by James Hale, Alan Hitchcock and the OU Insider staff Double Winner or Chicken Dinner?
Jason White is easily the most decorated quarterback in Oklahoma history. After this week he may be the most decorated overall player in OU history.
Jason was a two-time award winner Thursday night, taking the Maxwell Award as college football's best all-around player and adding his second straight Davey O'Brien quarterback trophy. Will his second Heisman be forth coming tonight at 7PM (CST)? Probably not, but the only two time winner in Heisman history hinted that he voted for White and would welcome another two time winner. "I have been one who has always said that someone else is going to do that," said Archie Griffin, now president of the Ohio State alumni association. "It has surprised me that it has taken so long to be totally honest with you."
As a former Heisman winner, Griffin has a vote. He wouldn't say who it went to, though he may have provided a hint. "I expect it to happen," he said. "And I'm not going to be upset if that happens. In fact, I'll be awfully proud of Jason."
Ironically, if Jason does not win the Heisman, it will be Adrian Peterson who likely knocked him out, as the freshman has literally stolen the hearts of many of the country's voters - outside of California. The 19-year-old running back will try to become the first player to win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman. No sophomore has won it, either. All season long, Peterson has ignored the records and the attention. He says he's not on a mission, rather just doing what he does best. "I really don't feel like I have to prove anything to anybody," he said. "I just go out there and run the ball."
White has even said he'd cast his Heisman vote - as a past winner - for Peterson. "Adrian brings a lot to the team," White said. "Just his presence being out there, the defense has got to be ready for him." Although Adrian could inadvertently cost White his chance at history, it's also true that Peterson's presence lessened White's load and made the Sooners more balanced than last year. In fact, White's late-season surge was in large part because defenses started focusing on Peterson, who ran for 1,843 yards and 15 TDs.
It's the first time two sets of teammates make up four of the five finalists, which Andre Ware, who won the Heisman in 1989, said could cause a surprise. "Somebody could squeak in because they've got to pull votes from one another," he said. Ware said deciding whom to vote for was never more difficult for him. "It is because there's so much talent," he said. "There are so many guys who've had good years." About 24 hours before Wednesday's deadline for voting, Ware said he'd narrowed his list to Leinart, White and Peterson, who is trying to become the first freshman to win the award. Ware said he would have no problem voting for a freshman. "It's an award for best player that year, not a career award," he said.
While the country may be fixated on the bronze statue, Oklahoma has a bigger prize in mind. Both White and Peterson would love to win the Heisman, but each one sees the crystal ball as the ultimate trophy for this season. And, winning the Heisman may impact the National Championship game. It's no secret that you don't need your quarterback missing a week or two of Orange Bowl preparations on the banquet circuit. A running back, maybe, but the ten day loss of a quarterback is not good for any team.
Sooner fans who also covet another National Championship may do very well watching Matt Leinart waltz around New York with the statue. Have fun Matt, we'd rather collect our prize three weeks from now in Miami.
Dvoracek's return and a Trojan warning . . .
Dusty Dvoracek's possible return to the Oklahoma football team, (first reported here in October), was delayed, but not derailed, by a Big 12 vote (6-6) this week. OU officials are still evaluating his return, but feel that the NCAA appeal will be made by people with no reason to block Dusty's return. It seems that most of the votes 'against' came from schools not friendly to OU, or in fear of continued Sooner domination. The petty scene almost reminds you of some other polls and votes where opponents have a say in your team's destiny.
Perhaps that's exactly what Oklahoma needs to hear as they prepare for a USC team that appears to be their equal. Carson Palmer's admitted tanking of Jason White on his Heisman ballot will do little to endear USC to Sooner teammates prior to the kickoff on January 4th. Question now is, 'Who will be Torrance Marshall' at the mid field coin toss? One well placed source said that either Dan Cody or Jammal Brown could very well apply for the job.
