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’s only natural. When you get seven commitments in a nine-day period and nine in a single month, you start to get antsy when you go a week without one.
But you have to decelerate just a bit. There’s no way you can keep up that pace in recruiting, and Oklahoma has slowed down just a tad as Lincoln Riley enters month No. 2 of being head coach for the Sooners.
The Sooners now have 14 commits for the 2018 class and two for 2019. Will July end up like June? Most likely not, hard to envision another nine-commit month anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean it has to be a downer, though. Here are names to keep tabs on during July as potential commitments for the Sooners.
(Listed in order of realistically making the call)
Rockdale (Texas) High WR JaQuayln Crawford
Why OU: Because if you follow Crawford on social media here lately, he has been tweeting as if he’s already a member of OU’s #ST2K18 class. Crawford visited OU during the spring that seemed to absolutely put the Sooners in the driver’s seat.
Since then, it feels like all that has happened is Crawford has grown a better connection with OU commits and is slowly seeing other options disappear. If ever there was a sign of the pieces coming together, this has been it with OU and Crawford.
Why not: Because OU took three wide receiver commitments in four days, and who knows if the Sooners are ready to take No. 4? Especially when you have Houston Episcopal’s Jaylen Waddle lingering out there as a legitimate slot candidate as well. You’re not likely to get all five so OU will have to numbers crunch this one.
Richland Hills (Texas) High OLB DaShaun White
Why OU: Because White has had zero problems saying he grew up with OU as his dream school. You could make a real argument that had OU handled this recruitment a little better, a little smoother that White would already be in the class.
White hasn’t visited the campus since junior day so his expected arrival in the next 1-2 weeks could mean big things. Most top recruits, after seeing OU’s completed facilities and the energy of Riley, have left grinning from ear-to-ear.
Why not: Texas A&M has put in the work that OU should have been doing back in the winter. And Oklahoma State lurks out there. OU just hasn’t been able to close the deal so far for any linebackers, but this would be a tough one to not lock down this month since White has already stated it will be this month.
Justin (Texas) Northwest OT Darrell Simpson
Why OU: Because you watch the offers at a spot like offensive tackle and realize offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has only made one legitimate offensive tackle offer in basically the last 3-4 months. One huge reason for that is the speculation Simpson is still the No. 1 priority.
Simpson is very quiet on the trail compared to some other top prospects so maybe he’s just waiting for the right time to move? Simpson told Sooners Illustrated he expects to be at OU’s #ChampUBBQ on July 28, which could end up being a big Friday in Norman.
Why not: Because Simpson feels like he should have been a commitment already. April, May, June, all felt like viable months. If Simpson keeps waiting, will OU? IMG’s Reuben Unije is out there and gaining steam so something to monitor if Simpson does indeed make it to the BBQ.
Council Bluffs (Iowa) Iowa Western CC OT Anthony McKinney
Why OU: Because OU is definitely taking a junior college offensive tackle and the assumption for an entire calendar year has been that it will be McKinney. Add in a great official visit last month, and again, the chips are in OU’s favor.
McKinney hasn’t been too active on the recruiting game because most believe he’s OU’s to lose and Bedenbaugh hasn’t lost him and won’t lose him. If it really is a countdown of when and not if, perhaps it reaches zero in July?
Why not: There is still absolutely nothing to indicate McKinney and OU have fallen out of favor so you have to approach this from another angle. If McKinney wants to wait another month or two, that could certainly be a reasonable explanation.
Owasso (Okla.) High S Josh Proctor
Why OU: Because the Sooners never forgot about Proctor following his April commitment to Ohio State. Proctor has become an even bigger priority for OU coaches Lincoln Riley and Kerry Cooks, especially since Riley took over as head coach.
Add that to OU flipping Ron Tatum, having someone like Patrick Fields work tirelessly to get Proctor with the crew, and it just feels like the #ChampUBBQ could be the culmination of some long effective recruiting OU has done with Proctor.
Why not: There’s a reason Proctor never committed to OU in the first place. And yea, he might be enamored with Riley as coach now, but what about when the freshness wears off? Proctor feels at home with the Buckeyes, what can OU do to change that?
St. Louis Lutheran North DE Ronnie Perkins
Why OU: Because almost all recruiting experts agree that OU is the clear-cut leader for another Scout 300 defensive end despite the fact Perkins has had some false starts in terms of making it to Norman to see the campus.
Again, follow the offers. OU has not made a real defensive end offer in quite some time and has also let some previous defensive end targets commit elsewhere. Might be playing with fire or could be because Calvin Thibodeaux knows the work is done.
Why not: Much like McKinney, this could be a timing thing. Perkins has been a little uncertain on his decision future. At one point, it was after his senior season. Then it was during the summer. Things are constantly influx, but still not a terrible thing for OU.
Midwest City (Okla.) High DE/OLB Jalen Redmond
Why OU: Because this is one in-state recruitment that OU has not bungled. From the start, the Sooners have hit all the right notes with Redmond and his family. Even when things didn’t look as rosy for the overall class, OU never went off script.
Redmond is great friends with some of OU’s other in-state commitments and you can’t deny that fact. Those guys want Redmond to be with them in Norman, and Riley and Mike Stoops have laid the foundation to making this one work.
Why not: Another timing issue. Redmond’s consistency in saying his commitment will be in December is something you don’t see too often from recruits. He has made a lot of visits for someone who wants to wait so maybe it’s just easier to take him at his word?
Sooners Illustrated July prediction: JaQualyn Crawford, DaShaun White and one from Simpson/McKinney/Proctor.