Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

The latest OU recruiting news heading into another visitor weekend before signing day.

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.

Seibert ready to call OU home

There was one prevailing thought for Belleville (Ill.) West kicker Austin Seibert after his official visit to OU last weekend. He didn’t want to leave.

Seibert, committed to OU since May, finally made his official trip after several unofficial visits during the last 12 months.

Seibert was there to have a good time and just happened to connect all weekend with top wide receiver target Van Jefferson.

“We meshed really well,” Seibert said. “It was that Saturday lunch where we really got to know each other better. Some of the recruits went fishing by Coach Stoops’ house. But me and Van just got to talking and getting to know each other better.”

Seibert said he did stress to Jefferson, who was a Georgia commit at the time, all the positives about joining him at OU.

Having already seen the campus, last weekend was about getting to know the players and starting to get comfortable with the feeling of Norman being home. He was hosted by Samaje Perine, and he said he had a great time at Campus Corner during the visit.

Even Campus Corner couldn’t really break Jefferson out of his shell although Seibert and other players certainly did try.

“I was there, and I admit I was trying to talk to girls,” Seibert said. “Van didn’t. He refrained from any of that. He’s a quiet kid. A real respectful kid. I do think he’ll go to OU. If he does, that’s a big addition for us.”

The talk with Seibert has been about what exactly his position will be with the Sooners. He is rated nationally as both a kicker and punter.

Seibert doesn’t just want those jobs, he wants them all. He wants to kick field goals, do the punting and handle the kickoffs. It’s one reason OU special teams coach Jay Boulware has dubbed him Legatron.

That nickname is a new one for Seibert, who said he has been referred to as Nuclear Leg in the past. Legatron works, too.

“He doesn’t want me to get worn out so he said to focus on field goals first, then punts, then kickoffs,” Seibert said. “I look up to him a lot. He’s a great coach and has a great history of developing his kickers.”

Seibert went on the offensive this week when Georgia fans started bashing Jefferson after decommitting from the Bulldogs. It’s what Seibert has earned a reputation for, being the most vocal social media recruit for OU out there.

He’s not the most active, but when Seibert says something on Twitter, it usually elicits a lot of strong reaction from OU fans.

“The fans love it,” Seibert said. “I like it. I had never watched Texas before. Since committing to OU, I’ve talked a little smack. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

It has been a crazy start to 2015 for Seibert. He began the year at the Under Armour game and has now wrapped up his official visit to OU. Absolutely nothing has changed for him.

“I knew in May OU was the place for me,” Seibert said. “And I still know now that OU is the place for me. I can’t wait.”

Neal position up for grabs

The natural assumption was for Omaha (Neb.) Central’s DaiShon Neal to be a defensive end if he does indeed flip to OU from Nebraska.

That’s not the only possibility. Neal, who is every bit as big as his 6-foot-7 listed frame suggests, could be a defensive end. But OU is pretty stacked right now with Kenneth Mann, Gabriel Campbell and the crown jewel in Neville Gallimore.

Where the Sooners are having great difficulty is closing things out at linebacker. OU only has one committed right now though it’s a great one in five-star prospect Ricky DeBerry.

But if OU does indeed stick to the 3-4 defense, then there could be a home for Neal as one of those pass rushing ends on the outside.

Neal said it was something brought to his attention during his visit to OU last week and something he would definitely consider.

Linebacker has been an absolute mess this recruiting cycle with Dwaine Thomas being another example this week. Long sought after by OU, Texas A&M swooped in, offered him and landed his commitment last weekend.

OU waited and waited and finally made the offer Wednesday. Thomas let the world know it was too late Thursday morning. It’s possible as OU keeps falling short with so many talented linebackers, the end result is someone like Neal being transitioned from end to an outside linebacker.

First thing is first, though. Neal has to sign with OU on signing day, and that’s no guarantee heading into the final two weeks of the cycle.

What to watch

One of those weekends where your eyes need to be elsewhere. OU is hosting just one confirmed prospect in Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland Scout 300 linebacker Josh Smith.

That’s it. There could be a surprise visitor or two, but as of Friday morning, all Sooners Illustrated can confirm is Smith.

But there are plenty of others to be on the watch for. Aledo (Texas) High wide receiver Ryan Newsome is going to decide between Texas and UCLA on Friday. OU coaches Lincoln Riley and Cale Gundy both visited Newsome on Tuesday night, and Newsome said he felt good about what they told him.

Regardless of where Newsome chooses Friday, OU coach Bob Stoops has planned an in-home visit with Newsome for Tuesday night. OU, Stoops simply will not throw in the towel with the four-star slot receiver prospect.

Be on the watch in Lubbock as Texas Tech hosts New Orleans Easton Charter middle linebacker Arthur McGinnis.

The three-star prospect is coming off a great trip to Arizona and will visit OU next weekend. Cannot understate how key the Sooners landing McGinnis is going to be to close out the class.

DaiShon Neal continues his tour of visits with a trip to Nebraska this weekend. OU coach Bob Stoops is scheduled to make his in-home with Neal on Monday night. Oregon will be Neal’s final visit next weekend.

It feels like OU is moving away from Lawton (Okla.) High’s Darreyl Patterson. And if that is indeed the truth, Kansas State could be his home. Patterson will visit the Wildcats this weekend. Secondary has been so intriguing to follow for OU in the last two weeks and sounds like Patterson is odd man out.

At one point it looked like OU was taking at least three more prospects. Now it appears OU could be done with the lone addition being Antoine Stephens. Never a dull moment.

Dallas Bishop Dunne’s Darrion Daniels, fresh off a visit from Jerry Montgomery on Wednesday, is set to visit Iowa this weekend. Tough to see this being anything other than a Tech-OU battle, but the Hawkeyes have been there since the start.

Will it happen or won’t it happen? We’ll get a better idea with Houston Cypress Falls defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin, who is expected to officially visit Texas. A lot of smoke of Lampkin heading back to OU, but it’s not confirmed yet. This weekend should tell us all a lot more.

And don’t fret about Oklahoma City Casady’s Josh Wariboko flying to California this weekend. He is playing in an all-star game. Wariboko will announce between OU, UCLA and Ohio State on signing day and said he would let Sooners Illustrated know exactly what time that announcement will be when he knows.

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