After a week of looking at USC film, OU coaches are impressed by a team that almost mirrors the Sooners. "They're very good, the most talented team we've seen all year. There's no doubt that the BCS matched the two best teams this year," one OU coach said. "Their receivers are young, and in a year or two will be equal to what we have this year. In other areas they may be a hair better, but overall, it's almost dead even in talent. It's all going to come down to execution and recognition. They do a great job of trying to give you one look and getting personnel on the field to stop it - only to do the opposite. We just have to recognize the possibilities and not the obvious."
Jammal Brown wins Outland
Jammal Brown became Oklahoma's fifth Outland trophy winner and the first since Greg Roberts took home the honor in 1978. The fact that Brown credited OL Coach Kevin Wilson with his success will not hurt the Sooner's chances with linemen - on both sides of the ball, in a year when they are desperately needed. Center Vince Carter getting All American honors will also be a huge recruiting plus.
Even with the loss of two All Americans, next year's line is suddenly not a problem. Projected starters are; (Right Tackle) Davin Joseph, (6-4, 312, 5.0), and at Left Tackle either Akim Millington, (6-6, 300, 5.2), or JC transfer Brandon Keith, (6-6, 320, 5.3), who could dominate if he continues to work in the classroom. Chris Messner (6-7, 285, 4.9), will be a capable backup, and should continue to gain weight and strength, and expect surprising freshman J.D. Quinn to be a factor somewhere.
At Guard, look for seniors Chris Bush (6-4, 285, 5.0) and Kelvin Chaisson (6-5, 303, 5.1) to start. And at center Bush will also be in the battle with senior Chris Chester, (6-4, 278, 5.1), but Chester may win out simply because Bush has the ability to play very well at one of the guard spots.
It's 2006 that makes it mandatory that Oklahoma gather a few more top OL signatures this February in order to make the future solid at Oklahoma. After looking at the guard projections above, you can see that the verbal commitments of Jesse White (6-3, 287, 4.8), and this week's commitment from Jon Cooper, (6-3, 273, 4.9), are just what was needed to shore up a projected need at guard in the future.
Cooper committed to Oklahoma on Wednesday and, as always, James was on top of the situation before the Cooper had a chance to catch his breath, talking to Jon moments after his verbal to Kevin Wilson. "OU just felt so good that I just didn't want to miss out on that opportunity. I called Coach Wilson tonight. I believe that Coach Stoops talked to Coach Wilson, so he knows that I want to be a Sooner."
In true Sooner form, Jon said his visit to Okie State sealed the deal: "My visit to OU was great and that answered a lot of my questions, but not all of them. So, I went and visited Oklahoma State. The whole time I was on that visit I was thinking 'Oklahoma,' and I knew that OU was where I wanted to play my college football - so I didn't want to wait any longer."
Gee Jon, you're already our favorite recruit!
In other news along the offensive line, Brandon Braxton's mom reported that he has passed the ACT and he has been cleared by the NCAA Clearing House to enroll at Oklahoma for the second semester and go through spring football. However, at this time nothing has been cleared through OU. So, at this point the Braxton's have the good news, but OU doesn't have the final 'OK for takeoff,' yet.
Sooner Linebacker Needs Suddenly Elevated
Next year's Sooner defense received some bad news this week when they learned that junior redshirt linebacker Wayne Chambers will have to give up football because of a degenerative medical problem. If he continued to play and suffered a hit the wrong way, then he could risk paralysis for the rest of his life.
Chambers, who some coaches just a year ago doubted, was having a break out redshirt year. For most of the camp, Chambers was finally healthy and focused, and he was playing the best football of his career. Without a doubt, he had worked his way into the favorite's role to start at middle linebacker next year.
Zach Latimer played well in last week's Big 12 Championship game, making several big plays. However, he is playing at 218 pounds and needs to put on a good 15 to 20 pounds to play middle linebacker effectively. Although he started the year at 230, Latimer lost weight during the season, and that does concern his coaches. Fellow 'stickman' Lewis Baker is another LB that continues to have weight issues. He is still battling to get his weight up and is currently at 205 to 210 pounds. To play middle linebacker, Baker has to gain more weight and that's always been difficult for him to do. However, Baker has had a great redshirt year and his promise is still incredibly high. He can still run and make plays, but can he play at the point of attack?
