The Jonathan Thomas situation is something that could pop up often this month for the Oklahoma Sooners on the trail. Sometimes you're going to have to split hairs and take who you need and not necessarily who will go with you.
As OU enters this monster weekend, the Sooners have 21 commits for the class. OU should end up with 27-29 total. Sooners Illustrated believes the number is going to be 27, leaving six spots right now.
Of course the caveat to that is assuming all 21 commits right now are going to be able to qualify academically, which is not necessarily a guarantee.
OU is set at quarterback, running back and tight end. The only receiver in consideration is Fresno (Calif.) Central five-star Michiah Quick, who the Sooners will take no matter what the heck happens at other positions. Assuming Quick is locked up, that leaves five spots.
The dilemma is in the following:
Kenyon Frison vs. Lukayus McNeil vs. Chukwuma Okorafor – This actually might not even be a real situation. There is no telling what is going on in McNeil's head right now. He took an official visit to OU last month but hasn't spoken about that visit or about the coaching changes that have happened at Louisville. For now, he's still pledged with the Cardinals. Frison is a little more certain. Visits to Arizona State this weekend and Nebraska after that, then he should be ready to decide between OU, ASU, Nebraska and Utah. Frison has been committed to Utah for a long time but most believe he'll end up elsewhere. Okorafor was offered late Saturday night and no telling if the Western Michigan commit is going to make a visit.
Courtney Garnett vs. Trey Lealaimatafao – After texting with Lealaimatafao, it feels like this might not even be a huge concern, either. He visited OU in the spring, but he said Friday he doesn't expect to visit OU during this month. All the recruiting in the world done by OU prospects won't mean too much if he doesn't visit. He has already visited Arizona State and UCLA, while adding LSU, Oregon and Notre Dame offers. Garnett feels like a sure bet, provided he loves the OU campus. He is also set to see Nebraska on Jan. 24, but OU commit and teammate Joseph Paul guaranteed he believes Garnett will be in the crimson and cream.
Jonathan Thomas vs. Deondre Clark – OU sounds like it has already made its decision in this case. Thomas was originally going to visit OU back in November before the Sooners asked him to wait. As time has rolled on, it sounds very plausible OU asked him to wait because it realized the door was opening in a major way with Clark. Though committed to LSU, still believe OU is the No. 1 option for Clark. Thomas has some academic issues and sounds like OU has told him it has moved on.
Steven Parker vs. Tee Shepard vs. Juwan Dowels vs. Kendall Randolph – And now this is where things get interesting. OU is certainly holding spots for Parker and Shepard, that's a no-brainer decision there. The question becomes Dowels or Randolph. It sounds like both would pick OU if they had to decide today. Dowels isn't as set academically, which could also eliminate the competition. Randolph loved Louisville, but the coaching changes have him searching and his connection with OU commits during the Semper Fi week has gone a long way. Number crunching and all that good stuff, it doesn't seem possible for OU to nab all four recruits.