The playoff races are starting to heat up as district action is coming down the stretch for Oklahoma high school football teams.
The last three weeks been able to see a variety of quality talent and seen some star-making performances. Here’s the best seen by Sooners Illustrated in the last three weeks.
Week 5: Broken Arrow at Putnam City
Best player: 2016 Broken Arrow running back Jamall Shaw. He is one of a handful of running backs who have put themselves on the map this season. Shaw has become the workhorse for the Tigers after some early uneven quarterback play. He has rushed for 887 yards and 10 touchdowns.
OU interest? Not just yet. Shaw caught the eye of Oklahoma State last year when the Cowboys were recruiting Devon Thomas. Now that it’s just the Shaw show, the relationship is only getting better between Shaw and the Cowboys.
Next in line: 2016 Broken Arrow offensive lineman Rowdy Frederick. No longer just a really big guy, Frederick has learned to use his weight effectively and has shown much better movement than in the past. There is no doubt he will be among the state’s best linemen prospects for 2016.
OU interest? Absolutely, about as much as any in-state recruit for the 2016 class. Frederick has already made a couple of unofficial visits for games this season and called the OU-Texas game the best one he has ever seen in person. Offer won’t come this second, but OU is keeping tabs.
Week 6: Mustang at Norman North
Best player: 2016 Mustang quarterback Chandler Garrett. Garrett doesn’t have that release everybody loves, but all he does is produce. He has the Broncos at 6-1 right now and looking like perhaps the best team on the west side of the state.
OU interest? Doesn’t appear OU is looking in his direction. Notre Dame sends a lot of consistent mail, and he has been invited to Oklahoma State a couple of times. Just the wrong year to be an in-state quarterback for the Sooners with the top targets already made known by OU.
Next in line: 2016 Norman North running back Quan Hogan. He put on a lot of weight during the offseason to be more physical. But the knock on him had been his lack of physicality last few weeks. That changed last week in a three-touchdown outing that saw Hogan be more running back and less of a wide receiver.
OU interest? It’s starting to emerge, no doubt about that. Hogan was invited to OU-Texas but couldn’t make the trip. He did see OU’s game last week and is starting to be in frequent communication with running backs coach Cale Gundy. Still the pick for No. 1 prospect in the state by Sooners Illustrated.
Week 7: McAlester at Noble
Best player: McAlester quarterback Dalton Wood. Don’t really need to rehash at this point what Wood was able to do against inferior competition. Wood was sensational with seven total touchdowns and showed every trick in his bag and why OU decided to jump in with Wood last month.
OU interest? Wood committed to OU last month and nothing is going to change. He saw his first OU game last weekend and is set to make his official visit to campus following his senior season.
Next in line: None. No legit top prospects as of yet on either squad. Quality high school players, for sure, but not top recruits.
Week 7: Jenks vs. Edmond Santa Fe
Best player: Jenks defensive tackle Marquise Overton. The OU commit was simply dominating in every way possible. He had two sacks, but he was also double teamed for the entire game. Cannot be overstated how solid Overton looked and how he already looks the part of an OU defensive lineman.
OU interest? Committed to OU and is trying to make sure he attends every OU home game. That means a lot because transportation isn’t always the easiest thing in the world for Overton, but he’s trying to be in Norman as much as possible and has no second thoughts of any kind regarding his commitment.
Next in line: 2016 Edmond Santa Fe running back Darran Williams. Williams was harassed by Jenks all night but never backed down. It wasn’t a great rushing night, but he might have proved more in that game than rest of season. Williams has rushed for 1,350 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
OU interest? Still nothing emerging just yet. Oklahoma State is showing a lot of consistent interest. See if things develop after the season because Williams has definitely put himself in the conversation for best running back in the class.