Alston Orji (© Greg Powers)

OU's defensive 'wish list' - May

OU's defensive 'wish list' for May as Sooners attempt to build monster defensive class.

Things are starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail. It’s time to start looking more intently on Oklahoma’s “wish list” for the Class of 2018, #SavageTeam2K18.

Here is an idea of where OU stands heading into May. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2018. The names do not necessarily reflect OU’s official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.

Defense

Defensive end (2-3)

Committed (0)

Favorite

http://www.scout.com/player/206207-ronnie-perkins?s=73

St. Louis Lutheran North’s Ronnie Perkins. You’re going to see a lot of Missouri high school kids and see a lot of the same thing where OU has done well but would be in an even better spot if they’d visit campus. Perkins is one of those guys. The relationship is being forged with Calvin Thibodeaux, for sure, but the Sooners could extend their lead in a major way with a visit.

http://www.scout.com/player/214585-miles-emery?s=73

Overland Park (Kan.) Blue Valley North’s Miles Emery. Here’s an interesting case. When Emery visited in January for junior day, not many knew who he was. That’s not even close to being the situation now. With plenty of offers to choose from, top-ranked prospect in Kansas has his options. OU is absolutely still one of them at this moment.

http://www.scout.com/player/214584-daniel-carson?s=73

Independence (Mo.) Chrisman’s Daniel Carson. You knew eventually these Missouri kids were going to blow up, and Carson has in a major way the last couple of months. Alabama offer last week cemented the fact he is no longer just a regional prospect. OU attacked incredibly early here and has made him a priority during the spring evaluation period.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/212451-ochaun-mathis?s=73

Manor (Texas) High’s Ochaun Mathis. Committed to TCU since January, Mathis was OU’s latest offer at defensive end last week. He’s listed at 6-foot-5 but reports have him already around 235 pounds instead of his listed 215. That would be huge and that would be an incredibly valid reason for OU to try making its push now with Mathis.

http://www.scout.com/player/212850-ron-tatum?s=73

OKC Putnam City’s Ron Tatum. Know the story here. OU among the first offers, but Tatum committed to Texas last month. The question that always looms with in-state kids picking other schools is whether OU will keep plugging away or move on? Tatum’s skill set says stick with it, and OU should be able to formulate a plan of attack now that it knows why Texas was the original call.

On the radar

http://www.scout.com/player/208625-mayan-ahanotu?s=73

Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep’s Mayan Ahanotu. This sounds a bit arrogant to say with both Ahanotu and Upshaw, but it does feel like OU is making plans in case any of the top regional prospects decided to go elsewhere. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. Now Ahanotu could play his way into becoming a can’t-miss guy for Sooners, but believe it’s a waiting game right now.

http://www.scout.com/player/211599-taylor-upshaw?s=73

Bradenton (Fla.) River’s Taylor Upshaw. Same here with Upshaw although his story is a little different since he did visit campus on his own dime back in February. You can see Thibodeaux starting to really get a feel of what he needs to do to recruit this spot. Can’t go after those 6-2 guys anymore, need size and length. These latest offers bring that to the table.

Defensive tackle (2-3)

Committed (1)

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

Tulsa (Okla.) Union’s Jordan Kelley. As soon as Kelley was offered by OU at the February junior day, it felt like a countdown toward when the commitment would occur. A month later, it happened. Kelley is someone who has played his way into consideration for a four-star ranking and is a nice foundation for OU at defensive tackle moving forward with the class.

Favorite

http://www.scout.com/player/184159-emmit-gooden?s=73

Independence (Kan.) CC’s Emmit Gooden. It was one heck of an unconventional visit to OU last weekend, but it all worked. Gooden seems to be the top junior college target as OU has accepted the fact it will need an immediate impact guy at defensive tackle. The Sooners are going to be in this hunt for as long as it goes on, one to monitor the whole way.

http://www.scout.com/player/188210-trevor-trout?s=73

St. Louis Chaminade Prep’s Trevor Trout. All eyes seem to be turning toward Trout as the big dog high school defensive tackle. Again, another Missouri high school kid that OU should be able to do some big things with. Trout has a long line of suitors, and OU isn’t his favorite, but there’s just that feeling the Sooners can make something happen with an all-out push.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/202660-bobby-brown?s=73

Arlington (Texas) Lamar’s Bobby Brown. Where OU has picked it up with Missouri kids, the opposite is true in Texas, and more specifically, DFW. If this list was around three months ago, Brown and Calvin Avery would have been easily the top two. Now? Doesn’t seem like Avery is a legit option, and OU seems to be slipping with Brown either because it wants to or Brown is moving on.

http://www.scout.com/player/202691-dante-stills?s=73

Fairmont (W.V.) High’s Dante Stills. Sooners are still here. Figure they’ve been a token finalist the whole time yet they keep making the cut every time with Stills. It’s going to be a tough battle to win, and the only real way to get excited about Stills would be if he’s able to visit Norman. Still hope, though, even if it doesn’t look too good.

On the radar

None.

Outside linebacker (2)

Committed (0)

Favorite

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

Midwest City (Okla.) High’s Jalen Redmond. He has cleared it up by saying his top schools see him as an outside linebacker and not a defensive end so that’s where we’re sticking him. Redmond appears to be an OU-Nebraska battle, and the Sooners can ill afford to lose another major in-state target. Calvin Thibodeaux and Mike Stoops continue to apply the pressure and interest.

http://www.scout.com/player/214666-dashaun-white?s=73

Richland Hills (Texas) High’s DaShaun White. The question was whether OU was going to offer. Finally did the last day of April and now it feels like OU is sitting pretty. White grew up a huge OU fan and should narrow things down with OU making that cut and every other cut and as of now, the choice for his commitment whenever it comes.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/214170-izaih-filikitonga?s=73

Euless (Texas) Trinity’s Izaih Filikitonga. Not sure here. Filikitonga was offered at the February junior day and raved about his relationship with Calvin Thibodeaux. But his size says more outside linebacker than defensive end. He didn’t get invited to the OU spring game so the last three months have left more questions than answers regarding where he fits and where OU stands in his recruitment.

On the radar

None.

Inside linebacker (2)

Committed (0)

Favorite

http://www.scout.com/player/207687-alston-orji?s=73

Rockwall (Texas) High’s Alston Orji. If ever OU needed to hit it big at this position, Orji is the guy. The Sooners have done everything right so far. He has been on campus multiple times and even multiple times during his calendar year. It’s all about closing. Nothing more, nothing less. Sooners have to put this one to bed, would be a huge recruiting victory. Offering his brother should help.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/200906-rosendo-louis?s=73

Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High’s Rosendo Louis. We will know this one by next week so no real drama when it comes to Louis. He makes his call May 17, and OU is definitely there. Definitely a top three choice, just don’t know if it has done enough to be No. 1. Having a teammate committed to OU should help, and OU needs all the help it can at inside linebacker.

http://www.scout.com/player/214407-ayodele-adeoye?s=73

St. Louis Ritenour’s Ayodele Adeoye. The final major Missouri high school prospect for OU fans to watch is Adeoye. A little under the radar heading into March, not so much anymore as he torn it up during the camp circuit. This will be an interesting to watch. OU made his top 10 on Friday and should even make a top five. After that is what is when it gets hazy.

On the radar

None.

Cornerback (2-3)

Committed (2)

http://www.scout.com/player/199570-miguel-edwards?s=73

Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High’s Miguel Edwards. Sometimes the pieces fit. Edwards has developed an incredible bond with defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, and it was just about getting him to Norman. Mission accomplished last month, and OU earned a major commitment from the state of Florida that helped turn the tide for the class in a positive way.

http://www.scout.com/player/215347-starrland-baldwin?s=73

Houston Cypress Falls’ Starrland Baldwin. Once OU offered at the February junior day, the countdown was on. He is Cooks’ guy personified. Not too big, incredibly fast, incredibly twitchy. Speed for days and long arms. Perfect match for what OU is doing. The Sooners were his first major offer, and Baldwin never forgot and made it official this week.

Favorite

http://www.scout.com/player/197844-kalon-gervin?s=73

Detroit Cass Tech’s Kalon Gervin. Committed to Notre Dame since February, he decommitted last weekend. Cooks never left Gervin so give him a lot of credit in that regard. This has been a major target for Cooks for a long time, dating back to last summer. OU is sitting strong here and could wrap this up with a summer visit.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/212694-noah-boykin?s=73

Washington D.C. Woodson’s Noah Boykin. OU likes this high school, same one as Parnell Motley. But Boykin has blown up nationally, making it a bit harder than it was when the offer was first made. Boykin’s priorities will be worth watching. Proximity to home? Playing time? Tradition? What is going to stand out for him?

http://www.scout.com/player/198493-verone-mckinley?s=73

Lewisville (Texas) Hebron’s Verone McKinley. OU has been knocking the door with McKinley for nearly two full calendar years. But it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. Maybe OU was hoping McKinley would grow a bit or add more length to his frame, but it hasn’t actually occurred. OU is there, but Texas A&M feels like the winner.

On the radar

http://www.scout.com/player/213404-mario-goodrich?s=73

http://www.scout.com/player/197313-jairus-brents?s=73

Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West’s Mario Goodrich and Louisville (Kent.) Waggener Trad’s Jairus Brents. Put them both here because just not sure where things stand. Goodrich is a big Nebraska lean, but Missouri kids go to OU often. Brents is from Kentucky, which is never a stop for OU in recruiting so see if that makes a difference. Firmly on the radar guys.

Safety/Nickelback (2-3)

Committed (2)

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

Lancaster (Texas) High’s Jordon Austin. It has been nearly a year with Austin committed to the Sooners. A lot has changed so something to monitor. Austin is all-in with OU, but he knows he’ll have to prove he’s the same guy (if not better) than he was before he tore his ACL last October. OU has stood by his side so far every step of the way, but it’s a business.

http://www.scout.com/player/209431-patrick-fields?s=73

Tulsa (Okla.) Union’s Patrick Fields. Offered at the #ChampUBBQ, and yes, it was another countdown to a commitment. Since Fields committed two months ago, he has become the vocal ringleader for OU’s #ST2K18 on social media. He’s doing all he can to lock down a great class to join him in Norman and is committed as committed can be.

Favorite

None.

Next in line

http://www.scout.com/player/212643-leon-o-neal?s=73

Houston Cypress Springs’ Leon O’Neal. Both of these guys in O’Neal and Proctor just scream can’t-miss about them, but OU is climbing uphill for both. O’Neal appears to be leaning toward Texas A&M at the moment, while Proctor is obviously committed to Ohio State. Both major difference makers, see what Kerry Cooks can do to turn the tide.

http://www.scout.com/player/203260-josh-proctor?s=73

Owasso (Okla.) High’s Josh Proctor. Maybe the pressure of being the in-state kid became too much, but Proctor surprised quite a few in picking the Buckeyes last month. Cooks has developed an incredible bond with Proctor and should know how to handle this situation from here. Does he move on? Or does he figure out the missing ingredient to get Proctor to come home?

On the radar

None.


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