OU's defensive 'wish list' - Linebacker

OU's defensive 'wish list' returns with a look at linebacker.

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.


Linebacker (3-4)


Committed (1): Collinsville (Okla.) High’s Levi Draper. The first in-state commit for the Sooners in the class and a huge one at that. Once pledged to Oklahoma State, the Sooners went all-in with Draper during the summer and fall and flipped him to the crimson and cream in December. No issues since that time and none expected throughout the rest of his recruitment despite the incredible list of offers. One of the driving forces of SoonerSquad17 and No. 1-ranked player in the state and the class.


Favorite: Plano (Texas) East’s Anthony Hines. This is the dream. Draper and Hines playing together as linebackers for the Sooners. We’ll see if it happens. Hines continues to make trip after trip to Norman so there’s really nothing else OU can do at this point except wait and see how things shake out. Expected to be a mid-year enrollee, Hines said a top 10 is coming at The Opening. OU has done everything right, but it will continue to be a marathon race.


Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Elkins’ Kenneth Murray. When someone tweets “childhood favorite” when describing the offer, that usually means good things. Murray is someone who has benefited greatly from the spring evaluation period, including the OU offer. His size seems to be right in line with what the Sooners are looking for at outside linebacker going forward. He has his Aug. decision date locked up so no trip to Norman will mean nothing to see here.


Nashville (Tenn.) East Nashville’s Jacob Phillips. The Sooners made the best possible impression on Phillips when he made his visit in the spring so now it’s a waiting game. Will Phillips use his five official visits? Or will he decide before the summer is over? If it’s the latter, expect OU to get the nod. Everything is trending OU’s direction right now. Following incredible camp outings, the sooner Phillips announces, the better for OU’s chances to lock him up.


Next in line: Hayward (Calif.) Stellar Prep’s Addison Gumbs. OU made Gumbs a clear priority during the spring evaluation period with multiple visits to one of the top outside linebackers in the country. The difficulty will be, as always, trying to lure Gumbs away from the west coast with USC the most notable school connecting well with Gumbs. The initial plan was for Gumbs to make the call during June, but he has pushed that back to July. OU is in good standing, that much is clear.


Buford (Ga.) Lanier’s Tyler Taylor. OK, the question is how in the world did OU become a player for one of the best linebackers in Georgia? Because it certainly has. Taylor released a top six two weeks ago with OU looking like No. 2 but perhaps the most realistic No. 2 you’re going to find. A lot of chatter out east about Taylor seeming to be OU’s to lose as the Sooners continue to make an imprint in areas they haven’t been a factor before.


On the radar: Kennedale (Texas) High’s Baron Browning. Feels like a slippage here lately. Although it’s obvious how badly SoonerSquad17 wants Browning in the fold, doesn’t seem to be reciprocated as of now. That could change, of course, but right now, outside looking in. When it comes to Browning, watch what he does instead of what he’s saying. He has to visit OU since he hasn’t done so since November. No visit, sorry, no chance.


Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Jordan Anthony. He has talked about OU more than it ever looked like he would, but it’s hard to see OU making a real dent heading into June. The Sooners are getting more and more involved at IMG, but not sure Anthony will be the one to get the ball rolling.


Norman (Okla.) North’s Cade Mashburn. He has done everything he can to get an offer. And in previous years, he probably would have that OU offer. But with SoonerSquad17, it’s a waiting game. A stressful, intense waiting game. Mashburn has accepted that position, but there’s no guarantee OU looks his way if things pan out with some of the names above him in this list.


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