Oklahoma doesn’t go into Alabama too often. The last time the Sooners did was for the 2014 class with defensive lineman Dwayne Orso-Bacchus.
But OU is back in a major way for the 2016 class because it sees a whole lot of potential in Saraland (Ala.) High wide receiver Velus Jones.
A three-star prospect, Jones remains committed to USC. However, coming off a fantastic official visit to OU, it could just be a matter of time.
“It was so amazing,” Jones said. “It was just fun all over the place. Everything is great about Oklahoma, you get all the love from everybody.”
Jones was hosted by freshman A.D. Miller. During the first part of the season, Miller played a small role in the Sooners offense. He has sort of faded out of sight during the last month, which made it interesting to hear he was the host.
Jones used that to his advantage. He said when he was able to get Miller alone, he asked the questions that he felt mattered. How does he really feel about Oklahoma?
“He said it was the best decision he’s made,” Jones said. “He said I’d be a big help on the offense. And as long as I stay on top of my schoolwork, everything would be just fine. I do that anyway so I felt good about that.”
Of course the unexpected positive with Jones is knowing he has an aunt and uncle 15 minutes away from campus. He stressed once again how great that makes him feel because he knows he would never 100 percent truly be lonely.
Jones said he understood about the stadium construction, but he’s excited about the facilities that will be there if he does pick OU. In his words, it will be “off the chart.”
He spent the majority of the game watching Sterling Shepard as it’s clear that’s the receiver he feels he resembles most. What he learned, though, was Shepard makes just as much plays without the ball as he does with it.
“I could really see the whole game and what kind of matchups there and things like that,” Jones said. “I can really see what’s going on. They give the ball to the playmakers.
“They’re ballers. They don’t slack, have good discipline. You can’t teach effort, and they went full speed with every play. No matter the play, you know, everybody has a role.”
One of the things that impressed Jones the most was head coach Bob Stoops. Or to be more specific, the natural outgoing and humble nature of Stoops really caught Jones by surprise.
“He’s an outstanding guy,” Jones said. “But he doesn’t take credit for everything. I was looking at all these trophies and bowl games, and all he could say was he didn’t do it by himself. He’s had great teams.”
Jones certainly enjoyed his trip, but he’s not done in this process. He’s heading to Michigan this week, followed by Tennessee the following week. Schools like Mississippi State and Cal are also still in the mix.
His plan was to go to OU to enjoy himself. He came away with a lot more than that.
“I can say this for you – it’s really, really looking good,” Jones said. “You’ll all have to wait. People will never know, but I’m starting to figure things out.”