Sooner Intel: OU news and nuggets

Intel returns with a trend report following The Opening regional in Frisco, Texas.

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.

There’s always a second component as to why Opening regional camps are so vital. One, of course, is the on-field competition and seeing how guys look, how they play and things of that nature.

The other, though, is getting to know the prospects and truly trying to read between the lines of what they’re saying about recruiting and where they actually stand.

Following a great event last weekend at The Opening regional in Frisco, Texas, Sooners Illustrated is ready to divulge what was learned.

*Trending up with Owasso (Okla.) High safety Josh Proctor. One of the names missing from the junior day lists both times was the Scout 100 prospect. But don’t be alarmed by that. Proctor said he wants to visit Norman at least twice during the spring now that basketball season is over. Feel more confident about Proctor’s status with the Sooners than ever before.

*Trending down with Lewisville (Texas) Hebron cornerback Verone McKinley. Despite competing all afternoon with OU gloves on, it just doesn’t feel like it’s in the cards for McKinley and the Sooners. Not sure how all-in OU is with the Scout 300 prospect, and McKinley has a nice set of suitors where if someone doesn’t truly want you, he’ll find a home elsewhere.

*Trending down with Marshall (Texas) High center Chasen Hines. Yes, OU made his top five, but it seems as though the Sooners are closer to No. 3 in the list than No. 1. Hines said a lot of nice things about OU, but his voice inflection never changed. The thought here is Hines is leaning heavily toward LSU or Texas at this point.

*Trending up with Justin (Texas) Northwest offensive tackle Darrell Simpson. Wearing a “Sooner Magic” T-shirt doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but you can hear the genuineness in his voice when talking OU and talking offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. Still remains to be seen how he’ll handle this process, but OU is sitting pretty.

*Trending up with #OKPreps – Tulsa Union’s Jordan Kelley, Putnam City’s Ron Tatum and Midwest City’s Jalen Redmond. Even before Union’s Patrick Fields committed to OU, thought Sooners were in a good spot. With him putting his recruiting hat on, will only help. Fields has that personality that resonates and these are guys he’s going after to make sure the top in-state talents stay home in Norman. Tatum and Redmond are no doubt going to see increased interest as evidenced by this week, but just don’t see it mattering in grand scheme of things. Fields will work on Proctor as well.

*Trending down with Carthage (Texas) High running back Keaontay Ingram. Between Texas and now getting the LSU offer this week, it just doesn’t appear like the Sooners will be the choice here. Now that’s OK if you believe OU is a lock for Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back T.J. Pledger, but don’t expect Ingram to be a Sooner.

*Trending sideways with Rockwall (Texas) High linebacker Alston Orji. Not a good or bad thing, just a thing. Orji was very diplomatic throughout the interview process Sunday. Mentioned a lot of things to like about OU and going back in the spring, but it wasn’t as clear-cut as thought it might be with OU leading the pack.

*Trending up with Euless (Texas) Trinity defensive end Izaih Filikitonga. About as up as humanly possible for someone not committed. He said the right things with the type of passion and enthusiasm you simply cannot fake. A return trip to Norman in the spring might be enough to lock this one down for Calvin Thibodeaux.

*Trending down with Frisco (Texas) Wakefield offensive tackle Rafiti Ghirmai. After an impressive performance, every minute where OU doesn’t offer is going to mean the Sooners are losing ground. Other schools are not being bashful about making the leap, while OU is still straddling the fence because of where it stands with Simpson and commit Brey Walker.

The Opening regional cleared some things up and posed more questions for OU recruiting going into the spring as Sooners try to build with the 2018, 2019 classes.

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