Sooner Intel, Pt. II: OU news and nuggets

Part II of the Intel, looking at OU commits and targets for 2016-17 classes.

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.

Sylvie proud to be a Sooner

OU has been able to officially add two recruits to the 2016 class with four-star quarterback Austin Kendall and Shreveport (La.) Baptist safety Chanse Sylvie.

It was Sylvie who got the ball rolling for the Sooners back in July, becoming one of four commits to OU in a two-week span.

Since that time, Sylvie has been openly recruiting OU targets and has been delivering on the field during his senior season.

“All the muscle I’ve put on is where I feel the biggest difference,” Sylvie said. “I’m able to bring guys down with a lot more force and also reading the game better.”

Sylvie signed his financial aid agreement papers two weeks ago, meaning OU can talk to him as if he has signed his letter of intent even though the aid agreements are not binding so Sylvie is free to look at other schools if he so chooses.

Best guess is, though, he’s not going to elect to do something like that. Sylvie said he hasn’t second thoughts this entire process, namely because of the belief defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks has shown the entire time.

“He was one of the first coaches to truly see that potential in me,” Sylvie said. “He sees me as one of the best safeties in the class and sees a bright future for me. I can relate to him and how he does things, and I can ask him for help whenever I need it.”

Sylvie has had chances to watch OU games this season, and he has been impressed with the mentality of OU’s secondary this season. He said it’s a mentality of being great no matter what and brought up how well Dakota Austin did in replacing Zack Sanchez at cornerback the last three games.

Sylvie said he likes how Cooks is not afraid of playing different players and giving guys their opportunities to make something happen.

Despite the fact he’ll be arriving in January, Sylvie is excited to get one last look at Norman before he comes there for good. He said he will be one of many recruits taking his official visit next weekend when TCU comes to town.

He’s not looking to ask questions. He’s not wondering about his future. There’s only one thing he wants to see on his visit.

“Win, that’s it,” Sylvie said. “Beat TCU – that’s what I want to see.”

Sylvie said he is still talking to some recruits like Euless (Texas) Trinity defensive tackle Chris Daniels, but Sylvie changed his phone number so things sort of got a little hazy there. In fact, it started to scare Cooks because Sylvie said Cooks was unable to get in touch with him for several weeks.

“I had to let him know everything was OK,” Sylvie said. “I’ve always wanted to be a Sooner. There has never been a moment where I haven’t wanted that.”

Harris hoping for OU call

The offensive line depth in the state was nice for the 2016 class, and it sure feels like that will be the case once again for 2017.

One of those guys is Putnam City North offensive lineman Andre Harris, who has already made two visits to Norman during this season.

Harris was in Norman for OU’s win against Akron and then returned to Norman for the Sooners impressive win against Texas Tech. He has definitely liked what he has seen from OU this season.

“The main thing I’ve been looking at is the offensive line,” Harris said. “It’s the perfect offense. Our coach tries to run that kind of offense. Some of the stuff they do, we try to do. I love it.”

Harris was a name to monitor back in the spring but put himself more on the map with a good showing at OU’s summer camp back in June. Since then, it has just been a steady progression for Harris even if an offer is not quite there just yet.

“I’ve really worked on my strength,” Harris said. “Last year I could only bench around 260-270 pounds. This year I’m up to 325 now. That was my max but that was back in the summer so I don’t know how much I could do now.”

Unlike a majority of recruits, things didn’t exactly go well for PC North. The Panthers never had a real shot at making the playoffs, and Harris said it was a humbling season for PCN. As much as he’s happy about the recruiting attention, he would love to see PCN turn it around next season.

What he has noticed, though, is a major difference in his game. With more snaps has come a lot more intelligence.

“My IQ is where I would say I’ve made the biggest improvement,” Harris said. “I’m able to notice a lot of the blitzes that are coming. I can tell when a defensive end or defensive tackle wants to do something and react to it.”

Harris has been very busy on the trail, especially with in-state schools. He has visited Tulsa twice, OSU once to go with his two trips to OU. He’s visiting Iowa State this weekend and plans to be in Stillwater next weekend for Bedlam.

He said Tulsa and OU are showing the most interest right now. Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh routinely will send him stats about how well OU’s offensive line is doing following every game. Since Bedenbaugh can’t do too much in terms of contacting younger recruits, this has been a staple of his way of doing things for years.

Harris is 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds right now. He said college coaches haven’t said too much about his weight or about what position he would play at the next level. To him, right now it doesn’t matter between tackle and guard. He just wants the opportunity.

OU finds its juco linebacker?

Spent a lot of time this week trying to get in touch with Miami (Okla.) NEO A&M linebacker Chris Baccus. The three-star inside linebacker was back at OU last weekend, but he still hasn’t really opened up about how things went.

Baccus doesn’t seem like he’s in a great spot as a two-for-two guy with all the depth the Sooners are going to have at middle linebacker the next couple of years.

Although he grew up a huge OU fan with his dream being to play for the Sooners, it’s hard to imagine that happening with how linebacker recruiting is shaking out.

The one juco linebacker where things are looking fantastic right now is Highland (Kan.) CC four-star prospect Tyree Horton.

Originally committed to Florida State, Horton made an official visit to OU back in Septebmer and decommitted from the Seminoles a few weeks later.

A Miami product, most have been expecting Horton to back to the state and sign with Florida. However, in talking to multiple sources, it does seem as though OU has surged out in front with Horton.

It’s far from over, but the Sooners, and linebackers coach Tim Kish, seem to be doing everything right in terms of getting him to Norman. For what it’s worth, Horton will be in Waco this weekend on an official visit with Baylor to see the Sooners.

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