Sooner Intel, Pt. I: OU news and nuggets

Part I of Intel, focusing on two major OU targets for 2016 class.

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.

Moore returning to OU next weekend

It felt like a guarantee that last weekend wasn’t going to be a big one in recruiting for the Sooners. OU had just two official visitors and the big-time game was happening just up the road in Stillwater with Oklahoma State and TCU.

The Sooners, however, were supposed to have one major unofficial visitor on hand in OKC John Marshall offensive tackle Tramonda Moore. Now ranked in the Scout 150 and the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state, it appeared like a pretty big deal to have Moore on campus.

Except he didn’t make it. Moore said he was unable to come to Norman last week but should be one of many, many top visitors in attendance for next weekend’s showdown against TCU.

Moore hasn’t released a final list of school, but it feels like there are seven to watch at this moment. The most intriguing continues to be Missouri since the Tigers are the lone school to be eyeing Moore on the defensive line.

With state high school playoffs beginning this weekend, don’t expect an official visit from Moore until after his season is officially in the books.

“It has been sort of difficult to balance it all,” Moore said. “I’ve been talking to people and their advice has been to calm down because this is supposed to be the best time in your life. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to finish my season and not rush into anything.”

The attention will once again be on Moore next week as well as the four-star tackle will receive his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey.

And though schools like Alabama and TCU are in this hunt, it could become a Bedlam battle when it’s all said and done between OU and Oklahoma State.

The Sooners ace in the hole remains offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

“I was able to go down there in the summer and going to practice and just love the way he coaches,” Moore said. “He doesn’t have favorites. I was kicking it around with Orlando Brown. There’s no playing around with Coach Bedenbaugh. He’s going to play the best.”

The issue, of course, for any prospective tackle right now is taking a look at the depth chart. With Brown on the left side and Dru Samia on the right side, it feels like the tackle spots are locked up for the next few seasons.

Bedenbaugh has tried to stress to Moore a couple of things, namely that no matter where he goes, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to earn a spot so competition shouldn’t be a concern.

Also, a spot is there for him. Guaranteed.

“He told me he has a spot for me,” Moore said. “Their linemen being so young, I wasn’t sure. But he said they definitely have a spot for me.”

Moore said he’s looking for the chemistry with the coaches and the position coaches. He wants to have a good relationship with the coaches and hear what players say about the coaches. As much as he would love to see a game day atmosphere, again, he’s not rushing anything when it comes to official visits.

He’s got one thing on his mind right now, winning the gold ball.

“I’m the leader of the team, and it has all been about improving my game,” Moore said. “My skills have been there. This year has become more about being a leader, and I think I’ve been doing a good job.”

Massey ready to reconnect with Riley

OU set its sights high for another receiver commitment, and it just doesn’t feel like the Sooners will pull it off with the trio of Scout 100 receivers.

So the Sooners went back to work and back to the film and offered three receivers in one day in hopes of landing the next big thing.

One of those guys is Goodman (Miss.) Holmes CC receiver Dre Massey. Originally an East Carolina signee for the 2014 class, his academic standing forced him to go the juco route. But with that ECU connection no doubt comes a deep relationship with Lincoln Riley.

“I had started talking to them a few times before the offer so I thought it might be coming,” Massey said. “I started hearing more from Lincoln Riley.”

It’s going to be one heck of a busy month for Massey, who has only made one official visit to Cincinnati but will also be a mid-year enrollee.

On his plate in the next three weeks will be visits to OU, Florida and South Carolina. Massey admitted the Gamecocks were in the lead initially, but with all the uncertainty regarding the coaching positions there, he’s wide open.

Massey is not the biggest receiver out there, but he knows full well what he brings to the table.

“My speed and explosiveness,” Massey said. “Being in juco has helped me with my strength and knowledge of the game. I understand things a lot better, but I’m a very exciting player. That’s how I’ve always been.”

Massey is a three-for-two guy so he does have a redshirt year on the table to go with his two years of eligibility. Knowing how the OU receiving depth chart should open up following this season is definitely something for Massey to consider.

Not familiar too much with OU, this is obviously where his relationship with Riley might be able to sway things in OU’s favor.

“Our relationship goes way back to high school when he came to see me and my mom,” Massey said. “I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s known my mom for a long time. He’s a real cool dude with a great understanding of everything and knows how to run the offense and play the best players.”

Massey wasn’t sure if Riley would look his way again after Riley left ECU for OU back in January, but he was hopeful.

Juco gave Massey a second chance, and he said it had to start in the classroom. That’s where the light bulb had to come on. It did, and now Massey is ready to make a difference. These visits, he said, should help him sort everything out.

“It will give me a chance to see who’s real and who means what they say,” Massey said. “I want to see how they’re going to use me and stuff like that.”

His plan is definitely to see all the schools in his list. But he didn’t rule out committing at any school on the spot if the feeling is right. He said there’s a slight chance of it happening. He’s signing in mid-December so he’s ready to start figuring things out.

Massey announced a top three of Florida, South Carolina and OU on Thursday evening.


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