OU's defensive 'wish list'

Halfway through the cycle and OU's class starting to come a lot more into focus, especially on defense.

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.

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 hasn’t been too vocal and hasn’t really let his intentions be known more, but OU has made his top 10, and he was at OU's practice Monday.

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 summer. 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. Other OU recruits are trying hard to get Daniels as well.

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. After a period of being quiet, Southall jumps in the mix more following a trip to OU last weekend.

Houston Westfield’s Ed Oliver. Say wha? Indeed. The five-star prospect committed to Houston is getting the full-court press from the Sooners right now. OU is trying really hard to convince him to head to Norman for an official visit. It has been a long time, but Oliver’s first offer was actually from OU following his freshman season. One to watch, for sure, going forward.

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 (4-5)

Committed (3): 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.

Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos’ Bryce Youngquist. The biggest addition of #OUDNA in the month as the four-star prospect surprised some by picking OU instead of Oregon. The Ducks led for several months before one visit to Norman three weeks ago changed the landscape of everything. A major get for the Sooners.

New Orleans Easton Charter’s Pernell Jefferson. Sooners go back to Warren Easton Charter to find a linebacker for the second straight class. Jefferson seemed like OU’s to lose ever since his offer and initial visit back in February. After months of being on the fence, Jefferson finally pulled the trigger on Monday afternoon to give the Sooners a stout trio of linebackers so far.

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, but OU still seems to be comfortably in the lead.

Next in line: 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. He was not active on the trail this summer.

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 despite making the top 10.

On the radar: Manvel (Texas) High’s Jordan Carmouche. OU made a very nice impression on Carmouche at junior day in March. 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. Expected to name his five official visits very soon.

Cornerback (1-2)

Committed (2): 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.

Waco (Texas) La Vega’s Parrish Cobb. OU was bound to get a four-star cornerback from the state of Texas, the only question of who would it be? Cobb visited Norman back in March, and it was clear Kerry Cooks had made a huge impression on him. One more trip to OU in August sealed the deal as he announced his commitment at Meet the Sooners Day.

Favorite: Southlake Carroll (Texas) High’s Obi Eboh. Did Eboh wait too long? Seriously there is no way to answer this question just yet. It seems head-scratching that OU could pass up on a Scout 300 talent like Eboh, but it might end up having to if the class goes the way OU coaches are hoping. Keeping the lines of communication open and honest will be key from this point forward.

Next in line:Pittsburg (Calif.) High’s Jordan Parker. The four-star prospect unexpectedly decommitted from UCLA last month with the prevailing thought being the Sooners might be able to come in there and swoop him up. He has already confirmed an official visit to Norman in the fall so that’s a start.

On the radar: None. There are other names like Baylen Buchanan out there, but OU is only taking (most likely) one more corner and might not even take that since two are already on the board.

Safety (1-2)

Committed (1): Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist’s Chanse Sylvie. Got OU back on the commitment board July 30 and the first major high school prospect reeled in by Kerry Cooks. Visited OU twice for both junior days but looked like OU was slipping. As of now, has no intentions at all of visiting any other school this fall.

Favorite: 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 Bundage is content to wait, and it might be too long for OU’s liking in the end.

Next in line:

Brentwood (Calif.) Liberty’s Shurod Thompson. The Sooners are looking to pull off the double with Thompson and Jordan Parker. Best of friends, they could end up being a package deal and both end up in Norman. He has already set up an official visit for OU this fall but abruptly announced he’s no longer visiting late late Monday night. We’ll see if him and Parker decide to go elsewhere.

Elk Grove (Calif.) High’s Lamar Jackson. OU made his top 10 one week and made his official visit cut the next one. Another case of the Sooners putting in the work in California and at least giving themselves a puncher’s chance. His visit is set for October.

Dallas Wilmer-Hutchins' Demarkus Acy. Another prospect where it feels like next month he won't be on there because his choice will have been made. Still feels like it's either OU or Texas, but it still feels like the Longhorns are out in front.

On the radar: 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 already set up his OU official visit for the fall so that’s a start, but this is going to be one heck of a tough one to win.

Houston Alief Elsik’s Chris Brown. OU made his top seven last weekend, but it still doesn’t feel like the Sooners are really one of his top choices. He has yet to visit the campus, and Texas seems like the clear school to watch right now.


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