Sooner Intel, Pt. I: OU news and nuggets

Not a major visitors weekend, but OU bringing a few kids worth monitoring for rare night home game.

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.

Quiet weekend coming?

In the past, home games against schools like Iowa State and Kansas have generally meant commitment weekends are coming. OU has netted four commitments in the visits in the last two years with Isaac Ijalana and Dwayne Orso-Bacchus two years ago for Iowa State and Dede Westbrook and Will Johnson last year for Kansas.

This time around, though, don’t get your hopes up. Don’t be counting on that #OUDNA to happen. It could as we all know nothing is a guarantee in recruiting, but this doesn’t have that feel of a big-time weekend.

Two official visits are confirmed with Trinity Valley CC wide receiver Derrick Willies and New Orleans McDonogh 35 S/OLB Clifford Chattman. Other than that, some key unofficial visits but tough to pinpoint any one recruit as next likely to commit.

Trinity Valley CC WR Derrick Willies

Committed to Texas Tech since May, a lot of speculation going on regarding Willies. Texas Tech sources say they’re not 100 percent sure what his mindset is at this point, and Willies is somebody who is being known as being very elusive with the media. With his 6-foot-4 frame and speed, you understand why the Sooners are so interested. But OU also made two other receiver offers this week so no way of knowing where he stands right now in the pecking order.

New Orleans McDonogh 35 S/OLB Clifford Chattman

An LSU commit, Chattman was supposed to visit OU a couple of weeks ago but was unable to make that happen so he stayed home. With McDonogh 35 playing Thursday night, perfect opportunity for Chattman to make his OU visit this weekend. Two major questions, how in the world will OU be able to convince a Louisiana kid to decommit from LSU? And what position is he, an outside linebacker or a safety? This will be the third McDonogh 35 recruit to take an official to OU this season.

OKC John Marshall OT Tramonda Moore

A big unofficial visit is Moore’s second trip to Norman this season. No, don’t expect a commitment, but it’s a heck of a positive sign to have Moore in Norman when Oklahoma State is having a mega-showdown against Oklahoma State just up the road. It still feels like Moore is a legit Bedlam battle. The fact Moore RT’s everything thrown his way doesn’t really help you gauge much on social media. Now in the Scout 300, Moore is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state by Scout.

Miami (Okla.) NEO A&M LB Chris Baccus

Another intriguing unofficial visit here from the three-star junior college linebacker. Sooners Illustrated was incredibly impressed by what Baccus was able to do when seeing him live back in August. He’s the real deal, but does it make sense for both parties to have this happen? He is a two-for-two kid so without a redshirt year, it’s hard to imagine where he would fit in with Jordan Evans and Dominique Alexander still holding down the fort. Baccus said in September he would return to Norman to visit after his season, and that’s exactly what he’s doing now.

Hunt for No. 3?

It had to happen sometime, right? It was obvious the Sooners just hadn’t made enough of a splash with the three Scout 100 wide receivers in Houston Spring Westfield’s Tyrie Cleveland, Sachse (Texas) High’s Devin Duvernay and Navasota (Texas) High’s Tren’Davian Dickson.

Cleveland seems destined to re-commit to Texas A&M. All signs point toward Duvernay following his twin brother, Donovan, to Baylor and Dickson is still committed to Texas as of now.

But the Sooners desperately want a third receiver to fill out this class to go with Adrian Hardy and junior college stud Ryan Parker.

And OU went on the offensive Sunday with three offers, two in the junior college ranks and one to a USC commitment.

The Sooners are guaranteed to lose Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal. The lingering question is going to be about Dede Westbrook. His intention was to play one year and then move to the NFL to support his family.

Westbrook has been good but not so spectacular that the NFL is waiting for him right now. We’ll see what he does going forward, but this next month is crucial for him in every aspect of his game.

If Westbrook stays, that’s at least one reliable option. Where are the other ones going to come from? Between Jeffery Mead, Dahu Green, A.D. Miller, Dallis Todd – who will emerge? Among Jarvis Baxter, Michiah Quick and John Humphrey – who will step up?

Valid questions so the Sooners need another receiver to try to make a difference and the criteria here seems to be a simple one. Speed. It’s time to start stretching out defenses as nobody outside of Shepard has really been able to do that for the Sooners this season.

Saraland (Ala.) High WR Velus Jones

Committed to USC, but no doubt the coaching uncertainty there is giving him pause. The issue here is a lot of SEC powers are starting to take notice as well and want to flip Jones. In exchanging messages, it seems like Jones definitely wants to visit OU right now. Will it happen? That’s what we’ll have to wait and find out about. And is the fact he’s a high school recruit instead of a juco prospect play a factor at all going forward?

Trinity Valley CC WR Derrick Willies

Mentioned him already when discussing the visitors, but he’s an interesting case just because of all the uncertainty that seems to be following him.

Goodman (Miss.) Holmes WR Dre Massey

You want your betting favorite right now? It’s Massey. Originally signed with East Carolina for the 2014 class so you know Massey is 100 percent familiar with the Air Raid and with Lincoln Riley. Massey announced last week he was taking an OU official visit in two weeks for TCU, and then things got interesting in a hurry when he announced Sunday he was finally offered by the Sooners. He’s headed to Alabama this weekend, but he’s the one to circle right now in terms of OU finding that third receiver for the class.

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