OU preparing for big visit weekend

The dead period is over and OU is starting with a bang by having its biggest visitor weekend of this recruiting cycle.

Last month it became obvious the Jan. 17 weekend was going to be a monster one for Oklahoma on the recruiting trail.

Now a couple days away, and it won't turn out to be that huge visit weekend it looked like. It's still big and still full of big names, but it's not the top uncommitted names everybody once thought.

In a way, the weekend worked itself out. The focus has gone from like 7-10 names to watch to a few that are vital to the class.

All signs point toward Oklahoma City Douglass four-star defensive recruit Deondre Clark not taking official visits to OU.

It shouldn't mean anything negatively for OU with Clark. He has seen the OU campus multiple times and had an in-home visit with OU coaches Bob Stoops and Jerry Montgomery in the last month.

So scratch him off the list. And then there was the case of junior college four-star cornerback Tee Shepard. Originally supposed to visit OU this weekend and USC next weekend, Shepard confirmed Tuesday he is not taking any visits.

Thought to be a Class of 2014 prospect, turns out Shepard is now a 2015 kid so no point in taking any official visits.

Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill linebacker Jonathan Thomas was among OU's top targets, but it sounds like between his academic situation and OU being happy with its linebacker crop, he is no longer being considered.

Then it's about the two New Orleans St. Augustine recruits, three-star offensive tackle Joseph Paul and three-star defensive lineman Courtney Garnett. OU had every reason to feel confident with pledges from both of them, but Paul didn't even wait and committed last week.

Now heading into the weekend, it appears Garnett is one of the only uncommitted prospect visiting the campus. OU is in a prime spot for Garnett, who also said he wants to visit Tennessee. The dilemma for Garnett is if OU is as good as he wants it to be, will he be able to wait?

Things have also picked up with an old offer as Klein (Texas) Collins three-star safety Jordan Thomas confirmed Tuesday night he is visiting OU this weekend.

Thomas has been committed to Northwestern for 13 months and was the first pledge of the class for the Wildcats, but OU is definitely still looking for safety help.

Thomas and Garnett will have a lot of commits and coaches encouraging them, for sure, as this is a monster commit visit weekend. Following this weekend, all of OU's commits will have had their official visit.

Most, like Tulsa (Okla.) Union teammates Carson Meier and Jeffery Mead, have seen the campus multiple times and are just going to reconnect and have fun.

There is one commit, though, that will be getting his first look at the campus. Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta three-star linebacker Curtis Bolton committed to OU back in August but has yet to see Norman.

He will get his chance this weekend. Bolton is one of seven commits on their official visits to go along with several commits making unofficial visits to get to campus one more time.

OU has earned four commits this month, which has taken away a little bit the importance of this weekend for OU. But if the Sooners can add pledge No. 22 in Garnett and maybe flip Thomas, it will definitely be considered a successful weekend.

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