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.
Sooners make impression, play waiting game
Would love to have full, in-depth interviews with OU visitors Devin Duvernay (Sachse, Texas), Amani Bledsoe (Lawrence, Kan.) and Tren’Davian Dickson (Navasota, Texas), but not going to say have what actually don’t have.
Asked around with sources close to their recruitments on the OU side of things and on the player’s side of things and still feel like the Sooners are in great shape with Bledsoe.
This was his third trip to Norman and second in the last three months. A lot of credit has to be given to defensive line coach Diron Reynolds for not letting Bledsoe slip through the cracks.
Nobody expected a commitment from Bledsoe last weekend as he already has his visits planned. Up next is North Carolina State this weekend. The Wolfpack were among his very first offers and have been there from the start.
Sources said Bledsoe enjoyed what he saw from the defensive line and hard to argue as that felt like the best game from those guys this season and certainly in conference play.
OU was visit No. 2 and Bledsoe will see all of his schools but nothing that happened last weekend suggests OU is starting to slip.
Duvernay is a wild card because it feels like if his brother wasn’t in the equation, the Sooners would be in an even better spot than they are in.
Because they’re in a good spot, but you simply cannot ignore the fact his brother, Donovan, is committed to Baylor and that the Bears absolutely want Devin as much and even more than Donovan.
The plan is for Duvernay to take an in-season official visit to Baylor with perhaps LSU getting that fifth and final visit.
Dickson might actually be OU’s best chance at picking up a receiver among Duvernay, Dickson and Tyrie Cleveland.
Committed to Texas in the summer, you also cannot ignore Texas’ lack of a passing attack right now with Jerrod Heard or Tyrone Swoopes at quarterback. Even in the major upset win vs. OU, it wasn’t because the Longhorns found their passing game.
It clear, in talking to sources, there is real smoke to this one. Now Dickson has gone stone-cold silent toward the Texas staff so don’t expect to see some #OUDNA just yet, but the Sooners have put themselves in the hunt.
Dickson and Duvernay both made trips to OU for junior day and now both have made official visits so it’s clear the Lincoln Riley effect is working. Skill players are looking at this offense and a year with Baker Mayfield and salivating at the thought.
Add in the fact Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal are definitely gone (not sure about Dede Westbrook), and there are reasons for receiver recruits to look toward Norman.
As for Cleveland, nothing too new on that front. Tough to get a strong read on him, but it does feel that though Texas A&M has struggled offensively the last couple of weeks, the Aggies are sitting pretty to reclaim his commitment. But we are still three months away from signing day.
Wallace gets good feel of OU
Going to close out this week’s Intel with a look at a couple of major underclassmen targets for the Sooners, starting with 2017 For Worth (Texas) South Hills wide receiver Tylan Wallace.
Wallace, a Scout 300 prospect, was in Norman last weekend with his twin brother, Tracin Wallace, and no doubt liked what he saw from OU’s offense.
“It was a good game to go see,” Wallace said. “Their crowd and the atmosphere around there was pretty crazy. I liked it a lot.”
It has been outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons doing the heavy lifting right now with Wallace, who was offered by OU earlier this month.
There’s a reason for that, too. Wallace has 39 catches for 992 yards and 16 touchdowns this season as his profile has increased dramatically.
“We talk to each other almost every other day,” Wallace said. “The offer did kind of surprise me because I didn’t think it was going to come that early. It meant a lot because I know not a lot of people get early offers from OU.”
The Sooners are known for not making too many early offers so it’s true that when they do, it actually feels like it resonates quite a bit more than when some other schools do the same practice.
Wallace said he has made a lot of strides during his junior season, saying he can see everything better and is being able to read defenses more as the game continues to slow down for him.
He said it’s still too early to be talking favorites or anything like that. OU and SMU are the two schools showing the most interest as of right now. The $64,000 question is going to be whether or not Tylan and Tracin are a package deal.
Tracin is a dual-threat quarterback, but he tore his ACL during the first game this season. With OU already having its 2017 quarterback, no idea where Tracin fits into the grand scheme of things.
Tylan, to his credit, said the brothers are not necessarily a package deal. It would be ideal for them to play together, but he said if they had to separate, then they would if that’s what meant the best for the brothers.
What is clear is how strong OU is starting to look in Wallace’s eyes.
“I’m looking to see a good team that is well-coached,” Wallace said. “The more I see them, the more it’s making me look their way and learn more about them.”
Simpson enjoys OU trip
The Sooners got in there nice and early with 2018 Justin (Texas) Northwest offensive tackle Darrell Simpson. Saw him once in the summer and made the offer earlier this month.
Simpson returned to Norman to see OU’s performance last weekend, and once again it was the crowd that stood out the most.
“At other schools I’ve been, people sit down during the game,” Simpson said. “OU’s fans stand up the whole time. I loved it and how the fans reacted to everything they did.”
Simpson’s primary contact has been offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, and Simpson said he was able to talk to Bedenbaugh before and after the game. He said he’s excited to have an OU offer this early because he knows the potential the Sooners see in him now.
What was key was for OU to show Simpson it could run the ball. He said he had seen the Sooners have a lot of success through the air but wanted to see OU’s rushing attack. He obviously picked the right day as OU rushed for 405 yards in the win.
“This is a school that has a lot to offer,” Simpson said. “It’s not just about passing the ball here. It was a lot of fun.”
He said OU feels like a family and tries to keep in touch with Bedenbaugh as much as possible. His sophomore season is going well and Simpson said he’s 6-foot-7 (with shoes on) and 328 pounds.
The biggest difference in his game he said he is able to block for longer periods of time and hasn’t allowed one quarterback sack this season.
OU obviously isn’t alone in this pursuit as schools like Oklahoma State and Texas A&M have already offered and then TCU added its name to that list Monday evening.
Simpson said he is hoping to make a trip to Texas Tech later this season and said he is in absolutely no rush to make any sort of college decision.
“Right now all I’m looking for is a place to call family and seeing how the coaches treat the players and how fans react after winning and losing,” Simpson said.
Simpson is already a four-star prospect, according to Scout.