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 November. 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 has been battling injuries his senior season but has also filled out his financial aid papers for the Sooners. Set to be a mid-year enrollee.
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: McAllen (Texas) Memorial’s Trevor Speights. He seemed like a shoo-in to commit to the Sooners on his official visit but said he still wants to see A&M, Vanderbilt and Stanford. Will that mean anything going forward? Remains to be seen. OU basically put all its chips in with Speights in the last six weeks and his visit was no doubt a major success.
Next in line: Beaumont (Texas) Central’s Devwah Whaley. The clear OU favorite for months and months seems destined to head to Georgia. What happened between Whaley and OU not sure we will ever quite know, but both sides seem to be at peace with it, especially after a great visit to UGA for Whaley last month. Will he still take one more trip to Norman?
On the radar: Plano (Texas) High’s Brandon Stephens. Committed to Stanford, Stephens was offered by OU two months ago, which was the first sign things might not be copacetic with Whaley. He seems like a firm commit to the Cardinal, but he also hasn’t ruled out an official visit to OU. Speights is also looking hard at Stanford, for what it’s worth.
Wide receiver (2-3)
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. His senior season has been mixed so far but nothing to suggest he’s not firm with OU.
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 during the summer, made an official visit two weeks ago so all signs point toward Parker being a 100 percent locked in with OU.
Favorite: Goodman (Miss.) Holmes CC’s Dre Massey. Announced last week he’s taking an official visit to OU for the TCU game as well. A former East Carolina signee for 2014 class so you know he’s familiar with Lincoln Riley and vice versa. OU one of five visits Massey is looking to nail down before signing in December. Massey was officially offered Sunday evening.
Next in line: Houston Spring Westfield’s Tyrie Cleveland. The Scout 100 prospect visited OU back in September, and from all reports, the Sooners did everything right on that visit. The highlight was the birthday celebration. With Cleveland going quiet on the visit front, no way to fully gauge where things are at right now although OU will continue to push. The Sooners are in his top five, maybe his top three, but are they the choice?
Sachse (Texas) High’s Devin Duvernay. The Sooners are playing from behind in this one, but OU has absolutely taken its shot. The Sooners had Duvernay on campus a couple of weeks ago, his second visit to Norman. His brother is committed to Baylor, which doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a great sign for the Sooners, but they’ve definitely hit all the right marks.
Navasota (Texas) High’s Tren’Davian Dickson. Committed to Texas but no doubt intrigued by what the Sooners are doing with their offense and the way using the wide receiver position. Dickson and Duvernay have been OU’s targets for a long time, and it’s certainly a good sign to have had them both in Norman for official visits two weeks ago.
On the radar: Saraland (Ala.) High’s Velus Jones. A soft USC commit, the Sooners are going to make their charge. OU offered him Sunday, and it sounds like the Sooners believe he could be a difference maker. Way too early at this point to gauge where he’s at, but any offer this late in the game warrants mentioning.
Tight end (0-1)
Favorite: None. Can’t put Mustang (Okla.) High’s Blake Williams in this spot just yet. Getting closer and closer, though. Williams has made two trips to OU in the last month, and it feels like as long as his medical records check out, he’ll be a Sooner. One thing seems to be clear is OU is surging ahead of all the other schools keeping tabs on Williams.
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. Official visit set for this month.
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. As the months linger, will it ever come?
Next in line: Philadelphia Imhotep Institute’s JohnCarlo Valentin. Valentin’s profile has gone up immensely in last few months. Valentin loved his official visit to OU less than two months ago. The question is whether or not it will be enough with so many factors going against the Sooners for the high three-star recruit. Arizona State is absolutely the school to watch in the next couple of months.
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. It has felt like offers should be flowing from this spot, but you haven’t really seen it yet.
Offensive tackle (2)
Committed (1): Lackawanna (Pa.) CC’s Ashton Julious. The Sooners are on the board at tackle as Julious committed last week. He a two-for-two guy so there is no doubt some speculation about whether or not he’ll be a tackle or guard going forward. Bill Bedenbaugh did a great job of keeping in contact and then closing the deal on Julious’ visit.
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. OSU is making a strong, strong push, am
Next in line: The Trophy Club (Texas) Byron Nelson’s Kellen Diesch. Welcome back, Diesch. Former Arkansas commit was back in Norman two weeks ago for an official visit. Still tough to gauge his real interest in Sooners as seems like A&M is his likely destination. But OU certainly in the hunt.
Lewisville (Texas) Denzel Okafor. Hmm, we’ll see. Three months ago Okafor was pretty content saying he was down to TCU and Texas. Then next month he added he wants to make an official visit to OU. It’s a waiting game to see if that actually happens, and if it is more than just a token visit.
On the radar: None, for now. Bedenbaugh seems to putting a lot of eggs in unsure baskets. Still three months until signing day so things can change in a hurry but no clear-cut favorite as to where OU is going to find its answer.
Special teams (0)
Committed: None. The way Austin Seibert has risen to the challenge as a freshman means this is a dead issue for 2016 class.