Cream of the crop visiting OU

OU could be recruiting against itself with all the top prospects coming to campus.

Recruiting battles are just a part of the package when it comes to top prospects on the trail going against other schools.

But this weekend here’s a different feel to it for Oklahoma. The biggest threat to OU’s recruiting success is going to be itself.

At numerous positions, there are so many top (and realistic targets) making the trip. Because of that, it feels like there might be some separation going forward about who the real top targets are and who might sort of fall to the back.

OU recruit battles

Junior college offensive lineman

Jamal Danley vs. Martinas Rankin

This is a legit battle. It’s hard to envision OU taking both of these talented juco tackles, but it’s just as hard to see the Sooners not getting one of them.

Danley was seconds away from committing to OU in August before deciding he needed to wait and take his visits. It will be his first trip to OU.

Rankin, though not as highly talked about as Danley, said OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh talks to him basically every single day.

Both are making their official visit this weekend and should arrive in Norman on Friday. And both said the Sooners are looking at them to be a tackle.

OU has never forced anybody’s hand, but it feels like after this weekend, one of these guys is going to get the picture and end the process earlier than expected.

Outside linebacker

Ricky DeBerry vs. Keisean Lucier-South vs. Cassius Peat

No way OU is able to land all three. And with the depleted depth at middle linebacker, would be tough for the Sooners to take all three. But outside linebacker is a spot of need for OU as well. Any of these three would make OU fans happy.

The only realistic shot at getting a commitment feels like it comes from Peat but even that percentage isn’t more than like 10-20 percent at best.

DeBerry and Lucier-South are only starting their official visit process, and there’s no way one trip to Norman shuts out what the other top schools have done with those guys during their respective recruitment.

But what could happen here is OU starts to realize where it really stands with all three. Maybe one of them drops off, and then the staff can zero in on the guy that most realistically could head to Norman.


Will Sunderland vs. Kahlil Haughton vs. Justin Reid

There’s a reason OU hasn’t gone crazy with safety offers. This trio is a huge part of that reason. OU has believed for a while it is in great position with all three of them and hasn’t tried to venture elsewhere.

With all three on campus and with OU having zero safety commits, does that change this weekend?

Sunderland, of course, has felt like the silent commit for a while. Even though Ohio State is in the picture, OU is the clear favorite. This could be the weekend. He has held off on committing, but maybe after seeing the other top prospects and safeties in town, he decides he can’t wait anymore.

Haughton could have been an OU commit at this point. Like Danley, he was set to decide in August only to back down from that because he wanted to make more visits.

No doubt the Sooners are in play and this is going to be his fourth trip to campus since February. An added bonus with Haughton is his school plays Thursday so he can leave with his family Friday for the full visit.

Reid is the wild card here because as of Monday afternoon, he wasn’t even visiting. After talking to the coaches more this week, everybody decided this should be the weekend he comes to Norman.

In February, we could be talking about all three being OU signees. But will any be commits after this weekend?

2016 Quarterback

Shane Buechele vs. Jarrett Guarantano

You could even expand this list if you wanted to because a couple of top in-state kids are making the trip, too, with Edmond Santa Fe’s Keaton Torre and Del City’s Terry Wilson.

Torre said he’s going with friends so as to not take recruit tickets away for another kid, but Wilson confirmed he was invited by Cale Gundy and not as just a regular fan.

However, Buechele and Guarantano are the ones with the offers. And Guarantano is coming a long way from New Jerey. As luck would have it, he has a game Thursday and also should be able to make the trip Friday. OU is in his top four.

Buechele was OU’s first offer at quarterback for the class, and the family has strong ties to the program with his older brother having played baseball at OU and having two sisters at the university right now.

It’s only September 2014, but the Class of 2016 recruiting is well underway. And quarterback has been made a big-time priority by Josh Heupel this time around.

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