Last week before signing day, OU looking for strong close

What you should be watching in the final week before signing day for OU.

All the dust is settled. Or as much as it can be with eight days remaining until signing day. For Oklahoma, it’s clear who is committed. It’s clear who is out of the picture. And it’s starting to become clear who remains as top targets.

The Sooners have welcomed three commits since Thursday, and it sounds like starting to get a better feel of exactly who will be visiting this weekend.

Names to be on the watch for include Tulsa (Okla.) McLain ATH Joshua Jacobs. The very definition of a late bloomer. Jacobs did it all for McLain as quarterback/best athlete on the team. He had 179 carries for 2,704 yards and 36 touchdowns this season.

He would be the pure definition of an athlete. Not a running back. Not a receiver. Somewhere along that fine line of “get the ball in his hands anyway you can.” Jacobs earned an offer from Purdue on Sunday and Missouri has shown constant interest, while Ohio State inquired Monday.

Staying in the state with Edmond (Okla.) Memorial kicker Braxton Pickard. A three-star kicker, Pickard announced Monday he will take an official visit to Norman this weekend. The question going forward will be whether or not OU has a scholarship for Pickard, or if he would have to accept a preferred walk-on spot.

The crown jewel of this weekend is no doubt Cibolo (Texas) Steele defensive end/linebacker Mark Jackson. He’s the one OU has circled for a long time although he remains technically still committed to Texas A&M.

The Aggies and Texas are both in this hunt. It’s not as easy to say if he visits Norman, he’s a Sooner. But it’s pretty easy to say that if he doesn’t, then there’s no chance.

OU is looking at a lot of hybrid defensive end/linebacker guys to fill out this class and another one would be Murray (Utah) High’s Maxs Tupai. After a recent visit to USC, some wondered if he would even make the trip to Norman. As of Tuesday, the visit is on for the Scout 300 prospect.

Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has not stopped working one bit and his hope is to bring in two offensive linemen for visits this weekend.

Detroit Cass Tech offensive guard Michael Onwenu has been pledged to Michigan for a while. As of Tuesday, though, he is expected to visit Norman.

The other one to watch is the more likely of the two with Washington D.C. Archbishop Carroll four-star offensive tackle Jauan Williams.

It doesn’t feel like OU needs more linemen to come visit, but you certainly don’t turn down guys like Onwenu or Williams if they want to make the trip. OU has turned up the pressure in a major way for Williams in last few weeks.

The other one to circle is Southlake Carroll (Texas) High four-star receiver Zach Farrar. Committed to Mississippi State on Thursday, his OU offer finally came Sunday afternoon. OU coaches are expected to visit with Farrar on Tuesday, which should decide whether or not he makes a visit this weekend.

If Farrar does make the visit, could be a countdown toward when the flip happens. Farrar has liked OU for a long time and visited nearly 12 months ago for OU’s first junior day.

One to monitor will be quarterback. With the news of Cody Thomas leaving football for the spring to focus on baseball, no idea if the Sooners try to find a last-minute signal-caller to join Austin Kendall. As of now, Kendall is the only scholarship quarterback eligible to play in 2016 if Baker Mayfield gets injured. Kyler Murray, of course, will be eligible for 2017 season.

So as expected, busy week ahead in Norman. Enjoy the controlled chaos. Will all be over (somewhat) next Wednesday.

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