OU's defensive 'wish list'

Calendar turns to July and recapping OU's 'wish list' on defense for the 2016 class.

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 the beginning of the summer. 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: None. Battle ahead for first-year coach Diron Reynolds to truly figure out who are the legitimate targets for the Sooners going forward at this position. Sure feels like it will end up being guys not offered at the moment.

Next in line: 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. Bledsoe are starting to let his intentions be known more, and OU has some work to do.

Trophy Club (Texas) Byron Nelson’s Brandon Bowen. OU missed out on offensive tackle Kellen Diesch from Nelson, but the Sooners appear to be in great shape with Bowen, whose ranking has blown up following spring evaluation. It will be about, as it always is, making sure the Sooners can get Bowen to Norman and then the relationship developing with Reynolds.

On the radar: Houston MacArthur’s Isaiah Chambers. Here merely because OU made the cut las month. The Sooners have major work to do if they’re ever going to be relevant in this race because they’re not right now.

Defensive tackle (1-2)

Committed: None.

Favorite: Euless (Texas) Trinity’s Chris Daniels. It’s all going to be about OU continuing with its momentum. A solid first visit for junior day has now been combined with a great unofficial visit to campus earlier this month. With the way things are working out, OU might only need one defensive tackle, and it feels like defensive line coach Diron Reynolds is going to do his best to make it be Daniels.

Next in line: Duncanville (Texas) High’s Marcel Southall. One of OU’s most recent offers at the position, but Southall is no longer under the radar by any means. A who’s who list of schools have added their names to his offer list following the spring evaluation period. He has been pretty quiet regarding OU. Could be good, could be bad, but seems like just another offer right now.

On the radar: None. Reynolds has his targets following the spring evaluation period. If he needs to go back to it, he will during the season. But if OU is only going to take one, the Sooners will put their eggs in these baskets for now. Reynolds will most likely have to hit the trail hard when the season rolls around.

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. Michigan appears to be the biggest and most legitimate competition 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, and OU feels like it’s slipping in this one.

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 with the hope still being there of him visiting this summer.

Manvel (Texas) High’s Jordan Carmouche. OU made a very nice impression on Carmouche at junior day a few months ago. Since then, things have been kind of quiet so tough to pinpoint where OU stands right now with the Scout 300 prospect. OU is clearly in the mix but too tough to determine right now how legit the interest is.

Cornerback (1-2)

Committed (1): Miami (Okla.) NEO’s Maurice Chandler. Three years in the making and the former OKPreps star is now officially going to be a Sooner. Chandler is a heck of an addition for the Sooners and will certainly have to be an immediate impact maker. Other offers were appealing, but OU looked like the favorite from the time the offer was given in April.

Favorite: Waco (Texas) La Vega’s Parrish Cobb. Months later, it still seems like it’s down to the same two schools. Is it OU? Or is it Baylor? Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks has done a great job in this recruitment but proximity could play a role. After a great initial visit, it’s going to be crucial for OU to get Cobb back to Norman.

Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab’s Tre Jackson. Another one of those cases where you know OU is at least in the picture, and it could be a lot more. Jackson released a top five Wednesday night with the Sooners making the cut. Jackson has certainly hinted at making his decision in July so we should know this one by the time this list rolls out in August.

Next in line: DeSoto (Texas) High’s A.J. Green. It felt like OU was riding high with Green after the initial offer. Now a month later, things have cooled down although it still feels the Sooners should be in contention. DeSoto hasn’t been a huge hit for the Sooners in the past, but Cooks is doing his best to change that.

Southlake Carroll (Texas) High’s Obi Eboh. Did OU wait too long? Eboh seemingly has been on the cusp of an OU offer for several months before getting one last month. He has visited campus several times, but Stanford seems like the school to beat even if that offer is not yet on the table. Southlake Carroll is going to be a huge destination for the Sooners going forward.

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.

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 to regain that momentum from those SEC schools.

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. It seems obvious that it’s going to be between OU and Texas. But it also seems obvious the Longhorns are the clear No. 1 choice right now. Will that change? OU hasn’t thrown in the towel at all, but this is another Red River Rivalry battle to watch.

On the radar: Houston Alief Elsik’s Chris Brown. The dream is the Elsik double of Brown and linebacker Dontavious Jackson. But it realistically feels like OU will get neither of them before it would end up with both of them. OU made the offer to Brown and is in the hunt but shouldn’t be considered the favorite at this time.

Next in line: Gardena (Calif.) Serra’s Brandon Burton. Another case where it’s going to be tough for OU to take somebody away from the west coast. Burton has, though, already stated his desire for OU to be one of those five official visits so Sooners have that going in their favor.

Brentwood (Calif.) Liberty’s Shurod Thompson. OU has made the first cut, now in Thompson’s final seven. It’s a waiting game from this point on now.


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