Bob Przybylo/Scout

Sooner Intel: Kerry Cooks cleaning up OU's defensive backs room

Intel returns examining all of OU's recent defensive back offers and where Sooners stand at DB for the class.

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.

It has been talked about repeatedly about how the offensive line is now purely Bill Bedenbaugh guys, and the Sooners are reaping the benefits of that.

With the numerous coaching changes two years ago, there are still some OU coaches working with players they never recruited.

Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks was one of those guys. For whatever reason, he didn’t resonate or connect with all of the defensive backs in the room and you could sense things were about to change.

Sources told Sooners Illustrated that Cooks was about to clean house with the defensive backs, and the numerous offers from the week wasn’t about to slow down.

Check and check.

Head coach Bob Stoops revealed Thursday evening Antoine Stephens and P.J. Mbanasor will both be looking to transfer, helping explain the five offers Cooks made this week.

There were reasons Cooks could have offered. Was OU losing ground with some of its top targets? Was Cooks trying to earn a commitment or two by forcing their hand? Or were there transfers in the near future?

Turned out to be the final option. OU’s secondary class, which looked to be at around five for the 2018 class, now seems to be more accurate at around seven or at least six.

The Sooners have the commitments of Lancaster (Texas) High’s Jordon Austin and Tulsa (Okla.) Union’s Patrick Fields. That doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

OU could add one more into the fold Easter Sunday as Mansfield (Texas) High safety Cam’ron Jones is expected to announce.

Jones, a Scout 300 prospect, has visited OU multiple times. Though he has a list of five or six schools, most believe it will be between the Sooners and UCLA for who gets the nod.

A one-time commit to Texas Tech, Jones was enamored with his initial trip to OU for Bedlam and seemed to be an automatic lock for the Sooners after his junior day visit.

Things have died down considerably, and Jones was unable to make the trip to Norman last weekend for the spring game because of the ACT.

Regardless if Jones goes OU or Bruins on Sunday, Cooks went back to work in a major way this week on the trail.

One state he hit hard was Florida, and it does look like it could net one commitment. Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High cornerback Miguel Edwards has not been shy to say the Sooners are his favorite. And if he does indeed visit OU in the next couple of weeks, yep, be on the watch.

Will any of these Florida prospects join him?

Douglas is from Georgia, but the Southeast theme remains the same there. It’s always a challenge to recruit the area and then always a gamble to keep a prospect from that area.

OU found that out last year with Miami Columbus defensive back Trajan Bandy. Committed to OU for months, once the Hurricanes offered, it was a countdown to a flip.

Could OU suffer that same fate here? It’s possible, but Cooks seems willing to see how things trickle down.

As of the moment, sources believe Banks and Sherwood will stay in Florida, while Douglas could do the same in Georgia.

So if not Florida, what about the other side of the country?

Irvin has the offers from the big boys in the area like USC, UCLA and Oregon so again, pure uphill battle. But OU’s success in California might resonate a bit.

Maybe the answer is to get back to where you’ve been before. OU has seemingly struck it big in Parnell Motley, from the Washington D.C. Woodson.

Cooks is going back there with Noah Boykin and sources seem the most optimistic about this offer than any of the other ones from the week.

Motley’s success at OU could play a role, too. The key, as always, will be to get Boykin to campus. With the distance, that might not be reasonable until an official visit and you never know how things are going to shake out there.

The Sooners are doing fine at defensive back. A couple of commits. A couple perhaps on the way. It’s not looking good for those top dogs in Houston so Cooks is finding other avenues.

This week could be the first of a very interesting few as the spring evaluation period officially gets underway.

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