Things are starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail. It’s time to start looking more intently on Oklahoma’s “wish list” for the Class of 2017.
Here is an idea of where OU stands here heading into July. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2017. The names do not necessarily reflect OU’s official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.
Defensive end (2-3)
Committed (1): Tulsa (Okla.) Memorial’s Isaiah Thomas. The debate is going to be whether or not he’s a defensive end or linebacker, but that’s for another day. What we know for now is he is the initial commit for first-year defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux and a great way for Thibs to get the ball rolling. Thomas has a great frame and a lot of versatility, and OU did everything right in this one. He has become a vital member to the class in terms of recruiting other prospects.
Favorite: Galena Park (Texas) North Shore’s K’Lavon Chaisson. Early offers sometimes can get thrown away and forgotten about, which is what thought had happened here. It was obvious following a trip to Norman last month how much work OU had done with Chaisson, but nobody had any clue until OU was No. 1 in his top 11 released last week. Again, defensive end or outside linebacker, irrelevant, this is the type of talent OU wants and needs for its defense going forward.
Hampton (Va.) High’s Elijah Conliffe. He definitely woke up some OU fans with saying he wanted to release his top schools ‘sooner’ than expected. OU is in this race a lot more than you would think following a spring evaluation offer. The key, as it is with all major out of region prospects, will be to get him to Norman and to see the campus. SoonerSquad17 hasn’t sunk its claws in him just yet so we’ll see how things develop.
Next in line: Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast CC’s Isaiah Buggs. At one point it seemed like OU was in the driver’s seat. It’s not anymore and most likely he’ll be off this list heading into the next month. SEC seems to be his destination with the leader in the clubhouse being LSU. OU could just never get Buggs to make the trip to Norman.
Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Joshua Paschal. Let’s call it the Charles Tapper effect. OU can go into Maryland, especially at defensive end, and sort of preach about becoming the next Tapper. That’s OU’s calling card right now with Paschal. It’s working for now, but the key will be to foster that relationship and obviously get him to Norman for an official visit.
Sacramento (Calif.) Burbank’s Deonte Johnson. OU is in his top four, but what does that really mean? Legitimate interest? Or token finalist? Remains to be seen because there hasn’t been a lot of chatter on Johnson one way or another for a couple of months now. See what he does instead of listening to what he is saying is a good motto here.
Hutto (Texas) High’s Ondario Robinson. The Sooners looked primed to make a run here, but it hasn’t happened just yet. Robinson is getting very familiar with schools like Texas and Texas A&M with OU on the outside looking in at the moment. A visit could change things obviously, but as of now, it’s tough to envision the Sooners becoming a major player.