Recruiting: Offensive linemen and defensive backs

In part two of our three-part series James Hale takes a look at Oklahoma's prospects on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield

Signing offensive linemen in this class remains a priority for the Sooners. Already, OU has earned two verbals from top 100 talent Jeff Lebby (6'4, 275, 5.1) of Andrews, Texas and Steven Taylor (6'6, 305, 5.2) of Purcell, Oklahoma. OU has an opportunity to round out this class with some of the very best talent in the country.

Many feel that Justin Blalock (6'4, 330, 5.2) of Plano, Texas is one of the top five offensive linemen in the country. In two games Blalock graded out at 98 percent and has 31 decleaters. Blalock grew up a Texas fan and is a lean to the Longhorns, but OU, Florida and Michigan are very much in the hunt. Blalock will visit all four schools.

Tony Ugoh (6'6, 275, 4.8) of Spring Westfield, Texas is a tremendous physical specimen and ranked as one of the top five offensive linemen in Texas. Ugoh says OU, Texas and Florida are his top three schools.

Another outstanding Texas top five offensive line talent is LeQuland McDonald (6'5, 337, 5.1) of Waco, Texas. McDonald is working to get his final choices down to three, but has OU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and LSU early on his list.

Ryan Carter (6'5, 320, 5.0) of Groveland Southlake, Florida is regarded as one of the top 100 players in the Sunshine state. Carter has his recruiting down to five schools as he has visits set to BYU (10-20), Florida (11-3), OU (11-10), Auburn (11-7) and KSU (12-7).

Winston Justice (6'7, 297, 5.1) of Long Beach Poly, California is a top 100 talent in California who has a visit set to Washington in December. Justice says he is also working on visits to Florida, Tennessee, LSU and Oklahoma. Justice says he is open right now.

It appears that OU is still in the hunt for Cody Douglas (6'5, 315, 5.1) of LaMarque, Texas. Douglas has been a soft commitment since the summer and despite the thought that he might waver, he says he is still heading to Texas A&M. However, he has set an official visit to (9-23) to Michigan and is working on visits to Tennessee and OU. Douglas will take an unofficial visit to LSU.

OU is still calling Davin Joseph of Hallendale, Florida, but are struggling to get into the hunt. Michigan, Ohio State and Florida are his top three choices, but he admits he is still talking to OU.

Oklahoma is working hard to develop some pipelines into Pennsylvania. OU is close to getting a visit set with Robert Whitaker of Pittsburgh Mt. Lebanon, PA, who is looking at staying back East with Penn State, Pittsburgh or Notre Dame. Mark Farris of Pittsburgh North Hills, PA has ruled out the Sooners wanting to stay close to home.

OU can never have to many defensive backs on their roster and already the Sooners have soft commitments from their number one corner prospect, Michael Hawkins of Carrollton Turner, Texas. However, Hawkins is still talking about taking visits to Arkansas and Texas A&M.

Another great corner prospect the Sooners love is Jason Carter (5'11, 185, 4.4) of Jenks. Carter wants to go both ways at wide receiver and cornerback and that's just fine with OU. Carter admits that he is a slight lean to OU, but says that recruiting is far from over. Carter is still considering Nebraska, Notre Dame, Alabama and Tennessee.

On a national level Oklahoma happens to be very much in the hunt for several national top 100 talents.

Edorian McCullough (5'10, 170, 4.4) of Garland (North), Texas is a 10.3 sprinter who may be the fastest football player in the country. Some like him as a running back, some like him as a cornerback. Oklahoma says he can start on either side of the ball, but most feel that he is a future pro at cornerback. OU and UT appear to be in a major battle for McCullough with FSU also in the picture. I like the Sooners chances here.

A.J. Davis (6'0, 177, 4.3) of Durham (Northern), North Carolina is a prep All-American that has liked OU since the summer. He set a visit to Notre Dame (12-5) and says he will visit OU in December. He likes the fact he can go both ways at OU and says that OU has told him he can also run the sprints in track. Nebraska, Wake Forrest, Tennessee, North Carolina State and North Carolina are also on his list.

Courtney Lewis (5'11, 177, 4.4) of Houston (Madison), Texas is also a highly thought of running back, however OU thinks he would great at quarterback. UTEP, Washington, Oklahoma, Colorado and Southern Mississippi are his top five.

Without question, the Sooners top safety prospect is Vickiel Vaughn (6'1,187, 4.4) of Plano (West) Texas. OU knows that star Roy Williams may jump to the pro's after this season and Vaughn would be the perfect replacement.

Vaughn says he is open between Arkansas, OU, Texas A&M, UCLA, Notre Dame and Michigan, but those that are closest to him say this will be a Hog/Sooner battle.

Vincent Meeks (5'11, 180,m 4.4) of Rockwall, Texas is a player the Sooners love. The Sooners lead on Meeks over Texas, Texas, Nebraska and LSU.

Matthew Melton (6'0, 190, 4.43) of Tyler (John Tyler), Texas is an outstanding ballhawk. He has his choices down to four with Texas A&M, Texas, OU and Baylor.

Brodney Pool (6'4, 190, 4.45) of Houston (Westbury), Texas is another talented Texas free safety that the Sooners are eyeing. OU is still evaluating Thomas Wright (6'1, 187, 4.5) of Sweeney, Texas, but his early play is drawing more and more attention. Wright has an offerfrom OSU and he is leaning towards the Cowboys, but Nebraska, LSU, Iowa and OU are calling.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories