Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

The week was so busy for the Sooners in recruiting that Intel split up into two. But it remains FREE for this week.

The Sooner Intel was started by Bob Przybylo in the fall of 2011 at ESPN as a sneak peek into all things Oklahoma recruiting. It has become a staple of his reporting since that time, including the last year at Sooners Illustrated.

The Intel has never been a free feature, always been for members only. But for the first (and maybe only) time this week the Intel is free to all readers.

The hope is you realize this is the type of content you get from Sooners Illustrated on a weekly basis and will come along for the ride for what should be a great 2014 season in Norman.

Without further ado, part II of the Aug. 8 edition of the Sooner Intel.

Haughton delays decision

The rumblings started stirring Thursday morning that Waco (Texas) Midway safety Kahlil Haughton wasn’t quite ready to make his decision.

Sure enough, Haughton confirmed as much saying he wants to take all five official visits before making his choice.

For OU, this doesn’t exactly change a whole lot. Really doesn’t change much of anything. Haughton’s backing out of his decision or his mindset going into the week didn’t play a role with the decommitment of Dallas South Oak Cliff’s Jamile Johnson.

Some of these things are totally independent of each other. OU’s offer to Justin Reid a couple of weeks ago had nothing to do with Haughton perhaps looking at Baylor more than OU. It’s just the way it worked out.

Haughton has visited OU several times and knows what he needs to know about the program. But that doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t know what he needs to know for himself.

He has been a very quiet kid during this process, not somebody who has been looking for the limelight or anything of that nature.

The door is going to remain open for Haughton for OU, no doubt about that. Haughton and Will Sunderland are going to remain the top two targets at safety going forward. But like Sunderland, it just might happen a lot later in the game than everybody thought it would.

The encouraging sign going forward is Haughton has already locked down his official visit date with the Sooners as he is yet another recruit heading to Norman for the primetime showdown against Tennessee.

Humphrey finds a home in Norman

There was just that sneaky feeling last weekend OU was going to get some sort of commitment. Too many top recruits were making their way to campus to be completely shut out.

And once it was revealed League City (Texas) Clear Falls wide receiver John Humphrey had made the trip, the countdown was on.

Humphrey committed Saturday afternoon, giving OU its first wide receiver pledge for the Class of 2015. OU never pressured him, but wide receivers coach Jay Norvell gave the facts to him straight.

“He said when you’re ready, tell us and we’ll make a decision,” Humphrey said.

Essentially that was OU’s way of saying it wanted Humphrey, but if the spot(s) were gone, his commitment wasn’t going to be accepted at a later date.

“That was definitely a big part,” Humphrey said. “OU was my favorite school in the process, and they wanted me at the position I want to play. My family can come see me play, and I really like Norman. I just feel comfortable there.”

The plan all along was for Humphrey to decide at the Semper Fidelis All-American game in January, but there was no guarantee OU would still have a spot open for him. So once he got to campus, the hard part was done.

Now all he had to do was commit. Humphrey and his family met with Bob Stoops in his office in the afternoon. Everything went good, and then they left. Humphrey talked to his parents, and they agreed they needed to go back into the office and let him know the good news.

“We did (walk out), and then we decided to do it,” Humphrey said. “He was excited. Coach Norvell was excited. It was an awesome feeling.”

Humphrey had talked about an official visit to Notre Dame next month as it was clear he was down to the Sooners and Irish. But with his commitment locked up, he won’t be seeing South Bend anytime soon.

“I wouldn’t go there,” Humphrey said. “That would look crazy to me, and they probably don’t even want me on campus anymore. The only visit I have is for OU for the Tennessee game.”

Humphrey was once a Baylor commit. But schools like Baylor and Notre Dame never fully bought into what Humphrey wanted. He wants to be a wide receiver. With his speed, that’s where he feels he fits in best.

Baylor wanted him at defensive back. Notre Dame said athlete. OU never got away from its initial offer to Humphrey as a slot receiver.

“That was definitely a big part,” Humphrey said. “OU was my favorite school in the process, and they wanted me at the position I want to play. My family can come see me play, and I really like Norman. I just feel comfortable there.”

And he’ll get there sooner than later as Humphrey also revealed he is going to graduate early so he can enroll at OU in January.

OU in mix for DeBerry

Two months ago it seemed absolutely unfathomable for OU to be a player for Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher’s linebacker Ricky DeBerry.

After having a big falling out with fellow Virginia product Tim Settle, it seemed like the door had closed with OU and DeBerry.

Not so fast. OU isn’t the leader by any means, but the Sooners are legitimately in the conversation going forward. DeBerry released his top eight Monday night with OU making the cut.

It has been a while since DeBerry has seen the campus so obviously it’s going to be vital for OU to make the cut when it comes to his five official visits. DeBerry and his father visited Norman for one day for OU’s camp in 2013.

He didn’t participate, but he spent a lot of time with OU coaches Bob Stoops, Jerry Montgomery and Tim Kish. DeBerry has seen a lot of schools since that time so it felt like maybe OU was never going to factor into things.

But a tweet from June by DeBerry changed the outlook of everything. It was simple, to the point – he wanted to get his mother to Norman to see the campus. The only question now will be when, but it’s definitely possible where before it felt like a lost cause.

Milton down to four

A lot of the news this time of year is usually football-centric, but there were a couple of big happenings in the basketball realm this weekend.

The first was the commitment of five-star guard Allonzo Trier to Arizona. Trier, who played for two seasons in the Oklahoma City area, was a big OU target although it never felt too realistic beyond his bond with former AAU teammate Jordan Woodard.

But the good news came Sunday evening when Owasso (Okla.) High guard Shake Milton released a top four of OU, SMU, Illinois and Indiana.

Milton, a four-star prospect, saw his stock soar during a sensational spring and summer on the camp circuit and has been a longtime OU target.

How long? OU assistant coach Chris Crutchfield was routinely going to games in Milton’s sophomore season back when he was offered.

“Definitely. I have a great relationship with Coach Crutchfield,” Milton said. “He has been there for a long time with me.”

SMU is making Milton a priority, but it’s tough to see the Sooners missing out on this one. No official visits have been set, but it’s possible he’ll be in Norman in two weeks.

Alumni weekend has become a huge recruiting event under Lon Kruger, and it’s back once again in two weeks. If Milton is able to make the trip, don’t be surprised if a commitment happens.

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