The cries had been growing louder. As great as Oklahoma’s 2017 class is as of today, where was the beef? Entering this week, the Sooners only had one commit with the offensive line and the defensive line.
Defensive backs, receivers, they’re flashy, but skilled kids won’t be able to do much if the guys in the trenches can’t hold down the fort.
That changed in a dramatic way with the commitment of Maryland Heights (Mo.) Pattonville offensive lineman Marquis Hayes.
Hayes, listed at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, might have a future at offensive tackle, but it seems clear to just about everybody how special he could be at offensive guard.
He visited OU last week without getting an offer, but based on his tone and what he said offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh told him, felt like a matter of time. Not only did Hayes and his family visit OU, they actually stayed in the greater Oklahoma City area for two more days.
It was an unofficial official visit. Anytime you see a recruit/family plunk down that much chunk of change, because we all know unofficial visits aren’t cheap, you figure good news is bound to come.
That good news happened Tuesday evening when Hayes was offered by Bedenbaugh, and then the countdown was on toward when he would make the call.
He did so Wednesday afternoon to give OU two big-time offensive linemen. McKinney (Texas) Boyd offensive guard Tyrese Robinson has been committed since January, and now he has some company.
It’s good timing with Bedenbaugh, who was just promoted to assistant offensive coordinator Tuesday morning. He continues to get his guys.
Because when you think of Hayes, you think nasty. Real nasty. Hayes was a dominant force during the spring camp circuit and didn’t back down from a challenge. He mauled some of the best of the best and showed great strength and technique.
This also sort of lets you know where everything stands with OU recruiting within the offensive line. The Sooners already have Robinson and Hayes. The clock is ticking for when De Soto (Texas) High offensive lineman Xavier Newman flips from Texas to OU (sometime next weekend seems like a safe bet).
That gives OU three and three in the interior so the last spot is obvious as it will have to be an offensive tackle. From Stephan Zabie to Chuck Filiaga to Adrian Ealy, those are the names that resonate at the moment.
A three-star offensive tackle, Dalton Wagner, has OU in his top three without an offer. Wagner visited Norman during the spring and seems to be down to OU or Arkansas.
If OU strikes out, Hayes could fall into tackle category. But based on his skill set and strength, he seems to be the perfect fit for the Sooners at offensive guard.