SoonersIllustrated.com readers have questions about Oklahoma recruiting. Here are some answers to some of the more pressing questions.
What’s the story with more defensive back offers?
Think there’s a lot to it and none of it is a good sign. One, think OU isn’t going to hit it big with another high school top-ranked cornerback for this class. Just don’t see it happening with guys like Ykili Ross, Dechaun Holiday, Kendall Sheffield, etc.
Two, think there’s going to be some attrition in the secondary. Not sure if it’s at safety or cornerback, but all the guys on the roster won’t be back next season. Been too many rumblings about the discontent going on with the secondary and Mike Stoops. Something will give, and it’s going to be a player or two.
A lot of it, though, has to deal with OU’s secondary identity. Mike Stoops has to figure out what he wants that to be so he can recruit those guys. Don’t pursue the tall, physical guy and then ask him to play off the ball 8-10 yards. Doesn’t compute.
The offer to high school cornerback Colin Samuel was a good one, but he’s picking up one top offer after another this week so OU has to strike fast. And things can happen fast in the juco ranks with guys like Ezekiel Turner and Will Johnson.
Between linebacker and the secondary, going to be a whole lot to watch for OU on the trail in these next 12 weeks.
Will OU get a commitment this month?
Yes, and it will happen this weekend. This visit weekend won’t have the eye-popping names you want to see, but it’s going to include guys who are signing for the class.
Be on the watch for three junior college targets in wide receiver Dede Westbrook, cornerback Will Johnson and safety Ezekiel Turner. Westbrook is a name people have known for a while, but Turner has emerged this week.
Westbrook is coming straight off of his West Virginia official visit to Norman so it might not happen this weekend, but do believe OU is going to be his choice.
Turner is coming off a visit to Illinois, but based on the offers he has and schools showing the most interest, OU should win in the end if the Sooners are that serious about Turner.
Turner comes from Pierce College in California. OU has been a frequent visitor to that school most recently with former defensive back Kass Everett.
Johnson is so far off the radar that not too much is known about him at all heading into this weekend. But Johnson said Mike Stoops likes what he’s seeing.
How is it not a sign of failure with OU going to juco kids?
It is, but it isn’t at the same time. Not trying to copout, but each scenario is different. Westbrook is somebody who emerged during the course of this season, and it’s clear he’s an answer at both receiver and punt returner.
OU hasn’t had the production at punt returner this season so it makes sense for OU to try to rectify that problem heading into next year.
Players like Turner, Justin Martin (NEO) and others are probably a more telling sign that everything is just not going well with the secondary. Either the younger players aren’t picking things up as fast as anticipated or some players might leave the program.