It’s opening week across the Oklahoma high school football scene. In a bit of a rarity, the top three prospects in the state are not committed anywhere.
OU does have the commitment of Jenks (Okla.) High defensive tackle Marquise Overton, the fourth-ranked player in the state. And the Sooners have a great chance at the top three prospects.
Here’s a breakdown of the OKPreps trio heading into their senior seasons.
Lawton offensive guard Jalin Barnett (No. 82 in Scout 300)
Why OU: The Sooners jumped in nice and early with Barnett, knowing he was going to become a national recruit. OU wasn’t the first school to offer, but it didn’t take too long and the attention ever since has been exactly what the Sooners have needed to do.
Barnett has seen the campus more than 10 times at this point and no doubt he has built an incredible relationship with OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
Who else is in picture: Really the only other school in the mix is Arkansas and Barnett said he intends to take an official visit there in October. Other schools were there at one point, but it’s obvious now it’s down to the Sooners and Hogs.
Sooners’ chances: High, really, really high. There’s no such thing as 100 percent in recruiting, but Barnett is about as close to it as you will find. No matter how long this drags out, it still feels like a “when” he commits and not an “if” he commits.
Oklahoma City Casady offensive guard Josh Wariboko (No. 155 in Scout 300)
Why OU: He was a one-time Sooner commit so why not? Wariboko was once upon a time the first Sooners pledge for the Class of 2015. He decommitted in late April, and it looked like the door had been slammed shut. Following an uneventful summer, his tune has changed and OU made his top eight released last month.
Who else is in picture: There are a lot of realistic options, but the schools to be on the watch for are Ohio State and UCLA. He has already set an official visit to see the Bruins once again. Oklahoma State, USC and Louisville are both solid favorites, too. He has done a good job of keeping as many schools in the picture as possible.
Sooners’ chances: Of the three, this is the one that might not go OU’s way. And for some Sooners fans, that’s OK after the way he decommitted. OU is running out of spots along the offensive line, and it’s possible there won’t be any room in Norman if Wariboko decides to prolong his recruitment.
Midwest City safety Will Sunderland (No. 182 in Scout 300)
Why OU: The Sooners were the first school to offer, and no doubt defensive coordinator Mike Stoops would have loved to have kept him a secret. In the last 12 months, he has become a frequent visitor to Norman and is no doubt one of OU’s top targets. He doesn’t have a better relationship with any other school than OU.
Who else is in picture: It feels like just one school, but it’s a big one. Sunderland became enamored with Ohio State in the spring. And following the offer, the mutual interest has only grown. He has set up an official visit for Columbus against Michigan, which should be an incredible atmosphere for him to experience.
Sooners’ chances: Great. Not as high as Barnett, not as low as Wariboko. OU has done all the right things with Sunderland, and it’s going to be about if OU wants to wait him out with his recruitment. He has tentatively scheduled an official visit to OU next weekend for the showdown against Tennessee.