OU's defensive 'wish list' for January

Heading into the final month before signing day, OU needs the most help on defense and certainly could find some answers during January.

The first Tuesday of each month Sooners Illustrated is going to examine the recruiting situation for Oklahoma's defensive positions.

Here is an idea of where OU stands heading into January. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2014. The names in no way reflect OU's official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.

DL (3-4)

Committed (2): Homewood (Ala.) High's Dwayne Orso. Nobody knew who he was in October, but a lot of major schools are jumping into the mix now. OU was first, got the visit and got the commitment. Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery pursued Orso real hard real fast to get this one.

Irving (Texas) Ranchview's Brandon Glenn. Earned the offer with a brilliant showing at OU's camp in June. One more unofficial visit later and the Sooners had their first tackle commitment. Glenn attended every game and there is no question about his status and commitment.

Favorite: New Orleans St. Augustine's Courtney Garnett. Ranked a three-star defensive tackle, Garnett has been committed to Texas for a long time but recently tweeted OU is his No. 1 school. Montgomery built up the bond with Garnett a long time ago, and he will be visiting OU this month. Tennessee is also firmly in the mix. OU sees him at defensive end.

Next in line: Nobody right now. Montgomery obviously feels solid with the defensive linemen on campus and already has two defensive tackles for the 2015 class. A name could always emerge, but it's not a huge necessity right now.

LB (3-4)

Committed (3): Allen (Texas) High's Tay Evans. Once the offer was made, it was just a matter of time. Evans visited July 2 and committed. Sooners got two for the price of one when his brother, Bobby Evans, a 2015 prospect, committed eight days later. Not just a strong linebacker, Tay Evans has been scoring touchdowns for Allen this season, too.

Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta's Curtis Bolton. OU was one of the first schools to offer Bolton, and it apparently made a world of a difference. Bolton chose the Sooners despite the fact he hasn't seen campus. Seems eager to get to Norman, though, based on his tweets and had a tremendous senior season.

Juco prospect Devante Bond. He was high on OU's board for 2013 before signing with Miami (Fla.) and now he's with the Sooners. Bond made it official by signing three weeks ago, and he'll be on campus this month.

Favorite: Oklahoma City Douglass' Deondre Clark. Yep, Mr. Clark is seriously back in the picture. An LSU commit since the summer, Montgomery and Bob Stoops have been working overtime on Clark and his mother in the last month. Despite being a Tigers pledge, you wouldn't be crazy to say OU is the No. 1 option right now. He said he will announce on signing day.

Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill's Jonathan Thomas. OU is right back in the picture for Thomas after Dwight Williams picked UCLA on Saturday. Early talks are of a visit Jan. 24 weekend. If so, Sooners are going to be tough to beat for Thomas, especially after the Sugar Bowl win.

Next in line: Goodyear (Ariz.) Desert Edge's Ismael Murphy-Richardson. The Sooners need to get IMR on campus for a visit before this gets incredibly serious. OU has sort of been lurking in the background throughout this process.

On the radar: None. OU needs one more linebacker so the Sooners could be a little more picky than normal. Options are there.

DB (5-6)

Committed (3): DeSoto (Texas) strong safety Vontre McQuinnie. Now holds the distinction of being OU's first commit of the class. He is solid with OU following a great official visit, tough to imagine anything changing on that front.

Cedar Hill (Texas) High cornerback Marcus Green. A little under the radar compared to all the other Texas defensive backs, it didn't take long for Green to pledge after his offer. Green has visited OU repeatedly this season and is ready to head to Norman.

Gulfport (Miss.) Harrison Central's Tito Windham. The summer was kind to Windham both in terms of offers and camp performances. But he is adamant he is 100 percent and no reason to doubt that after an incredible official visit.

Favorite: Jenks (Okla.) High safety Steven Parker. No telling when Parker will commit, but no doubt the Sooners are among his favorites. He could still see schools like Ole Miss, but this absolutely feels like a two-school battle between OU and Texas A&M. With the Sooners loading up on Jenks products, OU still firmly in driver's seat here.

Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Juwan Dowels. A recent Northern Illinois decommit, the issue is going to be when his visit actually is. It looked like Jan. 17, but now he said Jan. 31 is appearing to be the weekend. If he sees the campus, he should be a Sooner.

Goodman (Miss.) Holmes College cornerback Tee Shepard. Yep, he's back, too. Shepard and Michiah Quick can easily become a package deal with OU or USC looking like the two schools firmly in the mix. Shepard is finally set to see the campus later this month.

Next in line: Miami Gulliver Prep cornerback Cornelius Floyd. Nothing new on the Floyd front at this time. Bobby Jack Wright is starting to hit the ground hard on finding names so it's possible Floyd is no longer an option.

On the radar: Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln safety Kendall Randolph. At this time in two weeks, he might be committed but right now he's just on the radar. Randolph connected in a huge way with OU commits at the Semper Fi game and is going to visit Norman sometime this month.

Names removed from last month: DE Jordan Brailford; DL Solomon Thomas; DT Ainuu Taua; DT Cedric Johnson; CB Raymond Wingo.

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