This is a great situation for recruits Curtis Lofton and Ryan Reynolds. Lofton is better suited to play the middle and Reynolds outside, but OU has a spot open and both will be going for it.
As James reported this week, Sooner Co-Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables had a great in-home visit with Reynolds causing the UCLA fascination to cool just a bit. Still - it will be a chore to keep Reynolds , who will announce during the Scout.com - Army All-American game in San Antonio, solidly in the Sooner fold, but as of now OU continues to lead for their top LB prospect.
This spring, OU will have Clint Ingram, Rufus Alexander, Latimer, Baker and DeMarrio Pleasant on scholarship, with Ingram entering his last year and Latimer and Baker very raw and with little experience. Before the medical situation with Chambers was known, the Sooners knew they needed a minimum of two outstanding linebackers in this class. That number now jumps to three.
But OU does offer great opportunities for elite linebackers. For example, OU has battled USC for several of the nations top LB prospects recently, and will do so again this year. But as a comparison, the Trojans have nine scholarship LB's while the Sooners will only have five in spring drills. So how does Oklahoma make up for the loss of Chambers?
Several new possibilities at LB
The disappointing news on Chambers left OU in critical need of at least one more linebacker than they needed just a week ago, the Sooners turned up their interest in with linebacker Lamont Robinson, (6-2, 220, 4.65), out of Salem, N.J. Brent Venables had a great in-home visit with Lamont, who is on campus this weekend.
"It was great to finally meet Coach Venables," said Robinson. "He is a great guy and an even better coach. I just think he is one of the best coaches in the country. He always produces some of the best linebacker corps in the country. Because of him and the great tradition at OU, I am very interested in OU." Robinson committed to Virginia early on in the process and has now decided to take a few visits. In addition to Oklahoma, he's interested in Georgia and Ohio State as well as others.
Also add JC standout Desmond Bishop, who hails from CC of San Francisco, and Melbourne, Florida linebacker Neefy Moffett, (6-1 / 220 / 4.6), to the mix as well. Moffett is being recruited nationally, Including FSU, Auburn, Miami, OU and USC, and talked more about his visit. "USC was tight and everything," he said. "I was chillin with some of the guys they got from down here like Keith Rivers. It's tight. The players aren't any different than down here. They have good coaches and a good system. I'm going to Oklahoma next weekend so I'll be able to compare it with something."
Recruiting - December Sweepstakes Getting Close
The Oklahoma coaches have been on the road this week for in-home visits and they had excellent results. Although this weekend is big, next weekend shapes up to be the critical forty eight hours that will determine if this class finishes as the nation's top group. The Big 12 Championship game gave the Sooners some great publicity, but it also delayed important in home visits.
First, let's take examine the forty one prospects who are still in the running for a Crimson uniform. We've said that the recruiting game is a process of elimination, for all parties.
Three players that OU was recruiting last week are now 'off the board.' DE Travis Beckum, (6-5 / 218 / 4.5), committed to Wisconsin; CB Michael Ray Garvin, (5-8 / 178 / 4.4), committed to Florida State and CB Alton Dixon, (6-0 / 180 / 4.4), who had once been a heavy OU lean, made it certain that he'd sign with Texas A&M. We'll leave Kansas City wide receiver D. J. Hord as a possibility, as he still has contact with the Sooner staff, but he is probably headed elsewhere. Also DT Roy Miller is no longer committed to OU, but is still trying to decide between the Sooners and Texas.
We keep saying that there are always recruits appearing out of no where late in the season, and it's true again this year. While there were three prospects committing elsewhere, the Sooners actually supplemented their shopping list with the addition of seven new prospects: including New Jersey LB Lamont Robinson; Desmond Bishop, the outstanding LB out of CC of San Francisco; Fred Rouse; Minnesota's two top prospects, OL Rafeal Eubanks (#11 OL nationwide) and defensive tackle Walker Ashley, who is rated as the #19 defensive tackle, (DE) C.J. Ahyou, (6-4 / 250 / 4.6), from Snow JC Utah and small town stud, (TE-DE) Aaron Cummings, (6'5 / 240 / 4.7), out of Bray-Doyle, Oklahoma.
