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.
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. And after a great official visit two weeks ago, nothing to suggest OU’s not in the driver’s seat.
Next in line: New Orleans McDonogh 35’s Sci Martin. The tricky part here is trying to determine if he’s a defensive end or outside linebacker. Regardless, he’s a top target who has emerged following a great official visit to Norman last month. TCU and LSU are definitely schools to watch here, not a sure thing by any means.
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 but nothing has developed as of yet.
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 less than two months 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.
Houston Westside’s Jordan Elliott. Yet another defensive tackle from the state of Texas worth watching. Elliott said he’s going to visit OU for the TCU game, but there has been little-to-no discussion surround Elliott and the Sooners since he made that announcement less than two months ago. Michigan and Texas both appear to be in a good spot.
On the radar: None. OU is going for a home run with this one. If OU lands any of these four names, it will be a success. And really it would only take one of these names to be that home run.
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. Terry continues to take unofficial visits and said he’s bound to take an official some time, but he’s not really worried about that.
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. After a great official visit, OU fans can take a sigh of relief. He’s not going anywhere.
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. But with the success OU is seemingly having on the trail, will he still be there on signing day?
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 for this month.
Next in line: Coffeyville (Kan.) CC’s Tyree Horton. OU can be very picky about juco linebackers, but it’s obvious Horton would be a take if the Sooners can snag him. Originally from Florida, the Gators are the favorite for the one-time Florida State commit. However, the Sooners keep hanging around and hanging around, still time.
On the radar: 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 month. And now Juarez is back on the open market. 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. Expected to make his visit this weekend.
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): 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.
Pittsburg (Calif.) High’s Jordan Parker. The four-star prospect saw all he needed to see when he made his OU official visit last month. Parker is OU’s highest-ranked commit at the moment, and it’s very easy to see why. Always important to continue that Cali pipeline, and it seems like Parker’s personality rubs off with other top Cali recruits.
Favorite: Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge’s Baylen Buchanan. Perhaps the door has just been busted wide open for Buchanan, a soft Louisville commit. The surprising decommitment of Mo Chandler on Monday evening means there is definitely a spot available for whoever steps up to the plate to be that next man up.
Southlake Carroll (Texas) High’s Obi Eboh. Committed to Texas, but you can tell OU has not thrown in the towel with him just yet. The Sooners were his favorite for so long that it’s just tough, it seems, for OU to give up on this one at this point.
On the radar: None. You really haven’t seen Cooks attempt to get back out there with cornerbacks for the 2016 class. And no reason he needs to as he’s done his job for this group.
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: None. Nobody you can point to and say the Sooners are about to make a splash with as of right now.
Next in line: Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe’s Calvin Bundage. This could be the last month Bundage is in this list. After an official visit to Oregon, Ducks now have assumed control. His friendship with Del City quarterback Terry Wilson could no doubt play a factor, too. OU just doesn’t seem like a real threat as we get deeper and deeper into this process.
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. Sooners did everything right during his visit last month, just doesn’t feel like it will be enough.
On the radar: None. Safety not really a spot where OU is hurting so don’t be surprised if you don’t see a new name pop up in next three months.