Bob Przybylo/Scout

Cade Mashburn emerging as linebacker prospect

If there's another OKPreps prospect Oklahoma might look at, Cade Mashburn is the one to watch.

There are a couple of things stated in recruiting time and time again. One is to commit to the school and not the coach because you never know how fast things can change.

The other is recruiting is a business. So when it comes to your favorite school and all that stuff, it has to be thrown out the window.

No. 1 isn’t a concern for Norman (Okla.) North linebacker Cade Mashburn, but he’s getting a strong dose of No. 2 as his recruitment picks up more and more steam.

The school in question is the hometown one, Oklahoma. Mashburn doesn’t quite have the offers of the big-name schools as some of OU’s other linebacker prospects, but that doesn’t mean linebackers coach Tim Kish isn’t watching.

“He came out yesterday (last week),” Mashburn said. “Me and Coach Kish have developed a relationship. I’m getting a lot closer to the coaches there.

“I feel like right now it’s a numbers game. I called him after, and he said he was there to show his support and let me know he’s interested.”

Interested? For sure. Offered? Not just yet. And that will be the thing Mashburn will have to deal with going forward in this process. As his offer total increases by the week, the Sooners offer might come or it simply might never happen.

Maybe in the past that would have been a concern to Mashburn. Not now as his mission is crystal clear – to focus on what he can control.

“The last couple of months have been crazy,” he said. “We’ve had so many coaches out here for practice. I’m just focused on playing. They can come out if they want, but my focus is on the next football season. My team comes first and then recruiting.”

His team might need to come first because Mashburn is going to be such a vital member for it in the 2016 season. The 2015 Timberwolves defense was almost beyond inexperienced so Mashburn stepped up where he could in that department.

Mashburn had 108 tackles with an interception last season but is only expecting bigger and better things for himself and for the defense. That young group now returns nine starters and his younger brother, 2019 defensive end Cole Mashburn, is one of the new guys but already getting looks from colleges.

“I’m a lot faster and definitely more mentally there,” Cade Mashburn said. “We’re learning a new defense right now so that’s what we’re trying to do this spring. As a player, I’m better mentally and that has helped.”

Being better for Norman North will only help his recruiting stock. It took Mashburn a little bit longer than some of other recognizable names within the state for the 2017 class, but he’s already eclipsed the double-digit offer mark.

He’s not going to spend his summer on the road. He mentioned he intends to camp at top prospect events at OU and Oklahoma State and maybe a couple of others. That’s it. The goal is to develop as a player this summer to help in the fall.

And if the recruiting process takes care of itself in the process, so be it. Mashburn was a frequent visitor to Norman, heading to OU for junior day and the spring game. He doesn’t fault OU for not offering yet, but he does see it as an opportunity.

“I understand it’s more of a business when you come to this level,” Mashburn said. “Schools got to do what they got to do. My thing is I want to prove them wrong with the guys already offered and committed. I’m not worried about recruiting. I want a chance to get the job done.”

In most years, Mashburn would be as close to an automatic offer for the Sooners as there could be. But coming off an outstanding 2016 linebacker class and the fact OU is doing incredibly well with some major targets for 2017, it will be a waiting game for Mashburn to see how things develop.

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