Again, here's our coplete list of current prospects:
Pos / Nat'l Rank / Prospect / Vitals / Hometown / Top Contenders (current)
WR 1A Derrick Williams 6-0 / 193 / 4.4 Greenbelt, MD OU; FL, PSU
WR 1 Fred Rouse 6-3 /187/ 4.40 Tallahassee, FL FSU, Miami, AL, OU, TX
TE 1 DajLeon Farr 6-5 / 240 / 4.6 Galena Park, TX LSU, OU, UT
TE 17 Ed Dickson 6-5 / 225 / 4.6 Bellflower, CA USC, OU, Mich, ASU, AZ
TE 2 Martellus Bennett 6-6 / 240 / 4.7 Houston, TX Miami, OU, UT, Duke, AZ, LSU
OL 15 Cory Zirbel 6-7 / 292 / 5.3 Murray, KY Mich, OU, VaTech
OL 20 Paul Duncan 6-6 / 288 / 5.4 Dallas, GA LSU, OU, ND
OL 18 Curtis Crouch 6-6 / 316 / 5.2 Fayetteville, NC OU, NC St, TN, VT
OL 2 Reginald Youngblood 6-5 / 285 / 5.3 Houston, TX LSU, OU, Miami, UT
OL 3 Dace Richardson 6-6 / 300 / 5.0 Wheaton, IL Iowa, ND, TN, USC, OU, WI
LB JC Desmond Bishop 6-2 / 245 / 4.6 CC San Francisco JC CAL, USC, OU, Utah
OL 5 Dan Doering 6-6 / 290 / 5/0 Barrington, IL Iowa, ND, OU, NU, TN
OL 66 Duke Robinson 6-5 / 326 / 5.7 Atlanta, GA GA, OU, FL, and others
LB 2 Luther Brown 6-2 / 227 / 4.7 Lakewood, CA USC, LSU, Miami, OU, AZ, UCLA
LB 15 Antonio Clay 6-1 / 207 / 4.7 Jeffersonville, GA GA, OU, Miami
LB 16 Alex Daniels 6-3 / 225 / 4.5 Columbus, OH Ohio St, OU, FSU
LB 28 Adrian McCovey 6-3 / 218 / 4.6 Lakewood, CA OU, Miami, Ore St, AZ
LB 3 Eugene Hayes 6-1 / 218 / 4.6 Madison, FL Aub, OU, USC, TN
LB 4 Ryan Reynolds 6-2 / 220 / 4.6 Las Vegas, NV OU, LSU, ND, UCLA
LB - Jodie Richardson 6-2 / 215 / 4.4 Duncanville, TX A&M, OU
LB 25 Lamont Robinson 6-2 / 220 / 4.65 Salem, NJ VA, GA, Ohio St, OU
DT 2 DeMarcus Granger 6-3 / 325 / 5.2 Dallas, TX OU, LSU, UT, OSU
DT 3 Jerrell Powe 6-2 / 322 / 5.1 Waynesboro, MS Aub, MS, MSU, LSU, A&M, OU
DT 5 Vince Oghobaase 6-6 / 300 / 5.2 Houston, TX A&M, OSU, OU, AZ, Miami
DT 7 Ekom Udofia 6-1 / 290 / 5.0 Scottsdale, AZ Stanford, USC, OU, Miami, OSU
DT 15 Terrel Nemons 6-2 / 323 / 5.3 Cedar Hill, TX KU, OU, CU, NU
DT 21 Kyle Moore 6-6 / 249 / 4.9 Warner Robbins Miami, USC, OU, Aub, Mich, TN
DT 31 Brian Simmons 6-5 / 305 / 5.0 Hargrove Military OU, NC State
DT 17 Roy Miller 6-2 / 295 / 4.9 Killeen, TX TX, OU
DT - Lorenzo Jones 6-4 / 294 / 5.1 McKinney, TX TX, OU, ISU, A&M, OSU
DE 1 Averell Spicer 6-2 / 265 / 4.6 Rancho Coca, CA USC, FSU, OU, NU, LSU, Mich
OL 11 Rafael Eubanks 6-3 / 290 / 5.1 St Paul, MN IA, MN, ND, OU, MD, Miami
DE 16 Richard Gordon 6-4 / 255 / 4.7 Miami, FL Miami, OU, FSU, SFL, LSU
DT 19 Walker Ashley 6-5 / 285 / 4.8 Eden Prairie, MN USC. Ohio St, OU, MN, PSU
CB 11 Syd,Quan Thompson 5-10/ 180 /4.4 Sacramento, CA Cal, OU, USC, AZ, UCLA
Ath - Aaron Cumings 6'5 / 240 / 4.7 Bray-Doyle, OK
CB 19 Corderra Hunter 6-2 / 180 / 4.4 Longview, TX Texas Tech, A&M, OU
CB 27 Brian Jackson 6-1 / 210 / 4.5 DeSoto, TX AZ, OU
