Sooner Intel: OU news and nuggets

Catching up with latest OU targets and in-state schools as spring eval period comes to a close.

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.

Sooners going back to Jenks?

OU’s has made a living at Jenks year after year. And the last few years, mean that in a literal sense. Running back Alex Ross was the 2012 Trojans product. Then it was wide receiver Jordan Smallwood for 2013 and safety Steven Parker for 2014.

It was a fight, but it was one Marquise Overton came out on top of and has qualified academically for the 2015 class.

So is OU going to tap into that well once again? There are two clear choices although the interest isn’t as high as you would think.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops stopped by Jenks last week to check on safety Austin Quillen and athlete Dillon Stoner.

Quillen, who did visit OU’s junior day, committed to Vanderbilt last month. Stoner has been picking up steam on the trail ever since getting an unexpected first offer from Arkansas two months ago.

Not a lot of steam, however, from OU or Oklahoma State.

“There’s a little interest right now,” Stoner said. “But nothing too big yet.”

Stoner was surprised Arkansas was his first offer, and he seriously thought about committing right then and there on the spot before deciding to wait things out.

Quillen was racking up quality offer after another before taking a trip to Nashville last month. He said he didn’t want to make an impulsive decision so he waited one day after his trip to commit to the Commodores.

Stoner, who also has offers from schools like Kansas and Texas Tech, said some schools see him at wide receiver, while others see him at safety. If Stoner and the Sooners ever get real serious, there’s no question it would be at safety.

Quillen, who was described by OU as that hybrid on junior day, said Vandy sees him 100 percent at safety. That certainty is definitely something Quillen likes, who said he fell in love with the campus and university on his visit.

He didn’t close the door 100 percent on OU or OSU, but Quillen made it pretty clear something incredibly drastic would have to happen to change his stance.

“You can never say never with something like this,” Quillen said. “Right now I have every intention of signing with Vanderbilt. That’s what I want to do. That’s where I want to be.”

Quillen is one of three players from the state (RB Quan Hogan, S/OLB Calvin Bundage) nominated for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for January’s game in San Antonio.

Southmoore will be a familiar OU stop

If you’re looking for a school to stop the Jenks/Union dominance within the state, the best bet is at Moore Southmoore. Thought to be a year away, the SaberCats rallied last year to make the playoffs and were eliminated by Jenks.

The biggest reason most believe it’s Southmoore that can do it is because all of that talent is coming back, and there are a few younger kids OU certainly has its eye on.

Start at quarterback with 2018 signal-caller Casey Thompson. The younger brother of former OU quarterback Kendal Thompson, Casey is already starting to make a name for himself.

Two weeks ago he picked up an SMU offer, his first one. Wasn’t too long after that when Oregon State entered the picture as well.

The lingering question is whether the Sooners can reconnect with Thompson, and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is certainly trying to do so.

“I know Coach Riley. I’ve met him like four or five times now,” Thompson said. “I’ve been up there a couple of times, and he has come here. He has the “Air Raid,” and I like that, like how he spreads the ball around.”

Thompson was one of a handful of Southmoore products that watched one of OU’s spring scrimmages, and Thompson said it’s very valuable to be able to see a coach like Riley coach instead of just coming to something like a junior day because it allowed him to see exactly how Riley handles things.

It’s going to be a busy summer for Thompson but only one thing is concrete, which is a June 12 trip to Texas A&M. When Sooners Illustrated was at Southmoore, A&M quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital was also there. Thompson said he was pumped up to see Spavital.

As of now, Thompson has 15 camp invites, but he said he’d like to go to three of them. The Aggies are one, and he said an in-state one could be another. Thompson has camped at OU the last two summers, even competing against the high school recruits when he was just entering eighth grade two years ago.

*Another 2018 name to watch is obviously offensive lineman Brey Walker, who picked up an OU offer on that unofficial visit last month.

In the last month, Walker has reported offers from Arkansas and Michigan so obviously things are going to pick up considerably before they start slowing down.

With the OU offer already in hand, Walker will not camp at OU this summer. Instead, his father said the only camp they’re planning to attend is Alabama.

Walker said he continues to develop a relationship with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh but also added his best relationship right now is with the coaches at Oklahoma State, who was the first school to offer.

*Already a four-star defensive back for the 2017 class, Quindon Lewis plans to return to OU’s camp this summer. He was one to watch at OU’s camp last year and now he could be on the verge of busting out this time around.

Lewis spent most of the winter recovering from injury, but he’s back to 100 percent. He certainly looked the part this week.

He’s still learning the finer points of the cornerback game as he said he grew up a wide receiver until making the switch two years ago.

Lewis also took in an OU practice and said he is developing a good relationship with first-year defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks.

“He’s a real good coach,” Lewis said. “I really like his intensity and the edge his guys play with. They play with that chip on their shoulder. That’s how I feel, too.”

Lewis earned his first offer earlier this week from Arkansas State and said he’s hoping to get out to as many camps as he possibly can this summer. To go along with all the area camps, Lewis said he would love to try to hit LSU or Florida State, but he has no idea if it will be possible.

Countdown is on for Brown

Close out the OKPreps portion of the Intel with a look at two of the best in-state offensive linemen for this class with Lexington’s Tyler Brown and Broken Arrow’s Rowdy Frederick.

