Sooner Intel, Pt I: OU news and nuggets

Season is almost over, but recruiting is just heating up for Oklahoma on the trail.

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.

OU in driver's seat with Clark?

The Sooners have absolutely taken advantage of their in-home visits this week. It didn't feel like OU could possibly get a lot done. It's involved in one of the few marquee games this weekend so the coaches haven't been able to hit the road to visit prospects.

But the Sooners have been able to touch base with two vital in-state Scout 300 prospects in Jenks (Okla.) High safety Steven Parker and Oklahoma City Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark.

Parker is uncommitted, while Clark has been pledged to LSU since June. But defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is trying to change all of that and is doing all the little things right. Clark had an in-home visit from Bob Stoops on Wednesday, while Montgomery also visited Clark at Douglass High earlier in the week.

Winning over Clark is one thing but the real challenge is to win over his mother, Dorshell, who is no doubt front and center in this recruitment.

And that's what Wednesday's visit was all about.

"They said any questions she has, she can call them," Clark said. "That's good because she said she is going to call them with every little question."

Clark was thought to be out of the picture for OU but distance is starting to play a role. While Clark wants and still might visit places like Ole Miss, Alabama and Arizona State, OU is becoming the practical option.

Practicality might win the day.

"I still want to go out of state," Clark said. "But if I don't go, I will most likely go to OU."

Clark had a sensational season for the Trojans. He rushed for 1,365 yards on 160 carries with 21 touchdowns. He also had more than 50 tackles and 18 sacks.

Clark is focused on the Semper Fi all-star game and then 100 percent of his attention will go toward recruiting and taking visits to LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama and ASU.

"It has been fun, but it's a headache, too," said Clark about the recruiting process. "I'm 100 percent with LSU until something changes my mind."

OU is certainly trying to give him something to think about.

Thomas still in the picture

The Sooners want at least one more linebacker to fill out the class. Last month it was a shoo-in for OU with Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill three-star linebacker Jonathan Thomas.

Heck, he said it was a sure thing. He was going to visit for the Iowa State game and commit on his visit. A week before the visit, he was asked to stay home.

Most of the time that means deal's done, move on. But OU isn't done with Thomas, not even close. And what happened last month has not deterred him from OU.

"When I was about to take that visit, I had a game that Friday night," Thomas said. "And what? OU played at 11 a.m. the next day, right? I don't think that would have been a good visit for me. Waking up early and then flying out and I'm tired wouldn't have been good.

"Everything's good. Honestly, it's fine."

Syracuse visited Thomas earlier this week. Indiana is supposed to do the same. OU linebackers coach Tim Kish is set to visit sometime this month, the details of that haven't been worked out quite yet.

Thomas said he talks to Kish weekly for about 10-15 minutes on the phone and said he is enjoying getting to know Kish.

Early talks are of a mid-January visit to OU but again, nothing even close to finalized. His academic standing and any potential visit date will be discussed when Kish comes to town.

What is known is he is set to visit Syracuse the last weekend before signing day to try to give the Cuse the advantage of being the last visit.

Thomas took the ACT last month. Said he was happy with it, but he's going to keep retaking it as many times as he can.

Thomas said Miami (Fla.), Auburn and Arkansas have been showing new interest but no in-home visits or offers have been given.

Huggins staying on task

Talking a lot about defensive tackles for the Class of 2014 and for 2015, but rewind a bit to 2013 and the story of Kerrick Huggins.

Originally committed to Texas A&M, Huggins flipped to OU and double signed with the Sooners and Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. Huggins didn't qualify academically and spent this last season at Trinity Valley but said the Sooners are still on his mind.

"I talk to Coach Montgomery about once a month," Huggins said. "I think I might be more now that the season is over."

Huggins said it was a learning experience for him at Trinity Valley, but he can't complain about it because it has made him a lot smarter and taught him a lesson.

"Everybody got talent in juco," Huggins said. "Everybody. I should have stayed on my stuff in high school. I was about two points away on the ACT for being good."

Huggins said no schools are contacting him right now, and he is around 6-4 and 290 pounds. He played a lot of his games at the same time as OU, but he said he has enjoyed what he has seen from the Sooners and the defensive line.

"I like it. I'll do whatever it takes," Huggins said. "Be a nose tackle or whatever, it doesn't matter to me."

Huggins said everything is set to go right now for him to be a 2015 signee.

Tretola, OU on same page

One thing is obvious when it comes to OU and juco prospects for this cycle. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, you have to be able to come to campus in January.

That's not a problem for Iowa Western College offensive guard Sebastian Tretola, who said he is on pace to be good and will make his decision in a couple of weeks.

Tretola made his official visit to OU last month and said everything went as good as he possibly could have imagined.

"It speaks for itself," Tretola said. "It's OU. It was everything you think it was. I had a great time, and it was even better than I thought it would be."

Tretola has seen OU on TV so many times, but he said actually being there in person and taking in the atmosphere was breathtaking.

He knew about the tradition going into his visit, but he got a better understanding of just how much the fans love the program.

"The loyalty was something that stood out," Tretola said. "You can see why people want to go here. Everybody is tuned in to what is going on and is aware of everything."

Tretola had already visited Texas Tech and has now visited South Florida and TCU since the OU visit. All that's left is an Arkansas visit before a decision happens.

"This is a much different path than what I had coming out of high school," Tretola said. "My mom is really big on getting my degree. And this is a business decision for me at this point. I have two years to make my name known and turn this into a living."

Tretola was hosted by running back Keith Ford and offensive guard Adam Shead. There was some speculation about Tretola being an offensive tackle, but he said that's not true. He has been recruited at guard the whole time.

What stood out to him in talking to Ford and Shead was how honest they were about how happy they are with the program.

"They really love the program," Tretola said. "Nothing but good things, positive things. You usually run into some of those guys that are negative, not this time around."

Tretola said OU didn't recruit him out of high school but that doesn't play a factor at all into anything. OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh called him two months ago, and he said OU was his third offer and has been in the picture for a while now.

"They want me inside," Tretola said. "That's where I feel most comfortable, but there's no talk about being a tackle. It's all about playing inside."

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