Sooner Intel, Pt. I: News and nuggets

Clearing up a few things for OU with some top prospects.

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.

Barnett torn between OU, Arkansas

Almost every week it seems as though there is some new development with OU’s offensive line search. Some names leave, some names enter and percentages fluctuate with top prospects.

Last week it felt like OU had taken a dip with Lawton (Okla.) High offensive guard Jalin Barnett. Following his great visit to Arkansas, it looked like the Sooners had some ground to make up.

Then there was an initial report about coaches from other schools bugging Barnett on his visit. It’s true that happened, but Barnett clarified this week it wasn’t from the Sooners.

Barnett said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Oregon State coach Mike Riley were the ones trying to get in touch with Barnett.

It certainly annoyed his grandmother, but as for Barnett, it didn’t matter that much at the time and is a big non-issue now.

“It does feel good to me to know they wanted to be in touch with me, but I thought maybe they should have waited,” Barnett said. “It didn’t bug me at all that much.”

Barnett said he spoke to OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh before the Arkansas visit and intended to speak with Bedenbaugh again Wednesday or Thursday night.

The biggest threat to OU was just how great the Arkansas visit was for Barnett. He had been there once before, but in getting to see the whole campus during the weekend, it has really made things a lot more interesting.

“It was a great trip, great environment,” Barnett said. “My grandmother loved it. It was overwhelming how great it was. I like the way the line plays, really tough and don’t get pushed around.”

The trip to see the Hogs was the first one Barnett has made this season, unable to make planned unofficial trips to OU for the first couple of home games.

Barnett’s personal timeline is being thrown off by when he can actually make some visits. Barnett said Wednesday night he would like to choose before the end of this month. But without any official visits to OU, Oregon State or Oklahoma State, that is going to be tough to pull off.

Barnett mentioned taking an official to OU for Baylor weekend, which is Nov. 7, but Barnett was pretty adamant he would like to take all four before making his call.

The Beavers and Cowboys are still in the mix, but it’s easy to tell Barnett is really torn when it comes to the Sooners and Razorbacks.

“I love the way OU is playing,” Barnett said. “They’re smashing guys. OU and Arkansas – their lines are really tough and really good. This decision is hard for me. I’d like to be a part of both of them.”

And as time goes by, the window gets smaller. Although it would feel like all schools would make room for the Scout 300 prospect ranked No. 1 in the state, Barnett said OU, Arkansas and Oklahoma State have made some mentions about the class filling up.

His relationship with Bedenbaugh remains top notch as Bedenbaugh tries to get in touch with Barnett one way or another at least once a day.

Newsome, Peat on big visits

On a huge weekend like this featuring so many ranked teams battling against each other, only natural that a lot of top targets will be visiting other campuses.

Some notable ones for this week include Aledo (Texas) High wide receiver Ryan Newsome visiting Ole Miss. The Rebels haven’t been involved at all in his process, but he’s taking the trip with fellow Scout 300 receiver DaMarkus Lodge.

Scout 300 linebacker Cassius Peat is visiting Michigan State as the Spartans take on Nebraskas. Peat visited OU three weeks ago and had a tremendous time.

Four-star cornerback Ykili Ross will be at Notre Dame as the Irish welcome Stanford. Ross rescheduled his OU official from three weeks ago to Baylor weekend.

Five-star linebacker Ricky DeBerry is back on the road again this week, visiting Tennessee. OU has done all it can with DeBerry at this point. It will just be a waiting game.

Coaches hit the road

Not a lot happening in terms of 2015 recruiting, but the coaches definitely were on the trail last week looking at 2016 prospects.

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery was in attendance for Metairie (La.) Rummel Tyrell Jacobs’ game last week. Rummel is undefeated.

Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson cornerback P.J. Mbanasor also got some love from the OU coaches.

It has been well established Jay Boulware was in McAlester to get a look at Dalton Wood. But the biggest area hit was definitely the Houston area.

The Sooners made a lot of offers in the last week in the area. Galena Park (Texas) North Shore four-star safety Eric Monroe was one of them. He is ranked No. 4 in the nation.

OU also offered Katy (Texas) Tompkins’ Christian Wallace, another four-star safety ranked No. 10 in the country.

Staying on defense but more at linebacker, OU hasn’t made the leap yet but is really looking hard on Houston Alief Elsik’s Dontavious Jackson. OU’s search for a middle linebacker could end with Jackson if the Sooners could somehow land him.

Sooners are keeping tabs on North Mesquite (Texas) High offensive lineman Jean Delance. Picked up offers from TCU and Texas Tech in last two weeks, OU could be next.


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