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 September. 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. Ever since Kendall committed in April, it has felt like he’s all-in on being a Sooner. Kendall has been very active on the recruiting trail, trying to help the Sooners. Kendall is off to a great start to his senior season and is set to be a mid-year enrollee at OU.
Favorite: None. OU is not 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.
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. Had a five-touchdown outing to begin his senior season.
Tyler (Texas) Junior College’s Ryan Parker. Not known nationally at the time of his commitment, Parker is 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 Sooners seem to be wanting one more big-bodied receiver, and Williams fits that description perfectly. OU made his top seven last month, but the key will be to getting him on campus. Williams has been on OU’s radar for a long time.
Next in line: Sachse (Texas) High’s Devin Duvernay. The Sooners are playing from behind in this one, but they’re in it. Recently made Duvernay’s top 10, and it feels like OU should get that second visit. Issue could become whether or not OU offers his brother, and you know Sooners won’t do that unless they feel he is worthy.
Plano (Texas) East’s Adewale Omotosho. Audie was one of those recent OU offers at the satellite camp and is now a four-star recruit. The Sooners made his top 10 during the summer, but he’s going to have to show another sign to prove his interest. Without having taken a trip to Norman just yet, still a ways away from this one happening.
On the radar: Houston Spring Westfield’s Tyrie Cleveland. His recruitment just keeps slowly chugging along for the Sooners. OU offered him way back when he was committed to A&M. The Sooners keep making his cuts, and he has confirmed he will take an official visit to Norman this season. Will it be enough to land the Scout 100 star?
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. Names like J.C. Chalk and Blake Williams are worth keeping tabs on this season.
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. He is tentatively scheduled to make his trip to OU this weekend.
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. OU got in there first, and that might matter more than you think. A who’s who in college football has offered Moore since June so this race won’t be easy. Although traditional powers are knocking on his door, don’t be surprised if this is a pure Bedlam battle between the Sooners and the Cowboys.
Next in line: Lackawanna (Pa.) CC’s Ashton Julious. Bedenbaugh’s efforts made it seem pretty clear he wants one junior college linemen for this class. Julious could be that guy. The school to watch is definitely South Carolina. He has the offer and is from the area. His OU visit is set for late October.
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 month. OU has been very active at the school so its presence is there, but the results so far have not been there.
Lewisville (Texas) Denzel Okafor. Hmm, we’ll see. Last month Okafor was pretty content saying he was down to TCU and Texas. Later in the month he added he wants to make an official visit to OU. It’s a waiting game to see if that actually happens.
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 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.