SS 2 Reggie Smith 6-0 / 192 / 4.5 Edmond, OK OU, NU, A&M, ND, USC
Ath 9 Nic Harris 6-3 / 210 / 4.7 Alexandria, LA LSU, Mich, OU, A&M, NU
DE JC C.J. AhYou 6-4 / 250 / 4.6 Snow JC, Utah BYU. KU, OU, Boise
Around the horn . . .
Derrick Williams, Greenbelt, Maryland, who the Sooners think is the Adrian Peterson this year, is in Norman this week and Bob Stoops changed his plans to make it back to Norman prior to the Williams family arrival. Stoops did a great job on the in home visit this week and OU has a very solid shot at signing Williams, who will also visit Texas next weekend. But we have reported for three months or more that this is going to come down to an OU - Florida decision. Urban Meyer made a smart move by keeping the former wide receiver coach, who had been recruiting Williams, on his staff. That move has kept Florida very much in the hunt. Williams graduates this semester and he wants to make a decision before the Christmas holiday, and has scheduled a press conference to announce his decision on Dec. 22nd on ESPN. This is a close call because Williams has kept things close to the vest.
If Williams is not the nation's top receiver, that honor would fall on Fred Rouse, perhaps the nation's top recruit. He has family in South Florida and he grew up around the FSU program. Rouse's mother wants him at Miami while his father wants him at Florida State. Rouse continues to say all the right things about OU, Texas and Alabama - and that this trio has a realistic shot at him. While the odds favor Florida State, Miami is closer than most people think. This could very well be a signing-day decision. Rouse will visit Oklahoma next weekend, and anything could happen.
We reported two weeks ago that the Sooners continue to talk to DajLeon Farr, who has committed to LSU. Right behind Farr in the TE rankings nationwide is Martellus Bennett, of Alief Texas. The Sooners had a great in-home visit with Bennett and are still very much in the running for the nations #2 ranked TE. "Coach Kevin Sumlin and Coach Jackie Shipp came by to see earlier this week and I really enjoyed the visit," said Bennett. "I like both of them and both shoot the truth with me when they talk. Coach Sumlin is the tight end coach at OU and I would enjoy playing for him. My last visit is going to be to Miami, and then I am going to decide between OU, Texas and Miami. I don't know where I am going to go right now, but Oklahoma is one of my top three schools." Ed Dickson, the Sooners other top TE prospect, visits Mike Stoops at Arizona this weekend.
OU may not have to wait until next weekend to find out about three of their top OL prospects, as Reggie Youngblood, Cory Zirbel and Dan Doering visit the Sooner's top competition, (Miami, Iowa and Michigan), this weekend.
