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.
Danley looking for reassurance
One of the visitors that have caught the attention for everybody is Scooba (Miss.) Eastern Mississippi Community College offensive tackle Jamal Danley.
Much like fellow official visitor Kahlil Haughton, Danley is another prospect who was supposed to have been over and done with the process.
Danley set an early August decision date and was all set to pick the Sooners. No coach talks to him more than Bill Bedenbaugh. And obviously it’s a natural fit for OU, who is in desperate need of linemen who can make an immediate impact.
“I had to take my visits and make sure,” Danley said.
The feeling, though, has been this visit is about simply reassuring Danley that OU is the place for him. The Sooners don’t have to win him over as much as let him know that Norman should indeed be his future home.
“There’s a possibility of that,” said Danley about committing this weekend. “I want to go and see for sure. I want to commit just one time. I’m not going back and forth or anything like that.”
Danley said Bedenbaugh first contacted him late in the spring, and he said he was pretty shocked when OU entered the picture and made the official offer.
But since then, it has been smooth sailing between OU and Danley as he said Bedenbaugh talks to him every single day.
Danley said he can play guard or tackle, it doesn’t matter although it feels like he is set up to be that junior college tackle the Sooners are pursuing.
When he gets to Norman on Friday, he has a few things he wants to look at with OU.
“The depth chart,” Danley said. “I want to get a feel of everything. I know OU is losing a lot of linemen so I want to make sure I fit in.”
OU coach Bob Stoops made sure to mention OU is losing five linemen after this season when talking recruiting Monday. Danley does not have a redshirt year left as he would have two years of eligibility at OU if he chooses the Sooners.
Rankin coming around on OU
There’s likely one spot for the juco lineman. But Danley isn’t the only option and isn’t the only option coming to Norman this weekend.
Perkinston (Miss.) Mississippi Gulf Coast offensive lineman Martinas Rankin is also making his first trip to OU. Danley has been the one talked about the most with Sooner fans, but in talking with Rankin, he’s not that far behind if he is even behind.
Like Danley, the attention started in the late spring. Rankin said after a couple of weeks of talking, Bedenbaugh officially made the offer.
“It was a big program so I was sort of shocked,” Rankin said. “It definitely let me know just how much potential I have.”
Rankin was able to catch a part of OU’s game last week and liked how flexible OU was at the line. One thing Bedenbaugh has talked about is that both tackles are leaving OU after this season, opening the door.
“That’s very important,” Rankin said. “OU is a little ways away from home so I want to be able to know I can come in and compete. I think I’d have that chance at OU.”
Growing up where he did in the south, he said everything was SEC, SEC. But as he has gotten older, he has learned SEC isn’t the only conference that matters.
“There’s a lot of good things about the other conferences,” Rankin said. “This process has sort of opened my eyes.”
Rankin is going by himself for the visit and should arrive Friday. His goal is to grow closer to the coaching staff and see the players and how they interact.
He used to be undersized, but he said his strength and athleticism are the things that separated himself from the rest of the pack.
It seems clear it’s a battle between Danley and Rankin. But Bedenbaugh hasn’t pressured either one of them. If the time is right for Rankin, he’s not going to wait.
“I’m not sure yet about all that,” Rankin said. “But if I get out there and that’s the place for me, I’ll commit.”
OKPreps entering the mix
It was rather surprising to see the lack of underclassmen from the state in attendance for OU’s first home game. Everybody sort of knew the big names weren’t going to attend so it felt like it could have been a good chance to get acquainted with in-state talent.
Didn’t really materialize that way, but it should this weekend. At this point last year, OU had already offered in-state guys Josh Wariboko, Jalin Barnett and Will Sunderland. It was also clear Marquise Overton was going to get that offer.
As of today, not one Class of 2016 recruit has an offer. That likely won’t change Saturday, but at least some of the names are starting to get that quality time with the players and coaches.
A name to watch is Norman North’s Quan Hogan, who is starting to catch the eye of the OU coaches. He’s only added to his repertoire this season as both a running back and receiver.
He’s the only kid in the state in the preliminary Scout 300 and felt like he was being overlooked. Not anymore.
A couple of top quarterbacks get into the mix, too, with Edmond Santa Fe’s Keaton Torre and Del City’s Terry Wilson. Both should be Scout 300 prospects by the time the list is finalized and both already have offers with Torre from Louisville and Wilson from Arkansas State.
It will also be another trip to campus for Broken Arrow offensive lineman Rowdy Frederick. He’s starting to separate himself from the pack in the state as the best offensive lineman for the class and fared very well all three days at OU’s camp in the summer.
OU hasn’t spent a lot of time looking in its backyard for 2016, but this weekend hopefully will be the start of recruits rising up OU’s target board.
Peat, Kish go way back
OU is loaded with official visitors at a variety of positions this weekend and one of them is outside linebacker.
It will be the first time for Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol’s Cassius Peat to visit the campus, but it feels like he has known linebackers coach Tim Kish forever.
Back when Kish was an assistant coach at Arizona, he recruited both of Peat’s older brothers. When it came for Cassius’ turn, he remembered Kish immediately.
“Yea, we go way back,” Peat said. “I really like the relationship I have with the coaching staff. It’s a great tradition and a great program.”
And a program going in the right direction for Peat. Although he could make the adjustment to play in a 4-3 scheme, he said the 3-4 system is perfect for his strength and something that has definitely caught his eye regarding the Sooners.
“I really want to see the campus and see what it’s like out there,” Peat said. “I want to meet the whole coaching staff because I feel like I’ve been talking to Kish forever.”