While Frederick has been a name many have been keeping tabs on for a while, Brown has come from seemingly out of nowhere in the last couple of months to try to state his claim as the top lineman in the state.

OU was fast to recognize Brown, and he went on a day-long unofficial visit with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. But that feels like a lifetime ago as Brown now is starting to approach that 20-offer mark.

And opportunities to set up a second visit to OU haven’t exactly panned out and other schools are jumping in. Namely TCU.

“I like that there’s only like 30 kids in a class,” Brown said. “I’m a hands-on learner, and I want to go somewhere where my professor is going to know me by name and not by a number.”

Brown earned the offer from the Horned Frogs a couple of weeks ago, and it sort of came out of the blue. He had visited the campus the weekend before but head coach Gary Patterson wasn’t there.

Brown said it was his understanding Patterson wanted to give him the offer. TCU realized it couldn’t wait, though. On that same Monday morning, Arizona State offered Brown so the Horned Frogs didn’t waste any more time.

If OU is banking on Brown earning his offer at the camp, not going to happen. Brown said since he has camped at OU in the past, he’s not looking to return to Norman.

That doesn’t mean things have soured between Brown and Bedenbaugh.

“He came down last week, and we talked for a little bit later night,” Brown said. “My relationship is still strong with him.”

As of now, Brown has a pretty clear plan of what he wants to do. He’s not looking to drag this out. He would like to commit in either July or August.

“I’m looking to commit somewhere that’s going to honor my scholarship in case I blow out a knee or something,” Brown said. “You never know so that’s what I would like to do. Around late July or early August, definitely before the season starts.”

Brown said coaches have said he’s athletic enough to be a tackle, but he’s a natural at guard. It’s also where he’s more comfortable.

Schools have flocked to Lexington the last few weeks to make sure Brown is indeed 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds. He is so don’t expect the offers to slow down. The question remains whether or not the Sooners will be one of them.

Frederick mulling things over

Almost in that same boat is Frederick at Broken Arrow. The major difference is OU and Bedenbaugh have known about Frederick for a long time.

He camped all three days at OU last summer and went on multiple unofficial visits to campus during the season and to junior day.

With offers from schools like Texas Tech and Houston, Frederick’s profile is starting to increase even if OU hasn’t thrown its hat in the ring just yet.

“They keep saying they would like to see me again to make sure everything is good,” Frederick said. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”

The latter part was referring to whether or not Frederick will camp at OU in two weeks. The feeling is a good showing there could lead to an offer, while the other line of thinking is Frederick has already shown the Sooners everything he can do. How could one day change anything?

Frederick became more than just an in-state name in the last couple of months. One reason is definitely the mullet. It helps him stand out in a crowd. But there has to be some substance with that mullet and there is.

His recruiting has taken off after a banner performance at the Rivals regional camp where he won the MVP award for offensive linemen.

“I know I can ball,” Frederick said. “It was good to compete against the best guys in the area, but I already know I have talent and can do things like that. I didn’t really learn that there.”

As other schools continue to take notice in Frederick, it will be intriguing to see if the Sooners go all-in or decide to back off. Frederick said there hasn’t been any backing down from Bedenbaugh.

“No, that relationship is still great,” Frederick said. “We talk a lot, and he was here earlier. Everything is fine there.”

Sooners all-in with Whaley

As the week began, we were still trying to figure out exactly where OU stood in terms of its search for a 2016 running back.

Things got more complicated, at first, when Houston C.E. King Scout 300 prospect Trayveon Williams announced Monday evening OU was in his top five, and he was committing Friday.

As it progressed, though, it actually became clear. Williams is set make his decision at 6 p.m., and whether it’s Houston or TCU is the issue. What’s not, however, is where OU stands in all of this.

Williams never was able to visit Norman, and OU seems to be content to move on. There were a couple of times Williams wanted to visit campus, but it never came to happen.

Williams listed a top five of OU, TCU, Houston, Texas and Texas A&M, but it seems pretty clear it’s down to the Cougars and Frogs.

Conversely, the other thing that is crystal clear is the remaining three schools are going to go all-in and fight until the bitter end to try to land Beaumont (Texas) Central Devwah Whaley.

Whaley, also in the Scout 300, had all three schools in his top 10, and conventional wisdom would believe all three would make a top five if Whaley had to choose right now.

OU in uphill climb for Okafor

One of the more intriguing offers during the spring evaluation period by OU was to Lewisville (Texas) High offensive lineman Denzel Okafor.

On one day Okafor was offered by OU and Texas, and as of right now, it looks like the Longhorns offer is carrying a little more weight than the one from the Sooners.

Okafor has added one big offer after another, and heading into June, the smart money is on Texas, Texas A&M and Arkansas being in the hunt.

OU isn’t out of the race, but the Sooners will have to do some work to get Okafor thinking crimson and cream. The first step will be to try to get him to campus, either this summer for an unofficial visit or an official visit in the fall.

Door closes with Delance

North Mesquite (Texas) High offensive lineman Jean Delance released his top nine Thursday night, and it did not include OU.

That should close the door once and for all with the former OU commit, who decommitted following the SAE incident back in March.

OU coaches didn’t give up on Delance, recruiting him hard during this spring eval period. But it’s obvious now both sides will part ways. If you’re an OU fan, better this happen now instead of OU making his final three and then going elsewhere.

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