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.
Westbrook stresses tradition to Massey
OU seemingly did everything right when it came to the monster recruiting weekend. From having top targets with top commits, everything came together.
Including who to host. Whether it was Quinn Mittermeier with Ben Powers or Steven Parker with Chanse Sylvie, the choices had you nodding your head in approval.
Another one of those was junior college wide receiver Dre Massey with former juco product and now OU receiver Dede Westbrook.
Westbrook was hosted by Sterling Shepard on his visit last year, now it was his turn.
“It was a lot of fun,” Westbrook said. “Dre is a really cool guy and has some of the same characteristics I have. It’s crazy how somebody from South Carolina can come from there and come here and be like the splitting image of you.”
Massey is a rather recent offer for OU, offered in the last month. A lot of that stems from his relationship with Lincoln Riley since he did sign with East Carolina for the 2014 class when Riley was with the Pirates.
It’s one thing to hear it from a coach, and even though you respect them, but it’s a lot different to hear it from a player.
When it came to hosting Massey, Westbrook said he knew exactly what he was looking to stress with someone who is in the same shoes he was in last year.
“The tradition,” Westbrook said. “I told him if he wants to be a part of a winning program and wants to win conference championships, national championships – this is where you need to be. “If you want to be at a program where the coaches push you to be a championship player, this is the place.”
OU certainly made up ground in the race for Massey as he had a top three of Florida, South Carolina and OU heading into the visit.
When asked what OU moving up meant, he said the Sooners definitely made a difference. Suggested it was a 1a. and 1b. type of thing, and Massey laughed.
“Yea, it’s definitely something like that,” Massey said.
Following the trip to Florida, don’t be surprised to see Massey commit within the next week. No other schools are in play, and he’ll know exactly what he needs to know from the other schools.
Jones with major compliment from Stoops
Massey, of course, wasn’t the only receiver target on campus last weekend. Saraland (Ala.) High receiver Velus Jones was also in Norman for his first look at Oklahoma.
Jones, a three-star prospect still technically committed to USC, seems like he’ll head elsewhere. And OU and head coach Bob Stoops gave him a reason to smile and think the Sooners could be his destination.
“Knowing the fact Coach Stoops said it himself saying there’s no doubt I can come in and make a difference means a lot,” Jones said.
Jones has been targeted by the offensive coaching staff in the last month, and OU did everything but get the commitment from Jones after a fantastic visit.
It surprised Jones just how much he really enjoyed the visit. Because he went in thinking it was a nice free ride and left seriously contemplating being a Sooner.
One huge reason for that is offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.
“That’s my man,” Jones said. “I know if I come there, we’re going to have a real good time.”
Jones has shot up the OU target board. And once upon a time it felt like OU was just going to take one more receiver. But as things are starting to shake out, it doesn’t feel like a first-come, first-serve issue with Jones and Massey.
The line of thinking now is OU is going to take both. If Jones is coming along for the ride, then he’ll need to connect with quarterback commit Austin Kendall. That happened 100 percent on the visit.
“We became like best friends,” Jones said. “We had a fantastic time. I really liked getting to know him during the visit.”
No commitment, though, means this door is still open. Jones is headed toward Michigan this weekend and Tennessee. A couple of schools that really know how to recruit so it’s not a slam dunk Jones ends up a Sooner.
OU did everything right, but sometimes that feeling goes away. OU has made it clear how much it wants Jones and how much it helps to have an aunt/uncle 15 minutes away. But, in the end, it’s up to Jones and whether or not OU can survive playing the waiting game.