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 October. 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.
Defensive end (1-2)
Favorite: Lawrence (Kan.) High’s Amani Bledsoe. The Sooners are in this one in a major way. Made his top 10, made his top six and able to get him back to campus for fall camp practices. The key has been developing that relationship with Diron Reynolds, and it sounds like it’s happening. He’s no longer Jerry Montgomery’s kid – he’s a Reynolds guy now.
Next in line: Allen (Texas) High’s Levi Onwuzurike. OU’s most recent offer at the position, he seems to be the definition of the late bloomer for the Sooners. He already had a lot of quality offers, but the Sooners needed to see early season production before jumping in with both feet. OU has a strong tradition at Allen so we shall see.
On the radar: None. As of now, just don’t see a legitimate candidate out there. The burden is eased with the arrival of Austin Roberts. There are unoffered guys who could jump in here real quick if Reynolds decides to make the offer (Teton Saltes, Noah Jones). Will be interesting to see who Reynolds eyes during the season.
Defensive tackle (1-2)
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. He is the chosen one on the defensive line.
Next in line: Duncanville (Texas) High’s Marcel Southall. The secret is out on Southall, and luckily for OU, the Sooners were among the first schools to get in there. Southall made a trip to Norman this summer, and OU should be in the hunt going forward. The next step would be obviously getting that official visit locked down.
Houston Westfield’s Ed Oliver. OU took its best shot with the five-star Houston commit, hosting him two weeks ago. Was it enough? No way of knowing with Oliver saying he is not conducting any interviews during his senior season. OU was his first offer way back when, just no idea if it will lead to anything more than that.
On the radar: None. OU is going for a home run with this one. If OU lands any of these three names, it will be a success.
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. Huge addition for the Sooners after it had looked like Oregon was in the lead for several months. Key thing is the four-star prospect said he is not going to make any other official visits. Big get at a position of need and helps continue to build that Cali pipeline.
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 made it official in August to give OU three quality commits heading into the season.
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. His official visit is set with OU coming in November.
Next in line: Manvel (Texas) High’s Jordan Carmouche. OU made a very nice impression on Carmouche at junior day in March. After months of no real signs, Carmouche announced recently OU will be one of four guaranteed official visits. The stars seem to be aligning for this one right now although Stanford’s recent offer is one to watch. He will visit TCU weekend. Arkansas and Missouri are popular choices.
On the radar:
Houston Alief Elsik’s Dontavious Jackson. OU is slipping, and it will be very interesting to see what the Sooners are able to do (if anything) to turn the tide in this one. OU has some quality connections with Tim Kish and Obo, and though OU made his top 12, sure feels like it’s on the outside looking in right now.
Torrance (Calif.) High’s Mique Juarez. Committed to USC for months, but it was linebackers coach Tim Kish who was watching Juarez in action last weekend. There have been rumblings with OU and Juarez for months, but it’s so hard to judge how much is just fun with social media and how much is actual legit interest.
Miami (Okla.) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M’s Chris Baccus. Taking a chance here. Baccus wants to be a Sooner. It feels like if the offer comes, he would be locked up. After seeing him in person, Sooners Illustrated is 100 percent convinced he’s the real deal. Still might not get the offer, but he’s played his way into the conversation.
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. Made the call in June.
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. Talented, versatile threat.
Favorite: Pittsburg (Calif.) High’s Jordan Parker. The four-star prospect is set to finally see the Sooners this weekend. He has already set his commitment date of Nov. 1, and OU seems to be in the driver’s seat heading into the visit. The Sooners want one more cornerback for this class. It could be Parker or it could be…
Next in line:Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge’s Baylen Buchanan. Or it could be Buchanan, the soft Louisville commit. Buchanan is also expected to visit OU this weekend with Parker so it does feel like things will simply work themselves out in that regard. Either would be a big-time addition to the secondary and what Kerry Cooks has done.
On the radar: None. You really haven’t seen Cooks attempt to get back out there with cornerbacks for the 2016 class. It’s an indicator he’s content with what he’s got, especially if Parker and Buchanan both end up making the trip this weekend.
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. Has become most active recruiter for OU.
Favorite: 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 this weekend, and he is one of the only safety targets OU would accept at this point.
Next in line: 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. This saga gets more interesting each month. And who knows if he’s a safety or linebacker at the next level? A lot of questions, especially with OSU looking like the favorite.
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 this weekend, but boy is it tough to imagine the Sooners making a dent in this one.
On the radar: None. Going to say no and goodbye to a couple of state of Texas defensive backs in Demarkus Acy and Chris Brown. Although OU is still technically in their respective lists, just not seeing it happen for either of them.