Oklahoma is certainly using its tight ends, but it’s just not in the way some top recruits would like. The Sooners aren’t exactly spreading it all over the field with their big guys.
Because of that, recruiting has been a grind at the position for the last few years. A real grind that has seen OU have to dip into the junior college waters to find quality prospects.
And for the second year in a row, look to an in-state prospect to try to help turn around that perception. It came as a surprise when McAlester (Okla.) High quarterback Dalton Wood committed to OU on Sunday, but his numbers speak for themselves.
Wood, playing a variety of positions, has rushed for 499 yards on 59 carries with five touchdowns. He has a receiving touchdown. He is 36-of-56 passing for 447 yards with five touchdowns and is averaging more than 47 yards per punt.
The numbers are nice, but it never meant anything until this last weekend when OU tight ends coach Jay Boulware watched him put on a show against Durant. The offer followed as did an immediate commitment.
OU has struck out with tight ends for this class. Every single offered tight end has committed elsewhere including a staggering trio to Arkansas.
Wood won’t be a traditional tight end, but his 6-foot-4 and 250-pound frame gives him a lot of options and versatility OU craves so much.
OU didn’t sign one tight end for 2013 and signed two for last season but neither Carson Meier nor Isaac Ijalana are expected to see the field this season. And OU was in the mix for a couple of quality tight ends, but it looks like Wood will be the answer.
Wood, now fully healthy after heart surgery as a sophomore and a broken ankle as a junior, is one of the more dynamic players in the state. He helped McAlester reach the Class 5A state championship last season and is hoping to top that this time around.
It always felt like his future was in baseball and he even had an offer from Oklahoma State to do so. But a football offer from OU – no way was he going to pass that up.
It’s not a home run on paper, but OU has a proven history of taking those underrated in-state kids and getting the best out of their ability.