RECRUITING: Sooners set for big weekend

Five-star OL Dan Doering headlines a group of at least eight recruits set to visit OU this weekend.

The Oklahoma Sooners will host one of their biggest weekends of the year in recruiting as they take advantage of a storied rivalry at night in front of a sold out Gaylord Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

The fact that game is at night helps the Sooners greatly as they are able to get some athletes in who would not have been able to make it if the Sooners were playing early in the day. The 6:00 PM start allows several athletes to fly in Saturday morning and leave on Monday morning if they have to.

Below is a list of athletes coming into Norman this weekend. And as always, be aware that this list is subject to change because recruiting changes it seems on the hour. The athletes:

1) Dan Doering, OL, 6'6, 280, 5.1, Barrington, Illinois - The Sooners have made up major ground on this top five OL in recent weeks and now stand a decent chance to sign him. Doering will bring his entire family to Norman this weekend and he has indicated that he is really looking forward to this visit. Doering has never been to Norman, but knows a great deal about the OU football program and he is well aware that the Sooners don't have a great number of OTs in the program. Doering has already been to Tennessee and he says he liked his trip to Knoxville despite the fact that the Vols lost to Notre Dame. Doering says he will also visit Notre Dame (12-03), Iowa (12-10) and Nebraska (12-17). Doering says that Ohio State and Miami are no longer in the picture with him. Doering has known OU offensive line Coach Kevin Wilson since the days he coached at Northwestern and that strong relationship has pulled the Sooners back into the game. Doering is ranked the fifth-best offensive tackle in the country, and at this point the Sooners have as good a shot as anybody.

2) Duke Robinson, OL, 6'5, 325, 5.7, Atlanta Booker T. Washington, Georgia - Robinson is an offensive tackle that the Sooners have had their eye on for over a year. Blessed with great size, Robinson has a tremendous upside and many believe that he will be a great collegiate offensive tackle. Robinson says that Oklahoma and Georgia are his top two schools with Florida and UCLA also getting visits. Robinson says he is not locked in on staying close to home, but the decision may come down to whether Robinson really wants to get away from home. Georgia is tough to beat in their home state on local talent they really want. However, Robinson has always liked OU and the Sooners have a good chance.

3) Curtis Crouch, OL, 6'6, 325, 5.2, Fayetteville Smith, North Carolina - Curtis is another big offensive tackle prospect that the Sooners like a lot more than the national recruiting experts do. OU has been on Crouch for over a year, but the Scout Network still does not rank him very high. Crouch's visit to OU will be his first of the year and he has a second set up to Virginia Tech (11-27). Crouch admits that he has been looking forward to his visit to OU for a long time. North Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee round out his top five. This is another big man that the Sooners have an excellent chance to sign and they could care less about where he stands in the recruiting ranking.

4) Brian Simmons, DT, 6'5, 305, 5.0, Hargrave Military Academy, Virginia - Simmons is not rated high because he is a year removed from high school and is spending his extra year at Hargrave. Simmons has tremendous strength, size and moves well for a big man. The Sooners have led for Simmons for over year and that lead is holding up as he gets ready to visit Norman this weekend. Oklahoma was the first school to offer Simmons and that means a great deal to him. Simmons is being recruited as a defensive tackle, but it is no secret that he could wind up on either side of the ball. Auburn is the only other school that Simmons says will definitely get a visit, but he admits that Miami and Tennessee have also started calling recently. OU could very well get Simmons' commitment this weekend.

5) Averell Spicer, DE, 6'2, 296, 4.65, Rancho Cucamonga, California - The Sooners will be throwing out all the stops in their effort to impress the No. 1 defensive end in the country. Spicer has shown interest in the Sooners all year and that interest has led to his visit to Norman this weekend. Spicer says he doesn't know much about OU or Norman, but he has always had a great interest in the Sooner football team. Spicer has already visited Nebraska and said that visit was nice, but you don't get the impression he really likes Nebraska. Spicer says he has no leader at this time and he set two other visits to Florida State (11-19) and USC (1-10). Oregon State figures to get his final visit towards the end of January.

6) Travis Bechum, DE/LB, 6'5, 218, 4.5, Oak Creek, Wisconsin - Bechum is somewhat of a wildcard in the Sooners recruiting picture because he has never shown much more than luck warm interest until he decided to visit the Sooners this weekend. Bechum was scheduled to visit Tennessee last weekend, but cancelled that visit at the last minute. Oklahoma will be the first visit for Bechum, who is being recruited by the Sooners as both a linebacker and defensive end. Bechum is considered the top prospect in Wisconsin and he is looking at OU, Tennessee, Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan and Miami. He says he will reschedule his Tennessee (11-26) visit and that he is still working to schedule visits.

7) Roy Miller, DT, 6'2, 295, 4.95, Killeen Shoemaker, Texas - Miller was one of the first players to commit to the Sooners and he is still holding strong. Yes, he still flirts with Texas on occasion as he grew up a big Longhorn fan. Miller is a good friend of Tommie Harris and that friendship has helped the Sooners in this recruiting effort. The Sooners win in the Cotton Bowl has all but sealed the deal for Miller. The official visit this weekend will totally close the book.

8 ) Brody Eldridge, DE, 6'5, 230, 4.7, La Cygne, Kansas - Brody is also committed to the Sooners. Eldridge committed to the Sooners after taking an unofficial visit during the Sooners fall camp and he has never waivered from that commitment. A broken ankle cost Eldridge his senior season, but that has not slowed down the Sooners enthusiasm for Eldridge. Eldridge is still sold on the Sooners and the feeling is mutual.

The eight will be the only official visits for the Sooners this weekend. Athlete Alex Daniels and cornerback Keith Massey of Columbus, Ohio were scheduled to visit this weekend, but a conflict has come up and both will reschedule. Both are still very interested in the Sooners, but both will probably wait until their prep season is over before they take official visits.

All-American wide receiver Derrick Williams of Greenbelt, Maryland was also originally scheduled on this weekend, however Williams' prep squad is in the playoffs and they will probably be there for a long while. Williams continues to show a great deal of interest in the Sooners and OU appears to be getting stronger with him as each week passes. Williams and his family will come up in mid-week sometime early in December, and if he takes another visit it will be to Texas. However, at the moment it is not clear whether Williams will take another visit or not outside of OU and Texas. He has all but ruled out Florida (first visit) with the coaching change and he doesn't appear to have a big interest in Penn State at the moment either, which that was his second visit. Virginia is still a possibility for a visit and so is Florida State, but the Sooners are still his leader and they will soon get a visit.

The Sooners will also have a good group of athletes making unofficial visit to Norman on Saturday and this list could grow on game day. Speedy wide receiver D.J. Hord of Kansas City Rockhurst, Missouri will make his way to OU. Sooner offensive line commits Ben Barresi of Edmond, Oklahoma and Brandon Keith of NEO will take in the Nebraska game. NEO redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Patterson will also be in attendance.

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