Sooner Intel, Pt. I: News and nuggets

Weekly dose of recruiting news from around the trail with 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.

Introducing Tyler Brown

You can do all the research. You can talk to all the coaches, all the players. But you can’t account for them all, some will slip through.

Ladies and gentlemen, Lexington (Okla.) High offensive lineman Tyler Brown is just the latest example. But don’t blame the media, college coaches didn’t even know who he was until two weeks ago.

Brown said his coaches worked hard on his highlight tape a couple of weeks ago and now, he’s easily the most in demand prospect in the state.

“It’s overwhelming right now,” Brown said. “If I would have known that this would happen, I would have done it sooner.”

It started last week as North Texas offered Brown without having even talked to him. Brown said his high school coach texted him during class to let him know the Mean Green were his first offer. It was quite a shock as he said he hadn’t heard from any Division I schools before that.

Growing up in Lexington, just south of Norman, Brown didn’t mince his words when he said he grew up a huge OU fan. He has never been closer to that reality of playing for the Sooners than where he is at now.

OU got in touch with Brown’s coach 9 p.m. CST last Thursday and asked if they could visit Friday. By 10 a.m. CST Friday, Brown and his coach were on campus.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting OU,” Brown said. “They called that night before because they wanted to make sure I was as big as I said I was.”

Turns out Brown is every bit the 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds he advertised, and he’s quickly developing a great bond with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

Brown said he was on campus for more than four hours, but he was just soaking things in more than anything. The one thing Bedenbaugh did let him know is OU’s line of thinking for offensive linemen for this class.

Brown said he was told OU is taking four linemen, split up evenly with two high school prospects and two junior college recruits. Brown also got to spend time with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

The goal is for Brown to meet with Bob Stoops this weekend. Brown said Bedenbaugh is hopeful to be able to set up that meeting, but as of Thursday night, it sounded like it wasn’t going to happen. Meanwhile, the interest is not slowing down for Brown. He picked up a Tulsa offer earlier this week and visited Oklahoma State on Thursday and a Wyoming offer.

“Honestly I’m looking forward to this and seeing all the offers come in,” Brown said. “They like my physicality and the way I go after it.”

Brown said he started receiving letters from OSU last year but nothing compared to what he has seen in the last two weeks. Texas Tech stopped by earlier this week and said they intend to return with their linemen coach.

Brown said he is being viewed as a guard, but he has the athletic ability to also play tackle. He plays defense, too, but he wants to stay on the offensive side of the ball.

“I like the offensive line,” Brown said. “I like defense, too, but it’s not my stronghold. I love being on the offensive line.”

OU goes out east with offers

The first big wave of news during the spring evaluation period occurred this week with the Sooners hitting the east coast hard. In particular, defensive back offers.

It’s the next batch of offers at the position as Kerry Cooks continues to get his feet planted at OU. Though it still seems like this secondary class will be smaller than usual, doesn’t mean the search diminishes in any way.

One of those offers was to Washington D.C. Woodson cornerback Parnell Motley. Only ranked a two-star recruit right now, Motley said that’s not bothering him, and it’s not bothering schools, either, from looking his direction.

In the last couple of months, schools like Miami, Michigan State have entered the mix, but none of them were as big of a shock as when OU offered Sunday.

“I didn’t see that coming,” Motley said. “It surprised me, came right out of the blue. Coach Cooks hit me up on Twitter and said how he liked my tape and how physical I was and offered me.”

Motley said he doesn’t know much about Cooks, but he’s excited to get to know him better. He said he knows about what he was able to do at Notre Dame and likes his personality.

The focus for Motley is just to get back out there and show everybody what he can do. He has been working a lot on his footwork and his speed and weight, essentially, he said he’s working on everything he can.

He’s a defensive offer, but when Motley thinks about OU, it’s a trio of offensive names that stand out to him.

“A couple of my favorite running backs are from there with DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson,” Motley said. “And one of my favorite players was Jalen Saunders.”

Motley said he’s always thought about OU, but he had no idea if anything would ever develop. The Sooners have also offered his teammate, running back Abdul Adams so OU definitely trying to plant its flag out east.

Motley said he would love to visit in the summer but said right now he doesn’t have any visits planned. The only one he has made is Maryland, but he’s hoping to go on a tour of schools later in the spring and summer.

“My interest is real,” Motley said. “I love the fans they have and definitely want to see how things are out there.”

Jefferson disappointed about missing OU spring game

One of the biggest potential visitors for the OU spring game was supposed to be New Orleans Easton Charter linebacker Pernell Jefferson.

Teammates with OU signee Arthur McGinnis, the hope was for the duo to make the trip two weeks ago and for Jefferson to leave committed to the Sooners.

Neither New Orleans product made the trip, and Jefferson broke down what happened.

“I really wanted to go, really did,” Jefferson said. “But there was a death in the family so I couldn’t get the ride I thought I was going to get. My family didn’t want to go.”

Jefferson said he called the OU coaches after to ask if there’s another big-time event he should try to make it to Norman. He said their response was there is nothing for the next couple of months so his next trip might be for an official visit in the fall.

The disturbing part of the weekend wasn’t Jefferson being unable to make it to OU, but it was later seeing him posing with a Mississippi State jersey. Again, Jefferson explained.

“I wanted to go somewhere that weekend, and my teammate was going up there anywhere so I decided to go up and see what it was like,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said he liked it there but never thought about committing. He still wants to take a lot of visits, and he doesn’t have any of the planned just yet.

Jefferson, not a name well known before offers from OU and TCU, got a chance a couple of weeks ago to showcase his skills at the Opening regional in New Orleans. He hasn’t earned the invite yet, but he said he was pleased with his outing because it let him know he belongs with the best.

He’s still evaluating things, especially after the mishap with LSU. Jefferson thought he had the offer, but what the Tigers coaches implied is they’ll watch him during the spring.

The offers keep rolling in with Nebraska the latest on Thursday, which is making it hard for Jefferson to start narrowing things down. There’s not top five or anything, but it’s clear there are a couple of schools making their impression.

“I don’t have favorites, but yea, OU and TCU are starting to stand out more than some of the others,” Jefferson said. “I really want to get back to OU.”

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