RECRUITING: Sooners land Claremore DL

Claremore, Okla. defensive lineman Billy Blackard becomes the Sooners fifth verbal commitment.

As expected, OU has received the verbal from down defensive lineman Billy Blackard (6'3, 290) of Claremore, Oklahoma.

Blackard is primarily being recruited as a defensive tackle, but he is a very athletic down lineman who could easily play on either side of the ball.

"He has great explosion off the line," said head coach Rex Trent. "He stays low to the ground, and since he is a wrestler, he knows how to use his hands very well. He pursues the ball very hard. We played him both ways last fall, and we'd like to just play him on the defensive line if we can this upcoming fall."

This is a case of an Oklahoma athlete wanting to go to the big time state school, despite not having an offer early and going to their camp to win a scholarship. Blackard was so impressive in the Sooner camp that an offer soon followed after that camp.

Blackard's commitment is the fifth to the Sooners. As we have pointed out all along Brandon Keith out of NEO is a soft commitment, but until his academic situation gets cleared up we can't count him as a commitment to the Sooners.

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