OU's defensive 'wish list'

The first defensive wish list is in the books for the Sooners, still nine months away from signing day.

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.

Defense

Defensive end (2-3)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Cibolo (Texas) Steele’s Mark Jackson. Everything is trending toward OU right now with Jackson, a Scout 300 prospect. Jackson has hinted toward wanting to make a decision here soon, but there’s no real way of knowing if he will follow through with that. Jackson has been a big priority of the coaches, including Bob Stoops.

Next in line: Wichita (Kan.) East’s Xavier Kelly. One of OU’s recent offers but definitely one where the Sooners can absolutely make ground up in a hurry. The proximity to Wichita is always going to be a nice bonus, and he could make two visits to Norman in the next couple of months. The relationship is growing fast and furious with Diron Reynolds.

Lawrence (Kan.) High’s Amani Bledsoe. One of those early offers by Jerry Montgomery, it will be up to Reynolds to make sure things stay in a good direction. Bledsoe will be battling it out with Kelly as one of the top prospects in the Sunflower State and they could both end up being lucrative targets for the Sooners.

Trophy Club (Texas) Byron Nelson’s Brandon Bowen. OU would love to pull off the double with Bowen and Kellen Diesch, but the Sooners could easily end up with neither of them. Bowen’s offer came a long time ago and have to think OU is a player but no idea how big of a factor at this point.

On the radar: New Orleans Edna Karr’s Andre Anthony. A recent offer as well, but Reynolds is making sure Anthony realizes he’s a priority. OU continues to try to make an imprint in New Orleans and Anthony seems at least initially interested in OU. Following the offer, Reynolds visited Anthony the very next week.

Hope (Ark.) High’s McTelvin Agim. Arguably the 2016 prospect who had the best relationship with Montgomery and only now is Reynolds trying to get that train rolling once again. It is going to be one heck of an uphill climb with Arkansas looking like the heavy, heavy favorite.

McKinney (Texas) North’s Justin Madubuike and Manor (Texas) High’s Erick Fowler. Combining these two Scout 300 prospects from Texas because they’re two really early offers from OU with neither who have said much of anything regarding their interest in the Sooners at this time.

Defensive tackle (1-2)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal’s Mike Williams. If there’s one prospect where first-year coach Diron Reynolds is knocking it out of the park right now, it’s with Williams. A fantastic junior day visit has only been bolstered during the spring evaluation period. OU is sitting pretty with Williams.

Next in line: Duncanville (Texas) High’s Marcel Southall. OU’s most recent offer at defensive tackle and could end up being one of its most crucial. Southall is picking up steam like crazy in the last couple of weeks and Reynolds is making sure the Sooners don’t get left behind. The key will be to get that first campus visit. The secret’s out, though, with the Alabama offer Monday evening.

Euless (Texas) Trinity’s Chris Daniels. Reynolds is doing everything right with Daniels, but it might not matter anyway. TCU and Arkansas are going to be so tough to beat when it comes to Daniels, but OU has already been able to get him to campus. Reynolds has made sure Daniels realizes what a top target he is for OU.

On the radar: Houston Westside’s Jordan Elliott. Pretty big longshot right now. OU’s only saving grace is that OU made his initial top 10. No school seems to stand a chance against USC right now for the one-time Baylor commit. A commitment to USC seems more likely than a trip to OU as of today.

Linebacker (3-4)

Committed (1): Tulsa (Okla.) Victory Christian’s Jon-Michael Terry. Surprised everybody by showing up to OU’s first junior day in February, being offered and committing right then and there. Since then, his film has gotten out and nobody is really questioning OU with this one. Sooners simply ahead of the curve.

Favorite: Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West’s Caleb Kelly. You want OU to land one five-star prospect for this class? Kelly is your guy. He has already visited for OU’s spring game the last two seasons, and OU is doing a full-court press for Kelly. At least four coaches, including Bob Stoops, are going all-in for Kelly.

Houston Alief Elsik’s Dontavious Jackson. This is going to be the biggest battle for Tim Kish in this recruiting cycle. So far Kish has pressed all the right buttons, and adding Jackson’s friendship with OU linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, has the Sooners in a great spot. But all the top dogs are coming for Jackson so it won’t be easy.

Next in line: New Orleans Easton Charter’s Pernell Jefferson. Teammates with OU signee Arthur McGinnis, OU would love to snag another one from New Orleans. Jefferson had an incredible trip to OU for junior day but was unable to make the trip for the spring game. The offers are starting to come in for Jefferson, but OU is right where it needs to be.

Dallas South Oak Cliff’s Marvin Terry. Who knows if this would have been different had Terry made OU’s spring game? Maybe he would be another commitment for OU. He said OU was his dream school, and he was offered at junior day. Texas Tech is going to be the one to watch, especially with his former high school coach now on staff in Lubbock.

On the radar: Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos’ Bryce Youngquist. OK, the bad news is Youngquist wasn’t shy about saying Oregon is his leader so the Ducks will be one to watch. Good news is OU continues to do everything right regarding his recruitment and has been active with him during this spring eval period.

Manvel (Texas) High’s Jordan Carmouche. OU made a very nice impression on Carmouche at junior day a couple of months ago. Since then, things have been kind of quiet so tough to pinpoint where OU stands right now with the Scout 300 prospect.

Cornerback (1-2)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Sachse (Texas) High’s Jared Mayden. Will OU get Mayden? We’ll find out in two months at the Opening. But we definitely know OU is in the running. It sure feels like it will be the Sooners, TCU or Ohio State. Two visits in the last couple of months are a good sign as is his quickly developing relationship with Kerry Cooks.

Next in line: Miami (Okla.) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M’s Maurice Chandler. After Mayden, the most realistic choices start looking like junior college targets. Nobody is going to stand out more than Chandler, who was a top OU target back for the 2013 class when he was at Lawton. OU and Nebraska look to be the early schools to beat here, but we’ll see.

Kilgore (Texas) CC’s J’Marcus Rhodes. This is one of those gut feelings that a spring eval offer is going to pay off in the end. Rhodes has real interest in OU, and it sure feels like the Sooners will take at least one junior college cornerback for the class. Rhodes could definitely be that guy.

On the radar: Houston Alief Taylor’s Benjie Franklin. A very curious recruit here as Franklin hasn’t said much one way or another regarding his recruitment. But Franklin does come from a school where OU has done well so it’s hard to see OU not being a factor going forward.

The interesting thing will be if any of OU’s offers on the east coast pan out. Not enough evidence to put any of them in this bunch, but they’ll be names to monitor in the upcoming months.

Safety (1-2)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist’s Chanse Sylvie. The battle is on for the Sooners against some SEC schools that are trying to make a strong push. OU has done well in getting Sylvie to campus twice. The third time could be the charm. The lingering question is all about if OU can get that third trip.

Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe’s Calvin Bundage. Seems like an open-and-shut case here, right? No. 1 prospect within the state, offered early by OU, no-brainer? Not quite so fast. Yes, the Sooners are absolutely sitting pretty right now. But a very interesting offer from Michigan is going to make this one worth watching.

Next in line: Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins’ Demarkus Acy. A recent offer by OU, this one seems like it should end up going in OU’s favor. Acy is getting offers across the board from the Big 12, and it feels like one trip to Norman would end this in a hurry. Another recruit where Kerry Cooks is doing a great job of making things click nice and early.

On the radar: Nashville (Tenn.) Father Ryan’s JoeJuan Williams. Only in this list because of his phenomenal relationship with Cooks. The early offer was nice, but there has been nothing since to indicate OU is a real player with Williams.


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