities remain out there.

Johnson cannot make this game Saturday because Rowlett plays Longview (Texas)in a playoff game 4 p.m. CST Saturday.

Thomas working on academics

This week didn't start with a bang but rather with an ominous tone. It definitely felt like OU was going to add a commitment from Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill three-star linebacker Jonathan Thomas this weekend.

But OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery told Thomas last week to stay home this weekend, and they'll revisit things later.

Usually that just means they're moving on, but OU has a strong history of actually coming back around and making a decision one way or another.

Thomas said Sunday night he was going to commit on the visit, and he was excited because he has never seen a college game in person.

That will have to wait, but Thomas said the OU coaches plan to come down in the next month. That could be during the in-home visit period of the recruiting calendar or it could come during OU's bye week following the Kansas State game.

No doubt the concern is all academics with Thomas. He addressed that issue.

"I had a real rough time as a freshman and sophomore," Thomas said. "Things are really picking up now. For this semester, I have a 3.2 GPA. I'm doing what I can."

Thomas doesn't have any testing scores reported yet but will soon. Thomas said he recently took the ACT and will take the SAT soon. He doesn't have his ACT results yet.

It feels like by the time OU plans to visit Thomas again, it should know Thomas' academic standing and everything should be clear regarding a potential future at OU for Thomas.

Flowers set with Sooners

A week later and life is good for San Antonio Churchill prospect Dimitri Flowers. Committed to Boise State since June, he flipped his commitment to OU last week.

"I don't have to worry about anything now," Flowers said. "It does feel pretty good."

Flowers was actually worried. The distance was a huge concern for him. He appreciated the interest from Boise and everything the coaches did, but he wasn't 100 percent with how far away from home it really is.

He visited Boise earlier this season and said he enjoyed it, but it really hit him the realization of just how far away Boise is from San Antonio.

So despite having not seen the OU campus, Flowers is confident Norman is the home for him considering how much closer it is to San Antonio.

On the field, it's obvious Flowers is set to be the next Trey Millard for OU. Listed at 220 pounds, Flowers spoke more about his situation.

"I was 220 in the summer, but I'm 230 pounds now," Flowers said. "I think I can easily gain another 15-20 pounds and be fine."

Flowers has put up monster numbers this season, highlighted by 54 catches for 1,044 yards and 15 touchdowns. So how does somebody who is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, average almost 20 yards per catch?

"I don't know. I just work hard," Flowers said. "I'm a tough matchup for safeties and linebackers. I line out wide. I'm out in the slot. Whatever is needed."

Yep, OU has found its next Millard.


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