It’s that time of year. Almost done trying to wish for recruits, it’s reaching that point where you can pinpoint who the most realistic recruits are with Oklahoma.
So it’s time for the target board, a compilation of the top 10 recruits still remaining for the Sooners combined with the likelihood of being the next commitment combined with the most realistic shot of OU landing that recruit’s signature on signing day.
OU Target Board: No. 2
Oklahoma City Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko
Wariboko didn’t make his selection at the Under-Armour game as expected and now looks like a signing day decision. Ohio State is making a late run, but it’s hard to see this as anything other than an OU-UCLA battle. UCLA coach Jim Mora has already made his in-home visit so the Sooners could be loading up for a strong final push this month.
Dallas Kimball cornerback Antoine Stephens
These next three spots are all at the same position because it’s clear OU will get at least one of them, but the question is who and what’s the process. OU has gone all-in with Stephens since offering him last week and will have an in-home visit with him Thursday with Stephens visiting OU officially this weekend. He’s looks like the most likely by far for OU right now.
Lawton (Okla.) High cornerback Darreyl Patterson
Like Stephens, things have been happening fast with OU and Patterson. He was offered Jan. 2 and is also going to make his official visit this weekend. His relationship with Jay Boulware has really put OU in the driver’s seat as well as the close proximity for his family. He has other visits scheduled, but OU might be the only that matters.
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Notre Dame cornerback Kareem Orr
OU fired its best shot with Orr last month for his official visit. It took him from being a fringe candidate to a legit option here down the stretch. Problem is Orr doesn’t have a lack of options, and he looks like he’s going to explore every last one of them. It all begins this weekend with his trip to Arizona State.
New Orleans Easton Charter linebacker Arthur McGinnis
He was supposed to visit OU for Bedlam, but high school playoffs got in the way. OU made his top five, and he has set up an OU visit for Jan. 30 weekend. He will visit Arizona this time around, and Texas A&M is certainly lurking there in the background. OU has missed out on its pure middle linebacker targets and really needs a bruiser like McGinnis.
Houston Cypress Falls defensive back Nate Dalton
It’s all up to Dalton. He said he has a plan and will stick to it. After a great OU visit for Bedlam, he made a trip to Kentucky the following week. It is readily apparent now that Dalton is not OU’s answer at cornerback but rather at safety. Between Dalton and Reid, OU will have to choose but no idea if that has any bearing at all on Dalton’s mindset.
Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland linebacker Josh Smith
Still committed to Vanderbilt, the pieces seem to be falling into place for Smith and the Sooners. Smith holds all the cards going forward. He is going to visit OU later this month, but there were a lot of people who thought he would already be out the door with the Commodores. Smith is easily OU’s No. 1 outside linebacker target right now.
Omaha (Neb.) Central defensive end DaiShon Neal
Jerry Montgomery is reeling them in one by one on the defensive line, and it looks like he is not done yet. Despite already having three defensive ends on board, OU definitely wants Neal, who is committed to Nebraska. Neal is also going to visit Oregon this month, but it all begins this week with his trip to Norman for the 6-foot-7 prospect.
Dutchtown (La.) Geismar safety Justin Reid
No question marks here. It’s down to four with OU, LSU, Notre Dame and Stanford. After the LSU offer, sure thought it was a countdown to the commitment. Not so sure anymore. Stanford has made a real impression, and OU continues to fight the good fight. He has already visited OU and saw the Sooners beat Texas back in October.
Boutte (La.) Hahnville safety Dwaine Thomas
The only name in the top 10 without an offer. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen this week. Thomas is starting to get the recognition so many believe the ULL commit deserves to get. Texas Tech came calling late last week so the longer the wait, the worse off OU will be. It’s time for the Sooners to either make the offer or move on.
Off the board: LB Anthony Wheeler (committed to Texas); DL Neville Gallimore (committed to OU); DL Gabriel Campbell (committed to OU); CB Ykili Ross (committed to USC); OL Jalin Barnett; LB John Houston; LB Anthony McKee.