Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Quarterback spot continues to be a point of conversation 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.

OU back to New Orleans with Jefferson

OU linebackers coach Tim Kish has spent a lot of time at New Orleans Easton Charter because of how badly the Sooners wanted to land Arthur McGinnis for the 2015 class.

It worked there, and now Kish is trying to do it again for 2016 outside linebacker prospect Pernell Jefferson.

Jefferson had seen Kish a time or two during the McGinnis recruitment, but it came as a shock to him when this time the attention was about him. This time the phone was being given to Jefferson to talk to Kish, and the offer was made Tuesday.

“It was really surprising,” Jefferson said. “I didn’t know they were that interested. It definitely means I have progressed a lot since the end of the season. All it does it make me want to work harder.”

OU’s biggest ace in the hole is McGinnis, at least until McGinnis leaves for Norman in a few months. Because ever since McGinnis picked the Sooners, it has been all about the crimson and cream. Nobody has heard about it more than Jefferson.

“Arthur has been talking to me all the time. It’s OU this and OU that,” Jefferson said. “He loves everything about OU.”

The question now is going to be if Jefferson is the same way. His offer sheet is starting to pick up considerably, but it’s clear he would like to visit OU. The question is when. It could be junior day, could be the spring game or might just have to wait until the official visits happen.

Jefferson said he is 6-foot-3 and 233 pounds, but the bulk of schools do view him as an outside linebacker. OU is included in that group.

He can play middle linebacker, though, as he was forced to during the playoffs last season when injuries put him there. He wants to play outside, though, because that’s where he feels his strength is.

“I know how to get to the quarterback. It’s what I do best,” Jefferson said.

Roberson emerging

It has been a long, long time since Harrah (Okla.) High was the destination for any major college programs, but it could be the case this year.

Offensive lineman Logan Roberson is going to make coaches have to come his way as he continues to gradually improve and move up the rankings.

Roberson, who has been busy on the junior day circuit, was back in Norman for OU a couple of weeks ago.

“I thought it was awesome,” Roberson said. “I had great vibes the whole time I was there. It was great to see the trophy cases and look at all the records.”

Roberson is a pupil of former OU star J.D. Runnels, who has become a noteworthy personal trainer in the area, especially kids in the Mid-Del region of the state. The two have been working together for nearly three years now, and the difference shows.

“He has helped me with everything,” Roberson said. “I’ve become a lot more mature, I’m more football savvy. He has helped me get my form down on everything. He has helped with all the little things.”

Roberson is no stranger to OU as he said he went on four unofficial visits during the season. But most of the time, he wasn’t in a position where he could talk to the players and coaches.

He got that chance two weeks ago, being able to get to know offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh a lot more. Roberson is a powerful mauler for the class, but it looks like guard will be his future. He’s fine with that and said he can play guard or tackle.

“I believe I am one of the most physical and athletic tackles in the 2016 class,” Roberson said. “I believe I’m a top-five talent.”

Roberson has been to junior days at OU, Oklahoma State and Kansas and intends to be at North Texas this weekend. He is ranked No. 21 by Sooners Illustrated for the class but is definitely somebody whose stock is rising.

Sizing up the QB picture

Another week, another installment of looking at the quarterback picture. Things became a lot more in focus earlier as Scout 300 prospect Shane Buechele committed to Texas.

Buechele was clearly the top pick for Josh Heupel, but things never really got on track with Buechele and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

With Buechele out of the picture, at least for now, that means all three of Heupel’s QB offers are out the door. Shea Patterson picked Ole Miss last week and Jarrett Guarantano seems set on Rutgers, Ohio State or Tennessee.

Riley has made three offers, all to Scout 300 prospects as well in K.J. Costello, Woody Barrett and Dwayne Haskins.

Costello from California, Barrett from Florida and Haskins from Maryland definitely makes this a much tougher assignment than usual.

The last time OU left its comfort zone of the Midlands region for a QB was for the 2008 class with Landry Jones. Drew Allen, Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson, Trevor Knight, Cody Thomas, Justice Hansen – all kids from either Kansas, Oklahoma or Texas.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it definitely makes things a lot more difficult. Costello seems set for the west coast as Stanford has made a huge impression.

Barrett is definitely doing his research on OU, which is a good sign. But until he visits, no idea what it all really means. Same can be said for Haskins. He said he plans to visit OU in the next month but planning and doing are two different things.

Sooners Illustrated put three QBs from the state in the top 12 of the OKPreps rankings this week. But as more time goes on, it still doesn’t look like a lot of interest is going to come from the in-state guys.

Junior day is next weekend. As of this time, no quarterbacks are confirmed for the visit. No quarterbacks were at the first one. It could be a case of Riley having to get them in on unofficial visits not associated with junior day, but it will also be interesting to track if there’s any movement in the next week.

Losing Buechele is a big deal, but it’s not the end of the class. Riley still has plenty of time to find his guy, but the real test will be his product on the field. The biggest boost for OU quarterback recruiting will come if success comes this season so this first commit is going to be about having faith in Riley because it’s doubtful OU will still be looking for that one quarterback in the fall.


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