Coming off a year where Oklahoma only took two in-state recruits, you figured that was going to change in a hurry for the 2017 class.
It has indeed. The Sooners have three commitments and are in good standing with two more offers from the Sooner State.
Could No. 6 be on the way with Mustang (Okla.) High defensive tackle Deontre Thomas? The three-star prospect was back in Norman last weekend for the spring game.
“The spring game was great,” Thomas said. “Getting to know the coaches better and watching them work. It was a great time.”
Thomas has been one of the bigger stories of the spring within the state. Going from relative unknown to earning one Power 5 conference offer after another.
Suspiciously missing from that list is the hometown Sooners. Part of that could be because Thomas is still developing the necessary relationship with first-year defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux.
“Our relationship is not the best, but it’s getting better,” Thomas said. “We’re talking more and more. He’s a great guy. We started talking about a month and a half ago.”
Since then, schools from the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 have all come calling to Thomas. It’s not accurate to say he’s just waiting on the OU offer, but it’s definitely something for him to think about if the Sooners were to come calling.
“Honestly, I would be honored and blessed,” Thomas said. “It would be another big-time offer. I didn’t have a dream school growing up.”
Thomas visited OU for a spring practice earlier in the session so two visits to Norman in a three-week span is getting the ball rolling in the right direction.
As for an offer, sounds like Thomas might have some work still left to do.
“We talked a little bit about football,” Thomas said. “He kept saying it would come (regarding an offer).”
But it has come from other schools and Michigan might be the one to watch here going forward. Already with an offer from the Wolverines, Thomas visited Ann Arbor two weeks ago and said flat out it’s a trip he’s never going to forget.
Around 210 pounds at this time last year, Thomas put in the work and is now a legit 260 pounds. He realized if he was going to be playing in the trenches, he needed to get as big as he possibly could.
Thomas also said schools like Kansas State and Nebraska have shown steady interest, while schools like OU, Oklahoma State and TCU are starting to show more consistent interest in recent weeks.
Thomas said the biggest thing he has been working on and the biggest strength in his game is his explosiveness. His goal has been to make sure that as he gets bigger, he doesn’t lose any of his speed. Right now he said he has been clocked at 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Thomas said he’s leaning toward Michigan, especially coming off that great visit. But he was also quick to say he doesn’t have a top list just yet, and he’s making sure to keep all of his options open.
It will be intriguing to see how OU goes about the process with Thomas. Since the Sooners didn’t snag a defensive tackle for the 2016 class, the door is open.
OU, as of now, has been looking at tackles closer toward the 300-pound range. An in-person spring evaluation to go with new Mustang defensive coordinator Adam Gaylor (former head coach at Westmoore) could be the recipe for success with Thomas.