We’ve talked for a while about that fine line Oklahoma defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks has to walk when it comes toward recruiting in the secondary for the 2017 class.
Despite the fact Cooks has cleaned up, entering the month with four prospects ranked in the Scout 300. Things can always change in recruiting and nothing is official until the signature is faxed in.
With that in mind, Cooks was still recruiting defensive backs the last couple of months because he knew he couldn’t just rely on things to be all squared away. Even if recruiting other defensive backs would irk those already committed, it’s a part of the game.
That part of the game showed up Monday evening when Miami Columbus defensive back Trajan Bandy announced his decommitment from OU.
The move was seen coming by a lot of people. It has been hard to ignore how strong Miami has come on with Bandy in the last couple of months since earning the offer from the Hurricanes.
OU didn’t do anything wrong, but Cooks has to get back to work. And so he shall with some of these names worth keeping tabs on.
Fresno (Calif.) Central East DB Jaylon Johnson
Now this is a heck of an interesting one. For months and month, Johnson has talked about OU being his leader or in his top five. But at The Opening, Johnson was pretty mum about the Sooners. With Bandy out, is Johnson back in?
Johnson is the latest Fresno connection for the Sooners, adding to the list with guys like Hatari Byrd, Michiah Quick and now Caleb Kelly for the 2016 class.
Johnson has risen up the ranks from being an unranked three-star to now being a legitimate Scout 100 cornerback who has shown his worth repeatedly in camps.
He tweeted Monday a top seven was on the way. If OU didn’t burn its bridge with Johnson, the Sooners are right back in the picture.
Lake Dallas (Texas) High DB Kobe Boyce
Alarm bells should be ringing for this one. Boyce has been committed to Texas for a while now, but Cooks has been in touch with Boyce for much longer than that before finally making the offer back in May.
Boyce has considered backing out from the Longhorns a couple of times only to be reeled back in by head coach Charlie Strong.
Is the third time the charm? Boyce, a high three-star prospect, is expected to be in Norman in less than two weeks for the BBQ event featuring OU’s commits and top targets.
Things might have seemed testy a couple of weeks ago, but now it appears like Cooks was simply planning ahead for what he might have known was coming.
South Grand Prairie (Texas) High S Jeffrey Okudah
OK, nothing really changes here. Okudah, the No. 1-ranked safety in the country, remains a major priority for the Sooners. All this does is open up another spot for somebody as OU is never going to throw in the towel with Okudah until he tells them it’s not happening.
Waco (Texas) La Vega CB Parrish Cobb
Cobb signed with OU earlier this month and perhaps this alleviates some concerns about having too many defensive backs. Cobb’s signing wasn’t a death blow for Bandy, but it’s clear it could have ruffled a few feathers.
If Cobb shows he’s 100 percent committed to being in Norman and being a Sooner, then maybe the loss of Bandy doesn’t sting as much.
And if you know Cooks, you know he can recruit with the best of them. So if he can’t close the deal with someone like Johnson or Boyce, don’t be surprised to see Cooks turn over a new leaf and find someone else.
Cooks isn’t about waiting. This isn’t the patient approach. This is the “reserve your spot now” approach. He’ll find his answer, and the SoonerSquad17 train will keep a-rollin’ on.