OU's defensive 'wish list'

Into September and OU's targets on defense remain as cluttered as ever.

Things are starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail. It’s time to start looking more intently on Oklahoma’s “wish list” for the Class of 2015.

Here is an idea of where OU stands in September. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2015. The names in no way reflect OU’s official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.

Defense

DE (2)

Committed (2): Metairie (La.) Rummel’s Tyrell Jacobs. The first of OU two defensive end commits in July, Jacobs beat Kenneth Mann by 48 hours. It was all about getting him to campus and making sure his parents felt comfortable with everything. They did, which left no reason for Jacobs to delay the inevitable.

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Burleson (Texas) High’s Kenneth Mann. Unlike Jacobs, Mann didn’t have his parents but still felt no reason to delay the decision. Not a highly recruited end by most schools, Mann seems to have the perfect size for what Jerry Montgomery is looking for at defensive end going forward. Sometimes scheme is more important than anything else.

Favorite: None.

Next in line: Ontario (Canada) St. Catharines’ Neville Gallimore. It’s possible Gallimore has grown himself right out of this conversation. But it’s sort of irrelevant if you believe he’s a defensive end or tackle because the bottom line is he’s a wanted man. By OU’s Jerry Montgomery and a host of other top coaches, won’t be easy to land Gallimore, who has exploded onto the scene in the last few months and will visit this month.

On the radar: Yazoo City (Miss.) High’s Gabriel Campbell. Never easy to snatch a top Mississippi talent, but OU did it last year with Tito Windham so don’t rule it out. Not a lot of offers so OU has also gotten in there nice and early before the wave of offers. Alabama is the biggest out of state threat so far.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra’s Rasheem Green. One of the best in the nation, no doubt about that. Green recently released a top 15 with OU making the cut. No idea how serious the mutual interest is at this point, but it seems as though Green would entertain hearing from the Sooners more as his recruitment progresses.

San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa’s Takkarist McKinley. OU is hoping to pull off a double at Contra Costa and is certainly in the short list right now for McKinley. If the Sooners can stay in the hunt until an expected visit, no doubt OU will have a chance going forward.

DT (2)

Committed (1): Jenks (Okla.) High’s Marquise Overton. A lifelong OU fan, it was just a matter of when OU was going to make the offer. Understanding there are limited amount of spots for OU at this position, Overton waited less than two months after the offer to go ahead and decide to commit. Everything has been pretty smooth ever since the pledge.

Favorite: None. But don’t panic as there are quality options.

Next in line: San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa’s Deonte Reynolds. Part two of that double at Contra Costa. Like McKinley, Reynolds has already set up an official visit to OU for Bedlam weekend. OU could definitely take one juco tackle and Reynolds looks to be that guy as of now.

Dallas Bishop Dunne’s Darrion Daniels. He finally broke his silence last month with a top 10. OU easily made that list and most believe it’s really only down to three schools with Texas Tech and Baylor joining that race. His father played for the Red Raiders so it will be a challenge for OU to lure him to Norman.

LB (3-4)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Dallas Skyline’s Anthony Wheeler. It’s all up to Wheeler now. It’s clear his top two schools are OU and Texas. It’s also clear Wheeler would love to see other schools for official visits. So it’s a waiting game to see what Wheeler ends up deciding. Getting him back on campus for the camp was huge for OU.

Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point’s Cameron Townsend. He’s not the biggest linebacker in the class, far from it. But one look at his tape and it’s obvious why so many schools are so high on what Townsend brings to the table. He has made three trips to OU since last summer, and there’s no doubt the Sooners are in that short list with Texas and Oregon State. Decision should come in late October.

Next in line: Orange (Calif.) Lutheran’s Keisean Lucier-South. The five-star released his top five and OU has made a strong charge in the last couple of months to be in the quintet. He is expected to be one of several top stars making the visit for Tennessee weekend.

Etiwanda (Calif.) High’s Khaylan Thomas. OU’s most recent offer at the position, and it’s clear it has made a huge impression. Although the Arizona schools seem to be in front, the Sooners have immediately jumped into his top five. No visit has been set up, but it sounds like OU is in the hunt for another middle linebacker.

River Ridge (La.) Curtis Christian’s Bo Wallace. OU was the initial offer for Wallace. As it turns out, it was the first of many, many offers. He really wanted to make the trip to Norman for the spring game but was unable to make it. No telling if that ends up being the only chance OU could have had to make an impression.

Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher’s Ricky DeBerry. He’s coming back to OU for the second time. After visiting in June 2013 with his father, DeBerry should be bringing his mother for his official visit this month for Tennessee weekend. Making the top eight was a nice first step, but this month is going to be crucial.

On the radar: Columbus (Ohio) Walnut Ridge’s Anthony McKee. Once OU missed out on fellow Ohio linebacker Justin Hilliard, linebackers coach Tim Kish wasted little time in offering McKee. This offer has seemingly meant a lot to McKee, who constantly mentions OU’s win against Alabama. A trip to Norman might be the only thing needed, but it’s a big thing for someone nearly 1,000 miles away.

Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol’s Cassius Peat. This four-star prospect had been talking highly of OU for a while, but sometimes you want to see proof. He gave that this summer with having the Sooners in his top six and also mentioning exactly when he’ll take an official visit, once again, for Tennessee weekend.

CB (2-3)

Committed (1): Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson’s P.J. Mbanasor. This was a big one to secure for the Sooners because it felt like OU was in the lead for so long. Now instead of waiting through a long process and hoping it’s still on top, OU can relax. Mbanasor is a huge addition to the class and an example of OU being able to close the show. All it took was his parents to see the campus and agree with what Mbanasor was already thinking.

Favorite: None. OU has plenty of cornerback options and the favorites should come into play a lot more in the next couple of months.

Next in line: Polytechnic’s Ykili Ross. After months of talking highly of OU, Ross went that next step and said he has set up his official visit for Tennessee weekend. Still a longshot, but the visit opens up more doors. It’s obvious OU is a player right now, but too early to say just how big of one going forward.

On the radar: San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills’ Dechaun Holiday. The question here is one we’ve seen pop up numerous times. When trying to take a kid far away from home, how much of an impact can you make before a visit is necessary? No question Holiday likes OU, but also he hasn’t even been close to setting up a visit. Time will tell on this one and schools on the west coast, especially UCLA, continue to turn up the heat.

Safety (2-3)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Midwest City (Okla.) High safety Will Sunderland. No shock here. OU was his first offer back in August 2013 and continues to put on the full court press to try to land his pledge. Outstanding camp performances have seen Sunderland become a hot commodity in the region, but there’s no reason at all to think OU isn’t 1a. or 1b. in this equation, especially after another visit.

Waco (Texas) Midway’s Kahlil Haughton. Thought this one would be over at this point, but Haughton decided to delay his decision. OU is definitely still in the running, but it’s clear schools like Arkansas, Baylor and Texas Tech aren’t going to go away. Haughton, like so many others, is expected to make his visit to OU when the Vols come to town.

Next in line: San Diego St. Augustine’s Frank Buncom. Released a top five last month with OU making the cut. The other four schools are definitely known for their academics more than OU so it will be interesting to see how that plays out going forward.

On the radar: Geismar (La.) Dutchtown’s Justin Reid. OU finally made another offer to a safety in the last month with Reid being that guy. Nothing is too serious yet with the Sooners and Reid, but we should have a better idea after Haughton’s announcement.

Names removed from last month: LB Malik Jefferson; DB Jamile Johnson.


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