Oklahoma was ready to strike on the recruiting trail following a quiet first week following the dead period that included having zero official visitors.
The Sooners did just that as OU was able to secure three commitments since Thursday, and also saw one of the stranger recruitments in recent memory come to a close.
Start with how OU’s class is currently at 16 commitments right now. New Orleans Easton Charter linebacker Pernell Jefferson is officially off the board, committing to Nebraska on Saturday night. Whether or not you think Jefferson was an OU pledge the last two months, technically his name was still there. Not anymore.
Euless (Texas) Trinity defensive tackle Chris Daniels decommitted from OU late Wednesday night. Because Bob Stoops has already done his in-home visit with the Scout 300 star, it seems unlikely the Sooners are able to make up ground and get him back into the fold. A lot of schools in this race for Daniels right now.
Tyler (Texas) JC wide receiver Ryan Parker is the No. 1-ranked juco receiver in the country, but right now OU has to go separate ways with him. The door is not shut with Parker, but he is not considered a part of the class as of Jan. 25.
With that out of the way, the good.
OU landed a major one Thursday afternoon in Lawrence (Kan.) High defensive end Amani Bledsoe. Ranked No. 185 in the Scout 100, most (including Sooners Illustrated) thought all the momentum had swung toward the hometown Jayhawks. Bledsoe’s relationship with defensive line coach Diron Reynolds sure feels like it was the difference.
OU attacked Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna Community College in a major way and now has three members for the 2016 class from the school. Of course Ashton Julious, ranked No. 47 in the Scout Juco 100, has already arrived in Norman and now two of his buddies are coming with him.
Linebacker Kapri Doucet, ranked No. 78 in the Scout Juco 100, committed Friday afternoon. Doucet, who is from Virginia, was expected to visit OU over the weekend but had to stay home because of Winter Storm Jonas. Doucet will make his official visit to campus this upcoming weekend.
Linebacker Emmanuel Beal, the one that has a lot of OU fans scratching their head, committed Sunday morning during his official visit. The hope was for Beal and Doucet to play together and that will 100 percent happen now. Only ranked a two-star, Beal is certainly coming in with a lot to prove and with that chip on his shoulder.
That recaps the commitment story. Now the Saraland (Ala.) High Velus Jones story.
Jones, a three-star receiver, flipped his commitment from USC to OU on Friday evening. It felt like the shot heard around Norman as OU coaches and former players were pretty dang excited about Jones joining the family.
Included in that was a nice passing of the torch tweet with Sterling Shepard, relinquishing No. 3 to Jones for the 2016 season.
But not so fast. After having some to think about it, Jones flipped back to the Trojans on Saturday afternoon and said his recruitment is finished.
Gone were the tweets by Jones of saying he’s a Sooner. Gone were the tweets from the OU coaching staff so excited about landing Jones.
Strange moment, but goes to show again just how tough some of these decisions are for high school kids to try to make them. Jones would have been a great fit for OU at a position of need for the class, but it is what it is.
The Sooners had to move on at that point. For everybody involved, a break was required. OU has with an offer to Southlake Carroll (Texas) High wide receiver Zach Farrar.
Farrar, a four-star prospect who committed to Mississippi State on Thursday, should have OU coaches visiting this week with the hope of getting him to Norman for an official visit this weekend.
Farrar is not a new name. He visited for junior day way back when, and the Sooners have been upfront and honest with him about where he stands for several months. The pieces are starting to fall into place, though, right now.
Other happenings from the week:
If OU is going to land Scout 100 prospects, it’s going to be from Sachse (Texas) High cornerback Jared Mayden and/or Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly.
We know when, but we don’t know what school. Coming off a great official visit to OU, Mayden announced he will pick between OU and Alabama at 8:15 a.m. CST on signing day.
Mayden, an OU legacy as his father played basketball for the Sooners, never seemed like a legit OU target until the last few weeks. Now? Seems like OU is pulling ahead of everybody.
Kelly, a five-star linebacker, announced he will decide 7:30 p.m. CST on signing day. An 11-hour difference, but OU fans will certainly feel it would be worth the wait.
OU is poised for another big visit weekend in the final weekend before signing day, and OU will also be hosting its first junior day Saturday.
No time to rest as Sooners look for furious close to 2016 class and continue fast start with 2017.