Kevin Sumlin has coached in a lot of different areas and he has not burned a bridge anywhere. I would guess he is one of the most popular assistant coaches in the country, and that pays off in recruiting for him. Sumlin and Jackie Shipp are also teaming up on Houston, Texas offensive lineman Reginald Youngblood, of Houston Booker T. Washington, who some say is the top prospect in Texas. Could he follow the state's top two prospects (RB Adrian Peterson and QB Rhett Bomar) from last season to Norman? Well, at this time, he calls OU and Miami his co-leaders, with Texas, LSU and Tennessee trailing. So far, Youngblood has scheduled visits to Miami this weekend and Oklahoma next. He went to Baton Rouge last weekend for an official visit to LSU, which went very well.
Coach Wilson had a very good in-home with Zirbel, who insists that he is not leaning to Michigan and that OU has a real shot.; "It (the Visit) went real well. He came in Wednesday morning and stayed until early afternoon. My dad came over to the school and talk to him a long time. He then talked to my coach and principal at school. He talked to just about everybody at school, and that was pretty cool. It's still Oklahoma, Michigan and Miami. I still say it's too close to call. I don't have a leader. I will know a lot more after the visit to Michigan this weekend. I am going to sit down and evaluate everything after that visit."
Meanwhile, OU chances with Doering get better and better. OU has a legitimate shot with this stud and it's going to be interesting to see what happens this weekend. OU has made up so much ground here and they are emerging as a leading contender. This has come down to and OU - Iowa battle and most thought that Iowa was a lock to sign him several weeks ago. "Iowa has got a great coaching staff. I really like the strength coach (Chris Doyle). They've got an overall reputation for producing OLs and making them into the best players and people. Oklahoma's players are really cool guys. I also like their strength and conditioning coach (Jerry Schmidt), and coach Stoops is a great guy. I get an overall good feeling from Oklahoma. They're #2 in the nation and they're one of those high profile teams that have been on top for several years now."
Oklahoma appears to be slipping away on Dace Richardson. According to most reliable sources, it's down to four schools -- Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee and Southern California.
Eugene "Geno" Hayes is a super linebacker and where he ends up is a mystery. The early word was that FSU is the team to beat, yet Geno doesn't say that, despite visiting FSU for practices and games. Oklahoma is not mentioned by Hayes as a finalist, and it would be an enormous surprise if the Sooners would make up enough ground to be considered a serious contender. But as long as he still is talking to OU, it at least remains a possibility.
Two of the newcomers to OU's recruiting list are C.J. AhYou and Aaron Cummings. AhYou, (6-4 / 250 / 4.6), is one of the most talented junior college defensive ends in the country. C.J. started his collegiate career at BYU, where he suffered an early injury prompting his transfer to Snow JC. Ahyou, who has two years of eligibility remaining, has been offered by BYU, Boise State, Kansas and Oklahoma, and he is visiting KU this weekend. "I have never been to Kansas or Oklahoma, but I am real excited about these trips and I am looking forward to checking them out. I'm going to Oklahoma on the 17th. I am very interested in OU - who wouldn't be? They are a great program and they are competing for a National Championship all the time. Everybody that wants to play college football wants to compete and play at Oklahoma." Ahyou says he doesn't have a favorite and he hopes to enroll at semester.
Cummings is an eight man standout that could play a number of positions including teight end or defensive end. "I've played eight-man all my life," said Cummings. "I love it - we play with less people on the field, but it is still football. I played 11-man football at the Tulsa and OSU camps and I think I did pretty well in those camps. Eight-man football is not that much different, especially at the tight end position."
This past season Aaron caught over 50 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a sophomore, Cummings racked up 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. And then as a junior, he had 1,015 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cummings can bench 275 pounds and he starts in hoops (17.8 ppg) and is a shortstop (.589) and pitcher for the baseball team. Tulsa is the only school to offer Cummings at this time, but other schools are becoming interested. "I like Tulsa a lot, but Oklahoma has begun to show some interest in me and I was invited up recently to one of their practices. Coach (Cale) Gundy told me that he was going to start recruiting me vigorously, and he has. He calls quite a bit and says he is coming up next week to watch me play basketball. "If Oklahoma offers me a scholarship I have a legitimate interest in them. If they offer I will have a tough decision to make."
