Things are starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail. It’s time to start looking more intently on Oklahoma’s “wish list” for the Class of 2016.
Here is an idea of where OU stands in May, the first list of the cycle. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2016. The names do not necessarily reflect OU’s official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.
Committed (1): Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson’s Austin Kendall. Lincoln Riley has started with a bang with his first quarterback commit at OU. Kendall, a one-time Tennessee commit, is a clear four-star talent who committed to OU in April. He’s someone who can make all the throws, has a natural competitive nature and seems to be perfect for what Riley wants to do in Norman.
Favorite: None. OU seems to be done looking at a second quarterback. Initially it felt like there could be a second signal-caller for this class, but getting someone as highly touted as Kendall, has sort of eliminated the need and desire for a second quarterback.
Running back (1)
Favorite: Beaumont (Texas) Central’s Devwah Whaley. There is no doubt OU is making Whaley the No. 1 priority. Quarterback commit Austin Kendall is recruiting him. OU coaches Cale Gundy, Jay Boulware and Lincoln Riley are recruiting him. Coming off a great visit to Norman in March, OU visited Whaley with one of its first trips during the spring evaluation period. Long battle ahead, but the Sooners are in it.
Next in line: Houston C.E. King’s Trayveon Williams. OU has some ground to make up if Williams is indeed going to be the guy. It sure feels like TCU and Texas A&M are the two schools to beat, but OU did make his top 10. The key will be to finally get him on campus. As much as he has wanted to get to Norman, he hasn’t done that just yet.
On the radar: Lone Grove (Okla.) High’s Jeremy Lewis. Those are the only two uncommitted offers at running back, but Lewis could be an answer down the road. His big offer is Nebraska, but he’s someone who should see his stock increase during this spring eval period. He has been a frequent visitor to OU and was at junior day and the spring game.
Wide receiver (2-4)
Committed (2): Houston Spring Dekaney’s Adrian Hardy. The surprise commitment of the cycle to this point. Hardy had no other offers, but OU got in there nice and early. Following a great trip to Norman for junior day in March, Hardy went home and thought about it and committed less than 72 hours later.
Tyler (Texas) Junior College’s Ryan Parker. Not known nationally at the time of his commitment, Parker certainly will be now. Could end up being a true steal for the Sooners for the one-time TCU commit coming out of high school. Still learning the game, but it didn’t take him long to jump on the OU offer. Has yet to see the campus.
Favorite: Dallas First Baptist Academy’s Camron Williams. The spots are filling up fast for OU at this position for this class, but these guys you know OU will still make an exception for. Williams was sensational at a satellite camp last summer and earned the OU offer. Williams hasn’t visited campus yet, but first-year coach Dennis Simmons is certainly trying to build that rapport.
Next in line: Sachse (Texas) High’s Devin Duvernay. The dream for OU is to pull off that Sachse double with Duvernay and cornerback Jared Mayden. Duvernay will be one tough battle to win, but the Sooners put their best foot forward with a great junior day visit two months ago. Where things go from here will tell the real story.
Navasota (Texas) High’s Tren’Davian Dickson. Copy and paste the last sentence with Duvernay and applies 100 percent to Dickson as well. He seems to have hit it off well with Simmons. A one-time commit to Baylor, the quest for Dickson is another long one in the making.
On the radar: La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat’s Tyler Vaughns. Recently released a top 11 that had OU making the cut. Where it really stands? Not sure. And will the list really mean anything until he visits? Good question. Hangs around in this part of the wish list, but long ways from happening.
Tight end (0-1)
Favorite: None. Nobody even remotely on the radar right now. All offered prospects are committed elsewhere and no real new interests have popped up. Going to be incredibly interesting to see how this develops. Perhaps a tight end spot ends up being a fourth receiver, who just happens to have tight end size? Not sure any tight end can be found until prospects get a taste of what Lincoln Riley wants to do with the position at OU.
Interior linemen (2)
Favorite: Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore’s Parker Boudreaux. Of the offered prospects, Boudreaux feels like the favorite. There are some not offered recruits that seem like they’d take that spot. Boudreaux had a tremendous two-day visit to OU this spring. But the issue will just be whether or not those good feelings continue in the upcoming months.
Next in line: Coffeyville (Kan.) CC’s Branton Autry. With it being clear offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh wants two junior college prospects, Autry could be that guy. There aren’t too many juco guard prospects right now, but Autry already has the offer so now it’s about seeing how legit is the mutual interest.
Arlington (Texas) Bowie’s Tope Imade. This is one of those not offered prospects where it feels like it would change in a hurry if Bedenbaugh makes the call. Imade blew up on the recruiting trail following a power lifting video that went viral and showed his strength. He was at OU’s junior day, and he should get a real look during this spring evaluation period.
On the radar: Lexington (Okla.) High’s Tyler Brown and Broken Arrow (Okla.) High’s Rowdy Frederick. Lumping them together because it feels like it’s a race between them to see who OU believes deserves an offer. It’s more realistic to think OU will end up offering neither of them compared to maybe offering both of them. Frederick has been on OU’s radar for nearly a whole calendar year at this point, while Brown is rising up everybody’s recruiting board as his film has gotten out more and more.
Offensive tackle (2)
Favorite: Trophy Club (Texas) Byron Nelson’s Kellen Diesch. Most thought he had committed when the “817” area code was tweeted last week. That turned out to be juco wide receiver Ryan Parker, but Diesch is definitely still in play. He was at junior day and the spring game. Was born in Norman and said he’ll always be an OU fan. The question is will he be an OU player? Arkansas is absolutely the biggest competition for Diesch.
Next in line: Lewisville (Texas) High’s Denzel Okafor. One of OU’s recent offer, Okafor is a name offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been monitoring for a while. It was a huge week for Okafor, who added a number of big-time offers during that span. Okafor hasn’t visited Norman yet, which could end up being the game-changer in his recruitment.
Brooklyn (N.Y.) ASA College’s Charles Baldwin. Seems clear OU will take at least one juco offensive tackle and Baldwin could be that guy. Already a four-star prospect, Baldwin has OU in his short list. Beating out Alabama is never easy as Tide appear to be early favorite, but he’ll be one to watch going forward.
On the radar: North Mesquite (Texas) High’s Jean Delance. Another year, another case of seeing if a one-time commit will come back into the mix. Last year didn’t turn out well with Josh Wariboko (UCLA), and now Delance is in play. Famously decommitted in March after the SAE incident after having been committed since November, but he has been in contact once again with Bedenbaugh and recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy. OU isn’t the favorite as there really doesn’t feel like there is one, but the Sooners aren’t out of the race, either.
Special teams (0)
Committed: None. The only way OU dips into the special teams waters is if something happens with 2015 signee Austin Seibert. Either he gets a big injury or is unable to perform to his ability. That’s the only way OU even starts looking in this direction. Seibert is the kicker/punter of the future, and with scholarships being at a premium even more than usual for this class, can’t see anything developing right now.