It doesn’t quite have the feel of past editions of the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas, but there are still quite a few highly touted visitors making their way to the Cotton Bowl on Saturday morning.
Here’s a look at the five visitors most important to the Sooners.
Dallas Skyline linebacker Anthony Wheeler
The only recruit in attendance where it’s a legit battle between OU and Texas in the Class of 2015. Wheeler is OU’s No. 1 target at middle linebacker and has been for a long time. He has made several visits to both Norman and Austin but still hasn’t felt comfortable enough to make a decision. A strong showing here can do nothing but help OU’s chances going forward, and the Sooners still do not have a linebacker commit for the class.
Oklahoma City Casady offensive guard Josh Wariboko
No doubt it’s a great sign for the Scout 300 prospect to be making the trip. Wariboko has already made an unofficial to OU last month, and it’s clear the Sooners are right back in the thick of things to land the in-state prospect for a second time. Wariboko said he’s excited to see the game. Other schools are still a factor, but OU will be there until the end. Wariboko expects to announce at the Under Armour game in January.
Mesquite (Texas) Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson
This will be the second week in a row Jefferson is seeing OU play. Last week he was invited by TCU for an unofficial visit and this time around it’s OU doing the inviting. OU needs to make a big impression with Jefferson and teammate DeAndre McNeal just to try to get back into the race with both of them. They’re likely a package deal and OU has a lot of ground to make up. Neither has talked about an official visit to Norman so this might be the Sooners’ best shot.
2016 Sachse (Texas) High cornerback Jared Mayden
Close out the list with a couple of Class of 2016 prospects worth keeping tabs on. Mayden, ranked No. 2 in the nation at cornerback, has offers from both OU and Texas although, in somewhat of a surprise, the Longhorns didn’t make the top 10. With his family connection and relationship he is building, the Sooners should stick around until the end with Mayden and hopefully teammate Devin Duvernay as well. Duvernay is ranked No. 2 at wide receiver.
2016 Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints defensive tackle Mike Williams
Like Jefferson, this is going to be the second straight week for Williams to see the Sooners in action. One of OU’s targets for 2016, Williams doesn’t have an offer just yet from OU. That could change after this weekend. Williams is also good friends with Josh Wariboko so that could help the Sooners out in the long run. His offer sheet keeps increasing so it’s key OU decide sooner than later if it wants to get into the hunt.