Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Looking back at the week that was for OU on the trail.

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.

Jordan-Swilling surprised by OU offer

You never know what OU is looking for on the recruiting trail. There are times when the Sooners feel like they’re incredibly behind with certain recruits. And others where it feels like OU is so far ahead of the curve with prospects.

In the case of New Orleans Brother Martin athlete Bruce Jordan-Swilling, it’s the latter. Jordan-Swilling, a Class of 2017 recruit, only had one offer before the Sooners made the call last week.

“It was very surprising,” Jordan-Swilling said. “I was in my first period class and got called out and was offered on the spot.”

Jordan-Swilling could be a running back at the next level, but the Sooners see him as a linebacker going forward. It will be interesting to see what role that plays going forward. Jordan-Swilling said he prefers running back, but also said he didn’t see it as a negative with the offer being at linebacker.

What could be a negative is trying to steal away someone when there are considerable noteworthy ties to other places. Jordan-Swilling is the adopted son of former NFL great linebacker Pat Swilling, who is revered in two places.

It starts at Georgia Tech where Swilling was a four-year starter, and obviously Swilling is incredibly popular in New Orleans because of his success with the Saints. LSU and Georgia Tech have already shown early interest in Jordan-Swilling.

As of now, though, it’s OU and Miami (Fla.) that have made the offers to Jordan-Swilling.

“When I think of OU, I think of Adrian Peterson, but I haven’t been able to visit anywhere yet,” Jordan-Swilling said. “I’m actually trying to do that now. I want to call Coach Kish and see when maybe I can visit in the summer.”

Jordan-Swilling said he is 6-foot-1 and 209 pounds and received one letter from OU last year so he had no idea the interest was going to increase as much as it did.

Schools like Oklahoma State and Florida State have also shown early interest, but nothing is going to happen yet until he can take a visit.

“I want to see how the coaches operate and how they react to certain things,” Jordan-Swilling said. “I want to see the academic side of things because you always need a Plan B if athletics don’t work out. Whether it’s running back or linebacker, I’m going to pick the system that fits me best.”

Florida offered Jordan-Swilling late Thursday night.

OU sitting pretty with Kelly

There’s always that sigh of relief for OU fans when they find out the Sooners make the top 10 for a five-star recruit. Even when it’s as obvious as it seems for someone like Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly, it’s still a good feeling.

Kelly, on the same day he was visiting OU’s spring game for the second year in a row, tweeted a top 10 that included the Sooners. His second visit, though rather abrupt, gave him an even better idea about the Sooners.

“I knew more of the players and knew them better,” Kelly said. “I was a lot more comfortable with everything. I haven’t really seen the campus yet, haven’t taken that tour. But those facilities are top-notch.”

Kelly visited OU’s spring game last year as a relative unknown. Most knew he would be good, but it was tough to pinpoint he would be top-10 in the nation good. OU was his first offer way back when and the Sooners will no doubt be there until the end.

Kelly has been trained by noted defensive back guru Tony Perry. Perry has been instrumental in helping the Sooners land players like Hatari Byrd and Michiah Quick. L.J. Moore was also a Perry product, but he left OU after his freshman season.

Seeing Quick and Byrd doing well in Norman won’t make Kelly choose the Sooners, but he’s definitely happy for his friends.

“It’s just cool to see their success,” Kelly said. “It does mean a lot to know you can come from Fresno and get that opportunity. The fans there are crazy, too. They love their football.”

It’s always good for someone like Kelly to see the success a Cali kid can have Norman because it won’t be an easy fight. Kelly was adamant the distance won’t play a factor in his recruitment. But he also said it does mean a lot to his mother.

The other issue is Kelly said OU and UCLA are the two schools showing the most interest. So the distance factor is in favor of his mother with those two choices. And then add in the fact the Bruins already have two linebacker commits OU offered, and it gets more interesting.

Though Kelly is getting more and more familiar with other schools, he said no decision is around the corner. He’s staying consistent in saying signing day is going to be when he makes his decision.

As of now, though, OU continues to do all the right things. Led by graduate assistant Courtney Viney, it has been a full-court press for Kelly that even Bob Stoops has gotten involved with.

“He’s a real cool dude,” Kelly said. “He calls me every now and then when he’s allowed to do so. He’s recruiting me himself so that definitely means a lot.”

Kelly’s visits aren’t about to slow down, saying he’ll see Stanford next weekend and is planning on visiting Notre Dame in June.

Despite already being a five-star prospect, Kelly said he saw a lot of areas where he could improve and addressed them this offseason.

“My size, for sure,” Kelly said. “I gained a lot of weight and feel like I’ve gotten faster. I know there’s still so much I can do to improve.”

The offer total keeps expanding with schools from across the nation throwing their hat in the ring. Kelly remembers OU was the first school to offer.

“They were the first people to ever believe in me, in my abilities,” Kelly said. “Mentally, emotionally, physically – they’ve been there with me from the start.”

DB Isaiah Hayes

Week in review

Another week, another set of offers doled out by the Sooners. This time no real area hit by OU as Sooners continue to look everywhere to find the best prospects.

California safety commit Shurod Thompson. Offer was made on Mother’s Day. It’s hard to see this going anywhere right now. Thompson is enamored with the Bears, seems about as firm a commitment as you’re going to find. And even if he does look elsewhere, tough to envision OU being that school for him.

2017 Kennedale (Texas) High linebacker Baron Browning. Discussed in this week’s Intel, this was a huge offer for OU to make and at the right time. Browning said he’s hopeful of visiting the campus this summer.

2017 Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt wide receiver Thomas Graham. OU is trying to make an imprint out west but so far nothing has really materialized. Graham is another four-star prospect that should be a priority for a number teams in the Pac-12 and in the area.

Boise State safety commit Isaiah Hayes. Good offer but is it at the wrong time? Hayes was a member of the Keyshawn Johnson-led group that visited all over the country a couple of months ago. One of those stops was to OU, and it’s obvious the Sooners liked what they saw from Hayes.

Coconut Creek (Fla.) High wide receiver Binjimen Victor. Sooner go back to Florida for this spring evaluation offer. Victor is ranked No. 32 in the Scout 100 and has offers from all of the usual suspects you would think at this time.

2017 Texarkana (Texas) Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson. OU hasn’t gone this direction since Davion Hall for the 2014 class, but Carson has absolutely started to blow up on the recruiting trail. The offers are coming fast and furious for Carson, and OU is now officially in the hunt.

Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab cornerback Tre Jackson. Back to Louisiana goes OU for another defensive back offer. Based on offers, it would look like OU is in the thick of things, but there’s a strong feeling of Florida being the school to beat.

2017 Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal offensive tackle Walker Little. Just added a fourth star on Scout and now just adds an OU offer Thursday night. Another sign of Bill Bedenbaugh getting to work nice and early with recruits.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories