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.
OU, Terry still on same page
Linebacker is going to be such a huge point of emphasis for OU with its 2016 class. We’ve seen it through the first six months, and it will only intensify here in the next few.
With OU’s lack of depth at the spot, the Sooners are going to take at least four during this cycle and maybe even five depending on how things work out.
One of the clear favorites in the winter was Dallas South Oak Cliff linebacker Marvin Terry. A Scout 300 prospect, Terry was offered in person by the Sooners at junior day in February.
The general feeling was he would visit for OU’s spring game and commit in person to give OU its second linebacker to go with Tulsa (Okla.) Victory Christian’s Jon-Michael Terry.
Unfortunately for OU, Terry was unable to get transportation to Norman, and it has really felt like the Sooners, professed as his dream school, were starting to fall off.
“No, nothing has happened,” Terry said. “I had recently broken my phone so I wasn’t in contact with anybody. Before then, I had a strong relationship and had conversations almost daily.”
Terry said it has been defensive coordinator Mike Stoops who has been his main contact. Texas Tech still seems to be the legit threat in this one, especially with his former high school coach now on the staff with the Red Raiders.
Terry said he hasn’t been able to visit any schools this summer so it’s not like OU is alone in that regard. In his head, he has narrowed it down to a top five, but he declined to release that publicly. Smart money would still say OU is in the mix.
With his visits most likely occurring as officials in the upcoming months, what Terry has been focusing on more than anything else is his senior season.
“I’ve gotten a lot faster and stronger,” Terry said. “What I’m able to do right now is see the play faster and see things better. I’m getting to a point where I’m knowing what the plays are and where I need to be before they even happen.”
OU’s ace in the hole remains freshman safety Prentice McKinney. Terry is incredibly tight with McKinney, and provided has a positive first few months in Norman, all that can do is help OU in its pursuit of Terry.
Julious making plans for OU trip
There has been nothing to suggest OU’s quest for a junior college offensive tackle is over. The two prime candidates remains Hutchinson (Kan.) CC’s Tate Leavitt and Lackawanna (Pa.) CC’s Ashton Julious.
Kentucky is going to be tough for the Sooners to overcome with Leavitt, and OU needs to get Julious to campus before it’s considered a true contender. But it’s a visit that does appear will happen during the season.
“I’m planning on coming there for my bye week in October,” Julious said. “My relationship with Coach B is pretty good. I talk to him a lot, hear from him a lot. He’s real cool folk.”
Julious said offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh first started to show attention early in the spring semester before eventually making the offer.
Originally from South Carolina, it would obviously give Julious that chance to play much closer to home.
“I had been hoping for that offer for a while,” Julious said. “I’ve been missing home, but it’s a big choice for me. It’s pretty exciting. I like all the attention.”
The attention that is only happening because of his dedication to his conditioning. Julious said he was around 6-foot-6 and 360 pounds heading into his senior year of high school. He was a borderline guy with his academics and people questioned his work ethic.
As he prepares to enter this season, he is now closer to 6-8 and is now under 340 pounds. Julious said he feels a lot stronger, a lot healthier and can is in the best condition he has ever been in.
No real connection to OU, but Julious said what Bedenbaugh has done in Norman speaks for itself. Not just on the field, though. Off the field, too.
“It’s the history of OU and how they put offensive linemen in the NFL,” Julious said. “They really help you out and get you started to where you want to go in life.”
Wherever he goes, he knows he’ll have to make that immediate impact since he is a two-for-two prospect. Depth chart is important, but Julious stressed other things as well.
“I’m looking to see how the environment is and getting to know the coaches,” Julious said. “I want to be able to sit down and talk to them and get to know them and the players.”
Julious said he originally considered going the Division II route before Lackawanna reached out. He liked his visit, felt comfortable and made his choice. That choice now has allowed him to reach Division I, and he’s glad he made that decision.
After a few months of feeling like being left out in the cold, OU made its presence known in California in the last couple of weeks.
It started last week with Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly confirming OU is in his top seven and will definitely get an official visit.
Not a shock but still good to know. Now the help seems like it could come from the secondary as two major four-star prospects seem to have OU on the brain.
The first is Brentwood (Calif.) Liberty safety Shurod Thompson. He also has OU in his top seven, but he announced this week he will make his official visit to OU in October for West Virginia weekend. Thompson won’t be the only safety there as Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins safety Demarkus Acy said the same thing as well earlier this week.
The big news occurred Wednesday when Pittsburg (Calif.) High cornerback Jordan Parker unexpectedly decommitted from UCLA. Parker is best of friends with Thompson, and the Sooners have vaulted themselves into the mix.
This weekend is also an opportunity for OU to gain some big-time ground with Los Osos (Calif.) High linebacker Bryce Youngquist.
Youngquist, also in the Scout 300, is expected to visit OU and Wisconsin this weekend. Oregon has felt like the leader for a while so this visit is going to be incredibly crucial for OU to close that gap and make its surge.
The feeling has been Youngquist will make these visits and then commit in a couple weeks, wanting his recruitment to be over before his senior season starts.