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 heading into August. 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.
Committed (1): Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson’s Austin Kendall. Lincoln Riley has started with a bang with his first quarterback commit at OU. Kendall, a one-time Tennessee commit, is a clear four-star talent who committed to OU in April. He’s someone who can make all the throws, has a natural competitive nature and seems to be perfect for what Riley wants to do in Norman. Nothing has changed in the four months since his pledge. If anything, it’s only gotten stronger.
Favorite: None. OU seems to be done looking at a second quarterback. Initially it felt like there could be a second signal-caller for this class, but getting someone as highly touted as Kendall, has sort of eliminated the need and desire for a second quarterback.
Running back (1)
Favorite: Beaumont (Texas) Central’s Devwah Whaley. There is no doubt OU is making Whaley the No. 1 priority. Quarterback commit Austin Kendall is recruiting him. OU coaches Cale Gundy, Jay Boulware and Lincoln Riley are recruiting him. Coming off great visits to Norman in July and March, Cale Gundy essentially called Whaley the best running back in the nation on Twitter back in May, don’t think he says that unless he knows Whaley is OU-bound.
Next in line: McAllen (Texas) Memorial’s Trevor Speights. The one-time Arizona commit is back on the market, and it’s clear OU has interest. But it also seems pretty dang clear that interest is only if Whaley looks elsewhere. The time and effort being devoted to Whaley combined with OU’s confidence in where it stands probably means Speights will look at another school.
On the radar: None. Time to get realistic here. The Sooners are basically Whaley or bust, and there’s a great reason to believe that will work out. Nobody is in contention for this spot. All of OU’s camps and satellite camps didn’t feature any running backs where you thought an offer was possible. Sooners are locked in with Whaley.
Wide receiver (3-4)
Committed (2): Houston Spring Dekaney’s Adrian Hardy. The surprise commitment of the cycle to this point. Hardy had no other offers, but OU got in there nice and early. Following a great trip to Norman for junior day in March, Hardy went home and thought about it and committed less than 72 hours later. He has also been offered by Texas A&M but so far that has not mattered in his recruitment.
Tyler (Texas) Junior College’s Ryan Parker. Not known nationally at the time of his commitment, Parker certainly will be now. Could end up being a true steal for the Sooners for the one-time TCU commit coming out of high school. Still learning the game, but it didn’t take him long to jump on the OU offer. Made an unofficial visit to campus earlier this summer and everything points to him being 100 percent with Sooners.
Favorite: Dallas First Baptist Academy’s Camron Williams. The spots are filling up fast for OU at this position for this class, but these guys you know OU will still make an exception for. Williams was sensational at a satellite camp last summer and earned the OU offer. Williams hasn’t visited campus yet, but first-year coach Dennis Simmons is certainly trying to build that rapport. As time goes on, there’s some talk about Williams moving to linebacker but it’s still WR for OU. OU made his top seven.
Plano (Texas) East’s Adewale Omotosho. Audie was one of those recent OU offers at the satellite camp. Just earned four-star status by Scout and is definitely one to watch. You know OU is interested with the offer, and you look at his sheet and have to believe if the Sooners are that serious, they should be in contention until the end. The Sooners are in his top 10, but the key will be to finally get him on campus.
Next in line: Sachse (Texas) High’s Devin Duvernay. Here only because Duvernay doesn’t talk all too much about where he stands. It doesn’t feel like OU is legitimately in the hunt, but then again, who knows since you can’t get into his head.
Greenville (N.C.) Rose’s Cornell Powell. A Clemson commit since February, Powell released his list of official visits last week and the Sooners surprisingly made the cut. Another indication of the work Lincoln Riley has been doing for the Sooners on the trail.
On the radar: La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat’s Tyler Vaughns. All OU can really hang its hat on is the fact it made his top 11 way back when. Where it really stands? Not sure. And will the list really mean anything until he visits? Good question. Hangs around in this part of the wish list, but long ways from happening.
Tight end (0-1)
Favorite: None. Nobody even remotely on the radar right now here in the summer. All offered prospects are committed elsewhere and no real new interests have popped up. Going to be incredibly interesting to see how this develops. Perhaps a tight end spot ends up being another receiver, who just happens to have tight end size? Not sure any tight end can be found until prospects get a taste of what Lincoln Riley wants to do with the position at OU.
Next in line: Argyle (Texas) High’s J.C. Chalk. Committed to Clemson for a long time and has said he’s 100 percent with Tigers. But he made a sort of top-secret visit to OU last week and already has an offer from Sooners. Something to monitor going forward.
Interior linemen (2)
Committed (1): Harrah (Okla.) High’s Logan Roberson. The definition of why camps still matter. Roberson camped at OU’s elite camp and dominated, having the best day of his life in that sort of environment. Two days he was offered and was committed to OU. His size and strength make him perfect for what offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh loves in his guys.
Favorite: Dublin (Calif.) High’s Matthew Gutwald. He says he’s No. 1 on OU’s board in terms of interior linemen. Doesn’t have an offer yet but is originally from Oklahoma City and is developing a great bond with Bedenbaugh. An offer feels like it would be a game-changer but one that is not there just yet.
Next in line: Philadelphia Imhotep Institute’s JohnCarlo Valentin. A recent OU offer, Valentin’s profile has gone up immensely in last few months. Valentin has expressed a lot of interest in a trip to Norman but hasn’t quite made it just yet.
On the radar: None. Bedenbaugh seems very content to wait things out until senior film and then start to make moves. So hard to question Bedenbaugh after his success so far in Norman.
Offensive tackle (2)
Favorite: Oklahoma City John Marshall’s Tramonda Moore. A move from defense to offense has opened up the recruiting world to Moore. Dominant at OU’s elite camp, he earned the offer from the Sooners last week. But he also earned an offer from Oklahoma State and his uncle is former OSU star wide receiver/tight end Tracy Moore so it will be interesting to see where things go from here. Alabama, TCU and Georgia have also thrown their hat into the ring.
Next in line: Lackawanna (Pa.) CC’s Ashton Julious. Sooners were one of many major offers that happened in a span of a couple of weeks. But as he continues to make visits, OU has not yet been one of them. As other juco targets have gone off the board, seems pretty clear right now it’s down to Leavitt and Julious for that juco tackle spot.
Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer’s E.J. Price. The Sooners had never been mentioned at all by Price, but OU made the cut of his final eight last week. OU has been very active at the school so its presence is there, but the results so far have not been there.
On the radar: None, for now. Bedenbaugh will go back to work and find a high school offensive tackle, but it might be during the season once some fresh film is there to be evaluated. No reason to be concerned, though.
Special teams (0)
Committed: None. The only way OU dips into the special teams waters is if something happens with incoming freshman Austin Seibert. Either he gets a big injury or is unable to perform to his ability. That’s the only way OU even starts looking in this direction. Seibert is the kicker/punter of the future, and with scholarships being at a premium even more than usual for this class, can’t see anything developing right now and certainly not during the summer.