Sooner Intel, Pt. I: OU news and nuggets

Part I of the weekly Intel takes a look at some of OU's top targets following their respective visits to Norman last weekend.

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 continues foundation with Clark

OU fans were hoping for a gigantic recruiting weekend last weekend. It didn't quite turn out that way although the Sooners did add one new piece to the puzzle.

But last weekend was about giving the best effort for a couple of the most talked about in-state prospects in a long time.

One of them was Oklahoma City Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark. Ranked No. 2 in the state, Clark and his mother made the official visit after Clark initially said an official visit wasn't going to be necessary.

While Deondre was focused on the football side of things, his mother, Dorshell, was a lot more concerned about the academic resources. Her fears were erased after last weekend.

"They showed all the tutoring available and how they will keep him on track to graduating," Dorshell said. "That was very important to me."

The coaches once again talked to Deondre about playing an outside linebacker. They stressed to him about how the guy right now (Eric Striker) is undersized and how much an addition he would make if he chose OU.

The Clark family also had their own agenda for the visit. They wanted to find out from the players on campus about defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. It was Montgomery who wouldn't let go of the thought of Clark being a Sooner.

It has been Montgomery who has put in the work to get OU back in play, and what Dorshell and Deondre heard will keep the Sooners there.

"You can tell he has a genuine care about his players," Dorshell said. "Since he would have a lot of time with Deondre, I believe they can have a great relationship. The whole D-line loved him and had great things to say."

That's part of the process for the Clark family is making sure the stuff that is said matches up from what was said in previous conversations. So far so good for OU.

But the Sooners are having to take a backseat this weekend. LSU coach Les Miles had an in-home visit with Clark on Thursday night and Deondre and Dorshell will visit Baton Rouge once again this weekend.

Following that, the Clark family will hit Tempe for a visit to Arizona State before ultimately making a decision. But it won't be impulsive.

"We've been here before," Dorshell said. "They're all salesmen right now. Deondre is numb to all of it right now. It's about building relationships and where he's most comfortable."

Quest for Parker rages on

Clark is ranked No. 2 in the state, while Jenks (Okla.) High safety Steven Parker is ranked No. 1. And like Clark, he made an official visit to Norman last weekend.

Unlike some recruits who were seeing the campus for the first time, Parker has seen it nearly a dozen times in the last two years. This wasn't about checking things out but more about checking back in with Bob Stoops and Mike Stoops.

What was obvious was every other recruit's desire to try to help the Sooners in their quest for landing the Scout 300 safety.

"My gut feeling is OU," said OU tight end commit Carson Meier. "He speaks more about OU than any other school. I really thought he liked it, but I don't know."

Meier and Parker have been friends for a long time, going back to their days playing AAU basketball and have made several unofficial visits to Norman together.

The other main recruiter for Parker was Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta linebacker commit Curtis Bolton. It was Bolton's first time on campus, but he spent as much time trying to sway Parker as he did learning about his new home.

"I was in Steven's ear as much as I could," Bolton said. "He's a great athlete, and it would be great to have him with us. I feel like we have a nice chance."

No question it was a good visit for Parker at OU, but Texas A&M turned on the heat the following day, bringing coaches Kevin Sumlin, Jake Spavital and new defensive backs coach Terry Joseph.

OU got a break when Marcel Yates left for Boise State, but it wasn't a huge one as Joseph was Parker's main recruiter when he was coaching at Nebraska.

Parker is set to visit Oklahoma State this weekend but that could change because this is a huge basketball tournament weekend in Oklahoma and Jenks figures to have an important game coming up Saturday night.

OU in great spot with Garnett

Going into the weekend, a lot of people expected the Sooners to add a commitment from New Orleans St. Augustine defensive tackle Courtney Garnett.

OU did everything right, and Garnett loved it. But OU fans will have to wait a little bit longer. Maybe not too much longer but a bit.

OU coach Bob Stoops made the biggest and best impression on Garnett and his mother that nearly put things over the top.

"When we went to Texas, don't get me wrong because Mack (Brown) is an awesome coach, but we didn't really see him a lot," Garnett said. "Coach Stoops was around the whole time. No matter where we went, he was there and having conversations the entire time."

Garnett is eyeing a trip to Tennessee next weekend, but it's clear right now OU has already won over his parents. The blessing has been given.

"It's funny you ask because I talked to my mom on our way to KDs (Kevin Durant's new restaurant in downtown Oklahoma City) and asked her what she thought," Garnett said. "She said she would want me to come here."

It's possible Oregon is still in the hunt but heading into this weekend, all schools are looking up at OU as the clear-cut leader for the three-star prospect.

***Click here to read Part II of the Intel***

***Click here to read Part III of the Intel***

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