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.
Youngquist solid with Sooners
You knew it was bound to happen. Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos linebacker Bryce Youngquist is too good to simply not be talked about by other schools.
OU has survived the first punch of the fall, and what a big one it was as the four-star commit was offered by Ohio State earlier this week.
“Honestly, no, I didn’t see it coming at all,” Youngquist said. “They contacted me a couple of weeks ago, but I just thought it was like a regular contact. I didn’t know it would lead to an offer.”
Youngquist was offered on Monday night and had a chance to talk to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Tuesday. Despite Youngquist saying repeatedly he was 100 percent OU following the offer, the true test came Tuesday.
And despite what Meyer is selling, Youngquist did indeed turn down the Buckeyes head coach and told him he’s still 100 percent solid to Oklahoma.
“I told him I appreciate the offer, but I’m already committed to Oklahoma,” Youngquist said. “He said he would love if I would check out Ohio State, but I said I’m good where I am right now.”
Since committing July 31, it’s always going to be something to watch about whether or not Youngquist does take any other visits. He has been adamant that he won’t. Right now the only visit confirmed is his one to Norman next month.
Other schools will keep trying to get in there, but it sounds like Youngquist is going to be a man of his word throughout this process.
It didn’t hurt OU’s chances for this offer to come on the heels of one of the better OU comebacks in recent memory with the double overtime win at Tennessee.
“I’ve never seen a comeback like that,” Youngquist said. “It was an amazing game. The poise the whole team had in the fourth quarter and both of the overtimes was incredible.
“It’s a great win, and I’m pumped up. Even if they would have lost, I’d still be pumped up, but it was a lot of fun to watch.”
Youngquist is off to a great start to his senior season although it’s not been as great a start for his team. Los Osos got in the win column for the first time last weekend, and Youngquist said he is becoming more and more comfortable as a leader.
The visit to Norman won’t be for another month, but he said his relationship with the OU coaches is getting better every week.
“It’s tremendous,” Youngquist said. “Things are starting to really get better with the defensive coaches. I’m really starting to get to know them a lot more. I can’t wait to go back.”
Youngquist is OU’s highest-ranked linebacker commit so far for the 2016 class.
Wolford getting familiar with Norman
It has been a long time since Meeker (Okla.) High has been uttered in recruiting circles, but that’s the type of talent 2017 offensive lineman Adrian Wolford has.
He was first spotted at OU’s spring game when virtually nobody knew who he was. Following an impressive outing at OU’s summer camp, you knew he would be one to monitor going forward this year.
Wolford was back at OU two weeks ago for the season opener and said he had a great time returning to Norman.
“It was awesome,” Wolford said. “It was a lot of fun. Being down there like that makes me want to get there and be a part of it, too.”
Wolford said the offseason was focused on strength. He’s still 315 pounds, but he’s adding a lot more muscle to his frame. His max at bench was 280 pounds in the spring and is now at 325.
Wolford said earlier this week he hopes he can return to Norman for OU’s second home game as he is really happy with the relationship he is starting to build with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
“He shows a lot of interest and that’s really nice,” Wolford said. “You know he’s a great coach so I’d love to go back as many times as I can.”
Wolford is another pupil of former OU fullback J.D. Runnels. Runnels, of course, played a big role in the development of Harrah’s Logan Roberson, an OU offensive line commit for the 2016 class. Runnels knows how to teach the big boys so don’t be surprised if Wolford starts to emerge on the recruiting trail.
It’s already starting to happen to some extent as Wolford said he is receiving some interest from schools like Tulsa, Notre Dame and Arkansas. As of now, though, all eyes are on the Sooners as he said his best relationship is with Bedenbaugh.
Paul takes in Norman
First home game of the year worked out well for OU, especially with the 6 p.m. start time. Kids from out of state had enough time to make the trip to Norman, and one of those was Bremond (Texas) High athlete Roshauud Paul.
Paul, a 2017 prospect, was committed to TCU before decommitting last month, and he made his first trip to Owen Field for OU’s victory.
“I really liked it,” Paul said. “The coaching staff is wonderful. It was a great experience. I’m glad I finally got the chance.”
Paul said OU was actually among the first schools to recruit him back when he was a sophomore. After his commitment to TCU, things understandably died down, but things have picked right back up now that he’s back on the open market.
An offer didn’t happen on the visit. Initially disappointing for Paul, he is happy to know exactly where he stands.
“They see me as a slot receiver,” Paul said. “They said they would keep evaluating me and see how I might fit in the offense.”
Paul said that second part is key for him, too. One of the biggest things Paul is going to be looking at in his future school is how he fits in and what his role is going to be.
No doubt more schools are going to come into play as he’ll be heading to Texas A&M this weekend to watch the Aggies. Having already gone through this process once, he knows what he’s looking for this time around.
“I’m definitely looking at the major I want and how good it is at the different schools,” Paul said. “Going through this process, it showed me you got to take things slow and see what’s out there. I have to take my time and find the right fit.”
All-in with Spring Westfield
OU received some help with the 6 p.m. kick for Akron, but no favors this time around for the 11 a.m. start time against Tulsa.
It’s going to be tough for any out of state kids who played Friday night to get to Norman in time for the game itself.
But the stars have aligned as it pertains to Houston Spring Westfield four-star receiver Tyrie Cleveland and five-star teammate Ed Oliver. Both ranked in the Scout 100, neither should have an issue making it to Norman since Spring Westfield has a bye this weekend.
Oliver has been committed to Houston since the summer, but the Sooners have put on a big-time press to try to sway his decision. Still worth pointing out that OU was Oliver’s first offer following his freshman season.
Cleveland, on the other hand, has been a top priority for OU for months, going back to when he was committed to Texas A&M.
It still feels like OU has real work to do to get in the mix of things, but getting them to campus is a nice start. Being able to get him for the full 48 hours is also going to help matters. They won’t be rushed to try to get home.
OU is going all-in on landing one superstar four-star receiver for this class. There’s no doubt Cleveland is priority No. 1. After this weekend, we should get a much better idea of where OU stands with Cleveland in his pecking order.
And though the Sooners are far from being called the favorite with Oliver as it appears he would love to stay home, Diron Reynolds is going to give his best effort to see what he can do to change his mind.