Jalen Preston (© Student Sports)

Sooner Intel: OU news and nuggets

Intel returns with what to watch at OU's junior day this weekend.

The Sooner Intel, created by Bob Przybylo in 2011, is an inside look into Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting and is solely for Sooners Illustrated subscribers. It is a sneak peek into what’s happening with OU recruiting and is not to be distributed anywhere else.

Has the euphoria of Oklahoma’s 2017 class gone away? After SoonerSquad17 was ranked sixth by Scout, everyone is wondering what is next for 2018?

It has been a while as #SavageTeam2K18 has been stuck on three commitments since August, but the Sooners will put their best foot forward this weekend for their second junior day of the 2018 recruiting cycle.

OU felt confident enough to hold its first junior day the weekend before signing day, a strategy that showed the Sooners loved where they stood with 2017 and were ready to move to 2018.

Now OU is not just ready to move to 2018 but ready to make moves in 2018. With junior day this weekend, here are five things OU fans should be watching for.

Making the push for HTown talent

http://www.scout.com/player/205052-brennan-eagles?s=73

http://www.scout.com/player/196586-jalen-preston?s=73

This is easily the biggest story of the weekend with OU hosting several top recruits from the Houston area. There’s never a shortage of talent in Houston, but this year seems to be on a different level of not only being elite but also being deep.

Wide receiver will be the position to circle with Houston Alief Taylor’s Brennan Eagles and Manvel (Texas) High’s Jalen Preston both expected to make the trip.

Eagles and Preston are both ranked in the Scout top 20 for the entire nation and Eagles has already earned his invite to The Opening finals in the summer.

To go along with that duo, highly touted cornerback Jalen Green is also expected to be in town. Expected is the word du jour right now because you simply never know.

Houston isn’t the longest trip in the world to Norman, but it’s not the easiest one to make, either. If OU can get all three on campus, consider the weekend a success.

Homegrown talent

http://www.scout.com/player/202427-devonte-lee?s=73

http://www.scout.com/player/209528-jordan-kelley?s=73

We’ve talked quite a bit about how deep the Oklahoma high school class of 2018 is, but also noticed that OU isn’t going as gung ho about some of those guys as you might think.

Heading into the weekend, there are several in-state prospects expected to be in Norman, but will anything come of it?

Midwest City DE/OLB Jalen Redmond and Tulsa Union safety Patrick Fields already have offers although neither seems set to make a decision just yet.

Then there are names like OKC John Marshall running back Devonte Lee and Union defensive lineman Jordan Kelley getting a second look from coaches.

OKPreps has seven names in the Scout 300 as of this time, but OU seems to only be seriously considering four of those guys right now.

Not saying that’s good or bad, just saying it is. Will there be any happenings with OKPreps kids this weekend?

A commitment a-brewing?

http://www.scout.com/player/207850-jalen-redmond?s=73

Six months in recruiting feels like an eternity, but that’s how long it has been since the Sooners landed a commitment for the 2018 class.

Quarterback Cameron Rising pledged back in August, and the Sooners have been stuck on that No. 3 commitment since then.

Problem becomes no name pops out right now. Just like OU’s initial junior day last month, no name seemed to be the obvious candidate there.

You thought maybe Euless (Texas) Trinity safety Cameron Jones could, just like maybe somebody like Redmond could this weekend.

However, the best bet seems to be a weekend of planting seeds for future commitments but not getting any present pledges.

Where’s Jordon Austin?

http://www.scout.com/player/191770-jordon-austin?s=73

Austin is one of the three commitments, but it has been an odd feeling about where he stands here in recent months.

He tore his ACL during his junior season, but that’s not really the problem. OU has always lived up to its word for injured players. But the offer explosion some expected from Austin hasn’t occurred just yet with Illinois State and Colorado State the other offers right now.

When you add in the incredibly uneven senior season of Dakota Austin, Jordon’s older brother, you wonder if everybody is still on the same page.

Jordon Austin said he really wants to be back in Norman this weekend, but it’s going to be determined by if he has transportation. It could be pivotal for both sides to reconnect, and it’s unclear if that weekend will be this one.

Will any offers be given?

http://www.scout.com/player/213290-rafiti-ghirmai?s=73

http://www.scout.com/player/211392-jalen-knox?s=73

The Sooners dished out six offers at the initial junior day, a pretty staggering amount. It’s hard to envision even half of that being accomplished this weekend, but there are a couple of names to watch.

The biggest reason to not be expecting a bunch of offers is OU is doing a pretty good job of inviting recruits that already have offers to campus so that obviously eliminates that dilemma.

But looking at guys like Jalen Knox and Rafiti Ghirmai, and you start to see real potential of guys who could end up being offered by weekend’s end.

OU has to be more selective for the class since it doesn’t feel like it will be as big as the 27-member 2017 group, but it does feel like OU needs to start going forward a bit more.


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