The expectations are always high when it comes to junior day, but a lot of times it ends in disappointment. That wasn’t the case for Oklahoma.
The Sooners, who usually have their first junior day before signing day, waited until nearly two weeks after the event, and it paid off.
Here’s what you need to know from OU’s first junior day.
OU lands in-state gem
There were some notable in-state prospects on hand for junior day that people could have guessed were going to be the first in-state commitment for OU.
Not too many would have even said they know the name of Tulsa (Okla.) Victory Christian’s Jon-Michael Terry. OU has for a while, and once it finally got him to campus, it was able to close the deal.
The Sooners had been asking Terry to take a visit throughout the 2014 season, but it never worked out. It did Sunday. His first junior day, his first offer and the only one he needed.
After talking it over with his family, Terry called OU linebackers coach Tim Kish and committed to the Sooners.
Terry is listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds by his coach and seems to be an answer at linebacker for the Sooners in this class. Terry said he wasn’t sure if it would be inside or outside, but linebacker is definitely the answer.
Terry is OU’s second commit for the class, joining Scout 150 offensive tackle Jean Delance.
Back in it with Mayden
One major development heading into the event was with Sachse (Texas) defensive back Jared Mayden. The Scout 100 prospect had already listed a final three of TCU, Ohio State and Oregon, but the Sooners are giving him something to think about.
Mayden, whose father played basketball for OU, returned to Norman on Sunday, and he told Scout’s Greg Powers he might have to rethink things.
The biggest plus for OU in this recruitment has been the addition of Kerry Cooks to the staff. Cooks recruited Mayden hard when he was at Notre Dame, but it wasn’t going to work out.
Now that Cooks is closer to home for OU, the two reconnected Sunday and Cooks came up huge with Mayden and the rest of his family.
It would be wrong to say OU is the leader, but it would be just as wrong to say the Sooners are out of the mix.
Owens, Terry get offered
One of the names circled for getting an offer was definitely Arlington (Texas) Lamar offensive lineman Chris Owens. It felt like every day last week he picked up a new offer, and that’s because he literally did.
It will be up to Bill Bedenbaugh from this point to keep OU in the hunt, but Owens looks like someone who OU will be there with until the end. Some would say tackle, but it appears his future is at offensive guard.
The other confirmed offer came to Dallas South Oak Cliff linebacker Marvin Terry. Couldn’t confirm the Scout 300 prospect was going to make it, but it was worth the trip.
Like Owens, Terry was offered by Stoops in person. Linebacker was obviously a sore spot for some regarding the 2015 class, but OU is positioning itself in a much better spot right now for 2016 linebackers.
First junior day for OU assistants Dennis Simmons and Kerry Cooks, and it sounds like they did a great job of connecting with the recruits. Even though none of the offers or commitment happened from guys they’re recruiting, the groundwork has been laid.
Numerous recruits texted Sooners Illustrated to say they enjoyed getting to know the new OU coaches and are excited to continue to build that rapport.
That didn’t seem to matter to Euless (Texas) Trinity defensive lineman Chris Daniels. The Scout 300 prospect said he loved his time in Norman. In talking to multiple defensive linemen, the message was clear that OU should have its defensive line coach by the end of this week.
Who’s who in attendance
A rarity, especially for OU, that the day delivered. OU has had so many big weekend go awry for one reason or another. Not this time. All the top kids showed up, and it sounds like all left with huge positive impressions.
All the offered prospects made the trip to go with the three that were dished out Sunday. You don’t judge junior day by commitments anymore. Not a fair way to assess it.
Now it’s about building the relationship that leads to a commitment. With that mindset, no other way to describe the event than as a success for the Sooners.