Sooner Intel, Pt. II: News and nuggets

Big week for the Sooners on the trail, breaking it all down.

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.

Chandler, Baccus off to great start

OU’s season kicks off this weekend, but the junior college season has already begun. Sooners Illustrated had a chance to see Miami (Okla.) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M last weekend and a couple of major OU targets in cornerback commitment Maurice Chandler and linebacker Chris Baccus.

Chandler, committed to OU since June, was playing in his first game in more than a year and said he definitely felt a little rust out there as he’s trying to get back into the groove.

As his game has evolved, he’s noticed he needs to go back and work on things where he used to be so good at doing.

“My man-technique is getting a little sloppy,” Chandler said. “I’m a lot more physical now, but I have to work on my man-technique and clean that up.”

Chandler said he is very excited about taking the official visit to OU this weekend as everything sort of fell into place. NEO played its second game Thursday, allowing him the opportunity to make it to Norman for a full weekend.

The man leading the charge for Chandler is first-year defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks. Even before the commitment, the relationship was a big one. It’s gotten even better since.

“I talk to Coach Cooks in some way every day,” Chandler said. “I love his style of coaching and the way he makes you feel. His attitude is great, and it’s that attitude that rubs off on his players. I can’t wait to get down there.”

Chandler went on his first visit to Norman of the year with Baccus, and it will be interesting to see if Baccus makes the trip back to Norman this weekend as well.

Baccus was the unquestioned star of the night last weekend. When it was all said and done, he was credited with 17 tackles, 15 of those being of the solo variety.

No stat padding there, Baccus was legitimately all over the field. What impressed most was his ability to hit through the opposition. Once he made contact, it was over with. He wasn’t dragged a few yards or anything like that.

Baccus said he still loves OU, but he remains open to other schools. With offers from Nebraska and Arizona State, among others, expect his interest to increase dramatically this season.

He said he’s starting to hear from Texas A&M and Florida State. With more performances like he had Saturday, it wouldn’t shock anybody for more high profile schools to jump into the mix.

It still feels like if OU offers, the Sooners have him wrapped up. But no idea what direction OU is going at linebacker with the rest of the class. What he showed more than anything last weekend was that he deserves to be in that mix as a legitimate target.

Week in review

After a couple of rather dull weeks in recruiting, safe to say recruiting returned with a bang this week for the Sooners.

The biggest piece of the puzzle is Southlake Carroll (Texas) High cornerback Obi Eboh. Thought to be a guaranteed OU lock last month, things are a whole lot more complicated now.

Eboh has always been looking for that perfect blend of academics and athletics. It’s why Duke hung around for so long during his recruitment. The dream still seems to be Stanford, but the Cardinal have yet to offer.

So it feels like a good ol’ fashioned showdown between the Red River Rivals in OU and Texas. All signs are pointing toward Austin right now.

The interesting thing is that reports have been out there consistently about Eboh wanting to commit sooner than later. Some thought he would do it on the OU visit last month. Some thought it would happen last week after SLC’s first game.

Now some are saying he’s going to commit after SLC’s game vs. Tulsa Union on Friday night. Sooners Illustrated will be there if anything happens.

The other interesting part to that story is the fact OU’s coaches will be there en masse to watch top targets for both schools. Imagine the scene if Eboh commits to Texas in front of OU coaches? That would be something.

No idea how it’s going to shake out, done speculating, but it feels like OU might be on the outside looking in right now.

If so, the door is busted wide open for Pittsburg (Calif.) High cornerback Jordan Parker. A four-star Scout 300 prospect, Parker announced his commitment date will be Nov. 1.

So there ya go. Before that, he has trips to Arizona State, Tennessee, OU and UCLA (the weekend of his decision). Parker was once committed to the Bruins before unexpectedly backing out in July.

The thought had been Parker and Shurod Thompson would be a package deal heading to Norman, but OU pulled out from Thompson a few weeks ago.

The Sooners are still all-in with Parker. If the package deal is legit, Arizona State is the school to watch. If Parker doesn’t care so much about that, OU seems to be the favorite before the visits.

How that will change after is anybody’s guess. Nov. 1 is a Sunday so Parker sounds like he’ll make his announcement once he gets home from UCLA that weekend was the initial thought. Parker threw another curveball to the scenario by announcing late Thursday night he has canceled the UCLA visit.

And finally Euless (Texas) Trinity defensive tackle Chris Daniels, fresh off of Trinity upsetting the No. 1-ranked school in the nation last week, announced he’s releasing his top five Friday.

OU should make this cut, but who knows? Always thought OU would make the cut for Xavier Kelly, too. Daniels has visited OU twice and once with his family so it feels like the Sooners are in the mix.

Big issue, both good and bad, is that Daniels and his father toured the country this summer and visited all the big-time schools they needed to see.

That’s good because if OU makes this top five, then you know it’s legit. It’s bad because it could be the reason OU doesn’t make his top five.

Either way, he has been a major, major priority for first-year defensive line coach Diron Reynolds. A commitment won’t happen anytime soon, but it would be a huge step in the right direction if OU is in that final five Friday.


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