Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Part II of OU-related news and notes from the Opening regional.

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.

Harris turning some heads

Now are you ready for an all-offensive linemen Intel? Because here it comes.

Whether or not you believe the in-state crop of offensive linemen features any elite ones, there are certainly a number of quality ones.

Oklahoma City Heritage Hall’s Luther Harris is certainly in that discussion. Harris measured at 6-foot-5 and 361 pounds at the Opening regional camp. He knows he’s still a work in progress when it comes to his fitness.

“I’ve been working on everything since the end of the season,” Harris said. “I’m trying to get my speed up and my weight down. It’s at 360 right now, but I was 365 not too long ago. I want to get it as low as I can, stop at like 320 or so.”

Harris believes he can do it and said these next six months are going to be crucial in terms of helping get his name out there in recruiting circles. Performances like he had Sunday certainly help as Harris looked comfortable with the best offensive linemen in the area and more than held his own in various one-on-one drills.

Harris has attended Kansas’ junior day and intends to visit Tulsa next weekend. He has received letters from OU, but it’s still in the early stage. Harris said he has been invited to check out a spring practice, and he definitely will.

Again, though, still early as Harris said he doesn’t have a great relationship with Bill Bedenbaugh yet. But if the interest ever came around, this is one recruitment that would be over before it even started.

“I’m OU all the way,” Harris said. “That’s my dream school. That’s where I want to go.”

Harris was a vital cog in Heritage Hall going 14-1 and winning the state championship. He would love to reunite with his quarterback, Connor McGinnis, who has accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Sooners.

Owens humbled by the attention

You could say it has been a great couple of months for Arlington (Texas) Lamar offensive guard Chris Owens. One top offer after another has made him among the most coveted guard prospects for the 2016 class.

And he didn’t have to travel very far for the Opening regional since Arlington Lamar was hosting the event.

Owens was offered in person at OU’s junior day Feb. 15, and it’s an offer that certainly meant a lot to him.

“To get the offer in person was great,” Owens said. “That was a really great trip. I hope to get back to OU again.”

Owens is a part of the Fab 4 at Arlington Lamar that right now has two of the pieces decided. Quarterback Shane Buechele has committed to Texas, while defensive back Madre Harper pledged to Oklahoma State last week.

All that’s left is Owens and wide receiver Kofi Boateng, and both of them have plenty of options going forward. With Owens earning one offer after another in the last month, it is key for OU to try to stand out amongst the crowd.

“It’s those championships,” Owens said. “You walk in and you see them everywhere. They’re in the cases, the pictures on the walls, you know what the OU tradition is all about.

Imade soaking in newfound fame

It’s a good time to be Arlington (Texas) Bowie offensive lineman Tope Imade right now. After months of waiting, the offers are starting to pick up. He might have gotten those offers anyway, but it sure didn’t hurt when his coaches posted a Twitter video of Imade weightlifting.

“Everything has changed since then,” Imade said. “It led to my first double offer day, it was crazy. I had new coaches following me on Twitter. I’m not going to complain, though, it’s great.”

Even before his video went out on social media, the Sooners were in the mix. Imade visited OU’s first junior day last month and has developed a strong bond with Bill Bedenbaugh.

What he didn’t walk out of Norman with was an offer, which was sort of tough for Imade to swallow at first.

“I’m not going to lie, I was kind of sad about it,” Imade said. “But Coach Bedenbaugh keeps showing interest so I know it’s legit. He has been talking about coming during the spring so hopefully the potential offer is going to be there.”

Imade said he loved his OU visit, and Bedenbaugh has been sending him information almost on a daily basis. All that information has done is made Imade want to do more research on OU, and he’s liking what he is seeing.

He also liked what he saw with that first visit.

“The campus was great. I liked the quiet environment,” Imade said. “And Headington Hall, geez, I don’t even know what to say. I can’t even explain how great that was.”

Imade’s first Big 12 offer came recently from Texas Tech so he said he would like to head to Lubbock, but it’s clear the best should be yet to come for Imade, who measured at 6-foot-4 and 327 pounds at the Opening regional.

OU still in the Urquidez hunt

Texas for his sophomore season. Maryland for his junior year and now it’s back to Texas for good for Copperas Cove (Texas) High’s J.P. Urquidez.

Urquidez, the newest four-star member ranked by Scout, showed why at the Opening regional at Arlington Lamar.

A visitor for OU’s first junior day, Urquidez made it known then the Sooners were in the hunt. Though decked out in Texas colors Sunday, he said nothing has changed between him and OU.

“Right now OU is really high on my list,” Urquidez said. “Both of my family members have been able to make it and have really enjoyed their time there. They’re in my top three, top five, for sure.”

Urquidez said what has stood out with OU is his relationship with coaches Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley to go with OU’s winning tradition.

Urquidez is doing all he can to visit his top schools with his parents because he said he won’t attend any school without his parents’ blessing. OU, for what it’s worth, already has the seal of approval from the Urquidez family.

He went straight from the Opening regional to fly to Miami to check out the Hurricanes. He’s trying to wrap it all up because he remains adamant he will be committed before his junior year is completed.

There might be one factor that sways Urquidez to or from OU, but it won’t be the racial video as Urquidez said it won’t matter in the end.

“That happens at every campus, but this one got loose on video,” Urqudiez said. “They stood up against it real strongly so that’s huge. That says a lot.”

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