The Sooners have had to wait on Columbus, Ohio standout Alex Daniels to wrap up a state championship season. "I'm going to OU on the 17th and to Minnesota this Friday. Keith Massey is going on both trips with me. After those two I am going to set up some more, but I am not sure where." Daniels expects his Oklahoma visit to go well: "I think the vibes are going to be incredible when I visit there. They are getting ready for a national championship and they are going to be practicing for that game. It is going to be interesting to see the environment surrounding a team that is getting ready to play in such a big game. It is going to be great to watch the coaches and players and see how they work together with such a big game on the line, and to see what kind of intensity they are practicing under. I want to see how they respond to those that say Auburn is better than them. OU knew they were going to win the Big 12 Championship and they know the real challenge will come from USC. We had to go through the same thing here in Columbus."
LSU got first crack at hosting the Sooners top DT recruit, DeMarcus Granger last weekend, and he came away impressed with what he saw. "It was a real good visit," he said. "The facilities were already good but you can see how they are making them better by putting everything together at the football complex. They have a nice academic center and really everything was nice." When asked if the LSU visit met all of his expectations, Granger replied, "It was a 10. It created more interest on my part and gave me something to think about." Next up is his official visit to Oklahoma next weekend. Granger said he is not ready to name a leader and he doesn't expect to have one until he finishes up with his visits.
Oklahoma has not yet impressed Ekom Udofia, who was asked to compare his first three visits. "The biggest difference is that there's so much more to do in Miami," he said. "It's a really exciting place to be and the expectations are so high. USC is getting ready to play for the title but I know Miami's got some good times coming up. They're going to have a great team the next few years. Coach Coker was telling me about how I will have a chance to play early and how the academics are there." The talented defensive lineman plans on visiting Oklahoma State this weekend, followed by Oklahoma on the 17th. "I'll probably make my decision in January after all my visits," he said. "Right now it's all pretty even. I've gone back and forth but between Stanford, Miami, and USC it's pretty much the same right now."
DT Brian Simmons has his choice of just about any school in the country, but he says that three schools have stepped to the front and are in the lead at the moment. "Oklahoma, Georgia and Auburn. I would say those are my top three right now and mainly between Auburn and Oklahoma. They have shown me the most interest of any of the schools." Having already visited OU, Simmons says he has a pretty good feel for the program and what life would be like 1,000 miles from home. He says that he really liked everything about the Sooners and could definitely see himself playing there in the future.
Averell Spicer Rancho Cucamonga, CA is the top defensive-end prospect in America and right now he favors USC. Shocking? Well, depends on how you look at it. Spicer lived in Orlando before moving to California and the Seminoles were thought to be the team to beat, especially early on. But that has changed, and the Trojans lead. He has already visited Nebraska and Florida State with upcoming visits to Oklahoma and next month to USC.
Texas cornerback Brian Jackson, (6-0, 197, 4.5) is now one of Oklahoma's top two comer recruits and is visiting this weekend. "I like Oklahoma and Arizona a lot right now," says Jackson. "My decision will come down between these two schools." Look for this one to go back and forth with the impressionable recruit from DeSoto, Texas. Unless of course, the Sooners make a big enough impact this weekend to force an early decision.
We've been telling you here that OU coaches think that Nic Harris is one of the most dynamic players in the country. The OU coaches had a chance to visit Harris this week. "The visit went real well," he reports. "I had a chance to talk to Coach Stoops and Coach Wright, and it was real cool. They just let me know how much they wanted me. Coach Stoops was coming off the Big 12 Championship game and one of his first stops was to see me. That showed me right there how much he wanted me. The only thing that I am concerned with is consistency, because next year OU could have a down year. But if they are consistent they will bounce back. I am looking for consistency in a program and OU fits that category."
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