Sooner Intel, Pt. I: News and nuggets

News and notes from OU from the recruiting trail heading into Week 1.

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.

Milton, OU still on same page

Oklahoma football picked up a huge commitment last weekend and the hope was Lon Kruger and the basketball team could do the same with Owasso (Okla.) High shooting guard Shake Milton.

Unfortunately for OU, that didn’t happen. But Milton made it clear following the visit that no matter how good it was, nothing was going to happen.

“I knew going in that I was going to take all four visits,” Milton said. “I made that commitment, and I plan on keeping my word.”

One visit down, Milton still has visits to SMU (Sept. 5), Indiana (Sept. 26) and Illinois (Oct. 3) set up before most likely making a decision in mid-October.

Milton, a four-star prospect, was hosted by OU junior Buddy Hield. Milton said there was no pressure at all from the players or the coaches to have him commit. No conversations where they were urging him to pull the trigger.

Instead it was all about showing Milton a good time and showing him what like as a student athlete at OU is all about.

“I got to see a lot more things this time around,” Milton said. “I was able to go through some of the classrooms and see the study halls. They showed me the dorms. Those are real nice.”

Milton has been a frequent visitor to Norman ever since OU assistant coach Chris Crutchfield started talking with him during his sophomore season.

Crutchfield would have loved if Milton would have stayed a secret. He almost did until he exploded onto the scene this summer. Offers started to pile in, and Milton knew his recruitment was headed in a whole new direction.

“I played with good people on my team and with guys that really cared about everything,” Milton said. “The EYBL has made me a much better player.”

Milton wasn’t on the radar of the Illini or Hoosiers until this summer, but the Sooners have been there from the start. This visit just happened to coincide with alumni weekend for the Sooners.

He said he was hoping to meet OU legends Blake Griffin and Hollis Price, but that was the only disappointment of the weekend.

“It was a really cool experience,” Milton said. “I got to meet a lot of the 1,000-point scorers. It was a great time.”

Following the visit, Milton said his opinion of OU hasn’t changed. And that’s a good thing, OU fans, as Milton said it’s still a great school.

Sooners on the sidelines

First big weekend of college football, but for the most part, OU is going to be sit this one out in terms of major recruiting names.

It’s possible Jalin Barnett heads to campus, but the only confirmed kids so far are Clinton (Okla.) High running back Marquiz Simpkins and OU commits Kenneth Mann and Marquise Overton.

That doesn’t mean it’s a lost weekend as of now because it will help to get Overton back on campus. Traveling for Overton can be a hassle so it will be interesting to see if that indeed happens.

And some recruits will show up at the last minute, but it’s not surprising to see a lack of visitors for this game.

Oklahoma State is playing Florida State in Arlington, Texas, and that’s where kids like Will Sunderland are going to be. It’s the first game of the Charlie Strong era with the Longhorns so a lot of intrigue there.

LSU and Wisconsin are coming to Houston so a lot of area recruits are checking that one out. And Baylor is opening its new stadium Sunday night, which could deter recruits from wanting to travel too much on back-to-back days.

Either way, it won’t matter in two weeks when OU is bringing a who’s who in college football for its visitors list for Tennessee. Just don’t be surprised if this weekend feels like a dud.

OU in KLS mix

Every now and then there’s a recruit where it feels like the pieces just start coming together. For this year’s crop and OU, that guy could be Orange-Lutheran (Calif.) linebacker Keisean Lucier-South.

When the Sooners first made the offer, it didn’t feel like it was going to amount to much. Another quality offer in California, but OU wasn’t really in the mix.

It wasn’t until late spring and early summer where OU really started to turn up the pressure with Lucier-South, and it paid off when OU made his top five earlier this summer.

The next step was getting him to campus, and he answered that question last weekend by saying he would be another five-star prospect taking his official visit to OU for Tennessee weekend.

You look at his list, and it just has the feeling that Lucier-South is looking for a reason to leave home. He has Florida and Michigan also in his final five so you can see he’s not going to be afraid of traveling far from home.

He has already set up October visits with Michigan and Oregon so the Sooners will have to make one heck of an impression in two weeks.

While some schools see Lucier-South as a 4-3 defensive end like Michigan, it’s obvious he’s a natural fit for outside linebacker in OU’s 3-4 scheme.

He said he’s looking forward to talking to the Cali Sooners. He’ll have a lot of them to choose from, and he’s intrigued to see why, in their opinion, OU is the place to be.

With superstuds like Torrance Gibson and Ricky DeBerry already confirmed for official visits, it’s going to be one crazy weekend in Norman for players, coaches and recruits.


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