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.
Whaley getting comfortable with Kendall
Things are starting to trend up for OU in the recruiting department. The Sooners picked up a commitment from Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist safety Chanse Sylvie on Thursday and are hoping for another one Friday.
One commitment that won’t happen Friday but one OU fans certainly hope the seeds have been planted for is with Beaumont (Texas) Central running back Devwah Whaley.
Whaley, the No. 1-ranked running back in the state of Texas and No. 151 in the Scout 300, visited OU for the second time with a trip last weekend.
The only thing missing was OU four-star quarterback commit Austin Kendall. From Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson, Whaley has been the primary target of Kendall in terms of trying to land other recruits to OU.
“We don’t talk every day, but it’s close to it,” Whaley said. “It’s probably twice or three times a week. We’re planning on taking our official visits together.”
That would certainly appear to be tremendous news for the Sooners. Kendall, who is going to be a mid-year enrollee, so the visit will have to happen before the end of the calendar year.
Whaley is set on making his announcement at the Under Armour All-America Game but said he is going to make a silent commitment to his school of choice well before that so his spot is guaranteed.
Kendall has played a pretty big role in Whaley’s recruitment and some of it has nothing to do with football or recruiting.
“He has just been a lot of fun to talk to and get to know,” Whaley said. “It’s not always about recruiting or about the process. Some of it is, but some of it is just talking about being a high school kid and stuff like that.”
The belief is OU will wait out Whaley as long as possible. It’s clear he’s the No. 1 target for the Sooners, and it’s clear OU only wants one back for this cycle. Whaley definitely looks to be that guy.
Acy almost ready to make the call
The one recruit to watch because of Sylvie’s commitment is without question Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins safety Demarkus Acy.
Acy, also a three-star prospect, has the Sooners in his final six and tweeted last week he is hopeful to make his choice before his senior season.
Sooners Illustrated was able to speak with Acy earlier this week, prior to Sylvie’s commitment. How things have changed in the last 24 hours is something definitely worth monitoring.
“I’ve loved the Sooners since I was a child,” Acy said. “Going back to the A.P. (Adrian Peterson) days. They’ve always been one of my dream schools.”
Ever since OU offered, it looked like it could be a countdown for when Acy would commit to Kerry Cooks. Following a Texas offer, however, things definitely changed.
Acy said he’s not sure when he’s going to commit, saying he’s going to do it when he’s 100 percent ready. But he knows what he’s looking for.
“The first thing I’m looking for is early playing time,” Acy said. “I’d like to play early, but I’ll still be a redshirt freshman if that’s what I have to do. I’m looking for a school that family-oriented and definitely looking for a great coach.”
Acy has built a great relationship with Cooks and running backs coach Jay Boulware. Though he said he hasn’t been concerned about the other recruits his top schools have been looking at, there’s no question there could be a time limit for when things have to get done.
“Coaches have been keeping me updated – telling me when it’s time to maybe get onboard. For me, I’ll do it when I need. No need to keep waiting. I don’t want all that attention.”
Acy did visit OU for junior day but hasn’t made a return visit since. With Sylvie’s commitment now in the bag, things sure feel like they have worked themselves out and Acy might be finding a home somewhere else.
Bundage taking it easy
Is there a recruit that has been quieter in the last few months than Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe safety/outside linebacker Calvin Bundage.
Bundage, the No. 1-ranked player in the state and the only OKPreps recruit in the Scout 300 for the 2016 class, just hasn’t done much. He didn’t participate in any all-star camps. He didn’t participate in any team camps this summer. The only thing he did was take a one-day visit with teammates to Oklahoma State.
Oh, and pick up some more offers.
Uncertainty seems to be the word describing Bundage. He’s uncertain of his five visits. Colleges are uncertain of what position fits him best at the next level. Some say safety. Some say linebacker. No matter where it’s at going forward, Bundage definitely knows how to deliver the boom.
Bundage has worked all offseason on improving his footwork, the one thing that was really keeping him from making the jump from very good to elite. If the footwork improves, he becomes the hardest-hitting safety around.
He’s still thinking things through in terms of his visits, but he seems to have a good idea of a few of them.
“Oregon, Michigan and UCLA are three visits I think I want to take,” Bundage said. “I want to make visits to schools I haven’t seen yet.”
The second part of that sentence is key because obviously Bundage has developed a great relationship with OU and has seen the campus several times. It’s quite possible he ends up at OU without ever having to take an official visit.
The reason it is still possible is because Bundage has a great rapport with defensive coaches Kerry Cooks and Mike Stoops.
“I talk to them on a daily basis,” Bundage said. “Not just one of them, all of them really, especially Coach Mike and Coach Kerry.”
This season presents a challenge for Bundage and for Santa Fe as it welcomes a new coach. In the spring, Bundage was playing safety primarily, but he was also being used as a linebacker. It will be something to watch this season to see how he picks up the nuances of each position.