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.
It hasn’t been difficult for Oklahoma to get top prospects to visit the campus this spring. With practice officially resuming this week, the Sooners hosted some prime talent.
Tulsa (Okla.) Memorial DE/OLB Isaiah Thomas
Thomas appears to be the next major target for the Sooners within the state. Media was granted access toward the end of practice, and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux spent the entire time with Thomas and his family. And when Thibodeaux was asked to do interviews, it was Kerry Cooks doing the heavy lifting with the family. It still feels like Thomas will make more visits going forward, but OU is sitting pretty and most likely going to get another visit next month.
Hendersonville (Tenn). Beech ILB Jacob Phillips
Spring is always a chance to get players from out of the region to visit because of spring break and things of that nature. Phillips is the latest in that mold. Currently ranked a three-star prospect by Scout, Phillips is one to watch going forward in terms of his ranking profile. OU still remains thin at inside linebacker so Phillips will remain in contention although OU is also in good standing with other linebackers.
Sugarcreek (Ohio) Garaway OL Joel Honigford
You hate to make it sound so simplistic, but it’s really down to what Ohio State does going forward in terms of where Honigford will land. If the Buckeyes make the offer, consider it a done deal. If not, OU has a shot. There are other schools in the region where the mutual interest is certainly there, but the Sooners did a great job of making their case this week.
Vista Murrieta (Calif.) High OL Chuck Filiaga
All the Cali attention has been on Grant Calcaterra, but Filiaga has been a name OU has been wanting to see on campus for a while. Another Scout 300 prospect, the Sooners put their best foot forward with Filiaga although it will be a tough battle ahead.
Fayetteville (Ark.) High DL Akial Byers
At least OU got a visit. Byers is from the heart of Hog country and Arkansas has been eyeing him for a long time. Getting him on campus is nice, but it will take more than one visit before can start to be optimistic.
So that’s in the past in terms of who showed up for the 2017 class. This weekend, though, even more top names are coming to campus.
With a scrimmage expected Saturday, OU is bringing quite a few top recruits to get a chance to check everything out.
Plano (Texas) East DT Deiontae Watts
You wouldn’t be talking foolish to say Watts is OU’s No. 1 realistic target at defensive tackle. Originally from Chickasha, Okla., Watts seems to be favoring the Sooners more and more. Don’t expect a commitment this weekend, but OU is certainly going to put its best foot forward.
Houston Cypress Creek OL Grayson Reed
It’s getting to be crunch time for Reed, who is expected to announce here in the spring. Texas A&M has made a big connection, and Texas is absolutely in the mix with his family ties there. The Sooners jumped on the offer train early, and Bill Bedenbaugh has put in a lot of work. But this weekend needs to be a game-changer. Looking like a Longhorn lean, this is one of those weekends where #SoonerSquad17 might have to put its recruiting hat on once again.
Waxahachie (Texas) High WR Jalen Reagor
One of the hottest receivers going right now in recruiting. Reagor, even when he was committed to Texas Tech, brought up the Sooners often. Now that he’s back on the market, he’s fair game. Reagor seems to be the ideal slot receiver for OU in this offense and for this class. The original plan was to offer Reagor in person on the visit, but once Alabama offered a couple of weeks ago, OU had to accelerate its thoughts and offer as well. There is not a more interesting recruiting position than receiver for the 2017 class. So many top, legitimate targets. Can’t all end up at OU, but who will?
Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic WR/TE Grant Calcaterra
Continuing with that theme is Calcaterra. A high three-star receiver, Calcaterra could be classified as a receiver or tight end when it’s all said and done. The OU offer resonated in a major way a few weeks ago, and now he’s ready to see seven schools in a week. It starts in Norman as Calcaterra arrived Thursday with a chance to see practice. OU is in great shape here and things could be even better following a great visit.
2018 Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian Academy CB Verone McKinley
Back to OU for the first time in nearly a year, McKinley is absolutely one to circle here going forward. There is a more in-depth update with McKinley in the Intel this week.
The elephant in the room is what sort of impact will #SoonerSquad17 make this weekend? McKinney (Texas) Boyd offensive guard Tyrese Robinson has already said he’s coming. It seems like an obvious one that OKC John Marshall defensive back Justin Broiles will be in town, too.
Once again, with so many top commitments in one spot at the same time, you just let that recruiting momentum build on its own. The coaches can really steer clear of it all and let the commits do some of the heavy work.
It’s incredibly tough to gauge where things are at right now in terms of expectations because OU has never had a class start this aggressively and strong in the first two months. You can’t compare it to anything else. All you can do is accept it and enjoy the ride. OU fans certainly are.