What I missed

Were you isolated as I was the last two weeks? Then come along as we play catch up to all the big-time OU news and notes from the last two weeks.

A lot can happen in two weeks. Trust me as I would know. Now married and after having spent the last two weeks traveling Europe, I’m back and ready to hit the ground running.

But if you took some time off yourself to enjoy the summer sun or go on vacation, here are some of the notable items to hit OU in the last two weeks:

OU makes Newsome cut

This actually happened on my wedding day, June 21. The four-star wide receiver released his top five and not surprisingly the Sooners made the cut for Ryan Newsome.

A lot of people have been discounting OU in the race for Newsome, but he has been somebody who has been so specific about why he likes the Sooners that it has made absolutely no sense at all to write out OU for his signature.

It won’t be easy and there’s a legitimate case to be made for the other four schools in his list, but the Sooners should absolutely get an official visit from Newsome and try to state their case.

Ofodile goes west

Not everything was positive news for the Sooners on the trail. At one time it looked like it was a matter of time before OU would nab Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge wide receiver Alex Ofodile. However, as more time passed, it became clear he hadn’t found his answer.

Missouri and Notre Dame were certainly in the conversation, but it turned out Ofodile would go west and choose Oregon.

It’s not a huge loss for OU, but it’s another sign that maybe OU isn’t looking for a taller receiver for this class. The Sooners didn’t make an impression with DaMarkus Lodge and haven’t really gone all out for Christian Kirk and never made a concerted effort with Dahu Green so it looks like it’s all about the slot receivers for this class.

Stadium renovations get approved

A lot of the big-time news from the last two weeks didn’t involve the recruiting trail. An example of that would be the stadium renovations getting approved by the Board of Regents.

At $370 million, this is nothing to sneeze at and is a huge move by the university to try to stay more than just relevant in the ever-going arms race between the top schools and the top facilities in the country.

A good portion of the renovations are to enhance the experience for fans, but there are some huge things that need to be pointed out for the team and recruiting.

The weight room facilities are going to be increased dramatically as the center will measure 30,852 square feet. Most recruits said they enjoy OU’s weight room but have been surprised at how “old” looking it has appeared. That won’t be the case anymore.

The meeting rooms were a point of emphasis in the project, too, with the addition of 11 football position meeting rooms. To go along with that will be state-of-the-art medical training, equipment and football operations facilities will be added.

Alternate uniforms confirmed

When you’re talking about how to impress today’s recruits, facilities and uniforms are always in the discussion. The renovations being approved dealt with facilities, and a landmark decision by the university last week did the same with uniforms.

If there’s one area where OU has been reticent to make any major changes, it has been in the uniform department. Tradition has always won out against trying to be flashy and trendy.

But now OU is gladly tinkering with things, even if there hasn’t been a scheduled time for when the new uniforms will be unveiled in a game.

“I think recruits are always excited about uniforms, helmets and any of the looks that you might put on the field,” Bob Stoops said. “The additional uniforms won’t be something we do constantly, but it will be a nice change-up and will be positive in recruiting, with our players and with our fans.”

Current and former OU players were involved in the process that already has drawn a lot of early praise from recruiting targets.

James announcing at The Opening

The Opening is this week and features plenty of OU targets. And one of them is ready to decide at the event itself.

Herriman (Utah) High four-star offensive tackle Andre James said Saturday he will announce this week at the event.

The Sooners are one of his six finalists, and he had already said he plans to trip to Norman for OU’s game against Tennessee. No idea if that will still be the case following whatever he decides this week in Oregon.

Sooners land DGB

More than five years in the making, but OU is finally the home of wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. After being dismissed from Missouri, it appeared Eastern Illinois was going to be his destination.

That all changed last Thursday when Green-Beckham returned to Norman, and it was confirmed he would be the newest addition to the Sooners.

Green-Beckham was a major OU recruiting target when he was at Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest and was one of the most polarizing recruits with OU fans to come along in a long time.

Heupel shakes things up

It’s well known how cautious Josh Heupel is regarding making offers to quarterback so to make two in one day was alarming.

To make two to prospects for the Class of 2016 was astounding, but that’s exactly what Heupel did in offering Shane Buechele and Shea Patterson.

Buechele’s older brother, Garrett, played baseball at OU, while Patterson is an Arizona commit. The Sooners have developed a great rapport with the Buechele family, while Patterson has admitted he knows next to nothing about Norman.

No idea if the early offers are going to pay off, but it was a bold move by Heupel, who perhaps realized with this last class that he can no longer wait as long as he would like.

Hite arrives at Sooners Illustrated

And the last news has nothing to do with the university itself but with the site. Justin Hite has officially arrived to SoonersIllustrated.com to help bolster the site with its OU coverage.

Hite comes to the site after spending time in North Carolina and will give a fresh perspective to the landscape in Norman.

Hite officially joined the site last week.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories