Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Get the lowdown on a huge recruiting weekend for the Sooners.

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.

Campell to visit dream school

Third time is the charm for Yazoo City (Miss.) High defensive lineman Gabriel Campbell. He originally wanted to visit OU for Tennessee weekend, but he didn’t have a qualifying ACT/SAT score.

Then he was hopeful to arrive to Norman for Baylor weekend, but he still didn’t have his test scores back to know if he could. They’re back, he’s qualified, and he’s coming to OU this weekend.

The oddest thing about his recruitment, though, is he is not bashful about saying OU has always been his dream school.

“Man, that has been my school since I could talk,” Campbell said. “I have always wanted to play for Oklahoma for some reason. That’s why I was so excited when they offered me. I was like I really have a chance to play for Oklahoma now. That’s all I have ever wanted to do.”

Campbell, a high three-star prospect, was discovered rather early in the process by defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. The feeling, however, was there was no way of alluring Campbell from out of his home state.

In fact, it even reached Montgomery at one point. It took Campbell to clear the air and let OU know he’s not locked up anywhere.

“There were people saying a lot of things about how I was going to Mississippi State no matter what happens,” Campbell said. “I had to make sure they knew that wasn’t true. If that was true, then I wouldn’t be talking to anybody.”

Campbell said he talks with Montgomery at least once a week and likes how laid back the OU defensive line coach is, saying they have developed a great relationship.

This will be Campbell’s first official visit, but he’s no stranger to college campuses. He has made plenty of unofficial visits to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The goal for OU is to surpass those feelings and a potential commitment isn’t out of line.

“When they beat Alabama last year, it let me know just how good they are,” Campbell said. “I’ll just have to see when I get there.”

Campbell doesn’t have any other official visits planned, which sometimes can be a sign. He also keeps growing, saying he is closer to 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds at this point.

“I have real good natural strength,” Campbell said. “But I’m also a lot faster than people think. I definitely think I can play defensive end in college.”

As for this visit, one thing is on his mind.

“I’m hoping to get some closure as to what school I’m going to attend,” Campbell said. “Simple as that.”

Orr ready to check out Norman

As OU continued to make one cornerback offer after another, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Notre Dame’s Kareem Orr was waiting to see if his time would come.

The Sooners first started talking with Orr around two months ago when graduate assistant Courtney Viney began communication. Orr thought the offer was never going to come, but it did and now he’s ready to hit OU.

“I just want to have a good time,” Orr said. “I want to see the facilities. Be a part of the atmosphere and go from there.”

Orr, a three-star Louisville commit, took his official to see the Cardinals last weekend. Some speculated that would mean his recruitment would be locked down. And though he didn’t have one bad word to say about Louisville or the direction of the program, Orr said he wants to see what else is out there.

After this trip, Orr said he is considering visits to Arizona State and Indiana. Viney did the early work, but Orr said he has been in constant communication with cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright ever since the offer was issued.

“It’s a very prestigious college,” Orr said. “Everybody knows who Oklahoma is. Anybody would be honored for a chance to play there.”

It has been an eye-opening fall for Orr. He said the offers weren’t really coming his way because he was a 5-11 safety. But the move to cornerback has put him back on the map. He was a corner as a freshman before moving to safety for his sophomore and junior seasons.

“It was great to move back,” Orr said. “It wasn’t tough at all. Arizona State sort of got everything started and now I just want to see what these other schools have to offer.”

OU taking advantage of rare December home game

It’s conference championship weekend, which means a lot of schools are selling the fact they’re playing on the first weekend of December.

But that also means none of those schools can host any recruits. Conversely, OU is playing its first home game in December and taking full advantage of it with the most official visits for a weekend in the entire recruiting calendar.

Things can change, but right now OU is at 15 visits, topping the crazy 14 mark the Sooners had for Tennessee weekend.

“It’s always great to get kids to your campus during this time of year,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We’re ready for another big recruiting weekend. The more eyes that see things, the better.”

The stars are aligned for the Sooners this time around. It’s Bedlam weekend so no doubt the atmosphere in Norman is going to be phenomenal. Add in the fact it will be 50 degrees without any bad weather, another plus.

Then, for the first time in four home games, it’s not an 11 a.m. kick. The 2:30 p.m. start should liven up the atmosphere on the field and in the stands.

As of Friday morning, OU’s 15 visits are split as follows: five cornerbacks, four defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, a linebacker and a quarterback.

No telling how many commits OU is going to land during this weekend, but provided the Sooners can take care of business on the field, the business on the trail should work itself out.

Newsome, Kirkland visiting Texas

A couple of huge visits to keep track of will be going down in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns are bringing seven recruits, but three of them are the ones OU fans need to monitor.

Five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson will be joined by four-star wide receiver Ryan Newsome and four-star middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland this weekend.

Nobody really considers OU a threat for Jefferson, but the Sooners are very much in play for both Newsome and Kirkland.

Newsome and Kirkland have expressed interest in playing together and have basically taken the same visits. Both have visited Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and of course both were at OU together last month.

Kirkland still has a trip to USC planned for next week before making his decision. Newsome will be all out of official visits after this weekend, but it’s going to be one heck of a battle to land his signature.


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