Break From A Stumbling Start . . .
This week's off date comes at a perfect time for this team. It gives RS freshman Rhett Bomar an extra week to get into a groove, and it allows the coaches to makes changes necessary to offset the disappointing 1-2 start.
The play of Bomar at UCLA was the first glimmer of hope seen yet this season. If he improves as much in the next week or so as he did from Tulsa to UCLA - the Sooners should be set to gradually improve there, and get back on track.
Bob Stoops offered this assessment of his quarterback vs UCLA: "We saw great progress in one game and I think it will continue to improve."
"The encouraging part is we did throw the football better. I thought Rhett and the quarterback play was solid for the most part, in that it he had some big runs, some big first down pickups running the option and different plays, as well as throwing the football."
"He's showing more confidence, he's more comfortable in this short amount of time, and that should only improve. He's capable of doing what we're asking, he's capable of making all the throws. It's just getting the confidence, the comfort and the time. Sometimes it isn't the quarterback, it's the time to throw it, the proper route."
"I feel like we are making progress, but we have to make it quicker and we've got to get some things done that way."
This 'off week' offers the opportunity for those things, and others, to get worked out.
Stoops' Summer Statements
It's somewhat mystifying to hear some of the comments and conversations after an unexpected loss. One unfounded thought is that Stoops 'oversold' his team this summer and was too flamboyant in his comparisons to 2000.
Let history itself, and your knowledge of Stoops, answer that charge.
Never has Bob Stoops deviated from his 'no excuses' motto. It's his job, and desire, to find a way to win regardless. He starts every day thinking about a glass half full, not half empty.
There is a sign in the Sooners weight room: 'Win the Big 12 - No Excuses!' So what is Stoops to do, take down the sign before the first game is even played? That's not only plain stupid, but it's also certainly not Bob Stoops.
"To me, the biggest factor is we can play smarter than we're playing and we can play harder. Our guys wanted to play; they were prepared to play. But we have to learn to play at a higher tempo than we're playing."
"We, as coaches, have to get that done. And that's what we're going to push to do here in the next few weeks. I think to, at times, we still definitely need to be more physical. Those are things that we have prided ourselves on here that we can be better at obviously, and need to be if we're going to have any chance to continue to improve as a team."
"I believe we will. I believe we're capable of it and we're going to push hard this week to get done."
All Day - or Absolutely Dumb?
The most ridiculous charge, (naturall originating from the Lone Star State), so far - is that Adrian Peterson might pull a 'Marcus Dupree' and quit his team. But anyone with any knowledge of Peterson knows that he's 180 degrees removed from Marcus Dupree. If Dupree would have possessed AD's work ethic - there is no doubt that he would have rewritten NCAA history.
The entire team is well aware of who its offensive leader is, and Peterson shows no signs of surrendering that title. Peterson sets the pace in almost every drill, every day. He outruns, out lifts, out jumps and out works any challenger, and is ready to take on any drill at any time. The last word you'd ever use to describe him would be 'quitter.'
To give this subject anymore serious attention would be about as far off as a lunar shot pointed toward Mars.
Paul Thompson Catching On . . .
Stoops explained that if only the good of the team were considered, Paul Thompson would probably remain as backup to Bomar. But Stoops said that intangibles factored into the decision to allow Thompson to make a serious run at receiver.
"It's not the ideal situation, but he's a junior and only has this year and next year left to play. What he's done for the program already coming out of his redshirt year to play for us because we had nobody else at the time to prepare, he's worked too hard for me to sit here and not give him an opportunity to not get on the field more."
"That's just the way I am and our coaches are. And I think the team's excited about it."
"Yesterday, he made a play — we're in team and we're going against each other trying to pick up our tempo and we had a blitz drill going — he ran a fade route and I mean it looked like he'd been here forever at receiver."
"Rhett threw it up high, which is kind of neat Rhett throwing to him, he timed it perfectly — he's a high school 6-10 high jumper — and I mean he went up and took the ball away and looked great."
"And the team went crazy. They loved it and were excited about, because they see the excitement in him the fact that he's got that opportunity."
"I think, in the end, it will help us chemistry-wise as well. Not that the chemistry is bad, but I think they respect Paul as well and how hard he's worked. It gives him an opportunity to do something that excites him."
And that's exactly the benefit behind the move. The entire team loves Paul Thompson and will fight to the end for him. But at the same time they realize that Bomar is the quarterback that can take the team further. This change simply allows all emotions to be satisfied."
A week ago coaches wondered if PT would have an impact at receiver. This week in practice he has shown that he certainly will be a big factor in the success of this team.
The potential chemistry factor is similar to a few years ago when Sooner coaches realized that Brandon Everage was not their most sound player in the defensive backfield. Yet he continued to start, primarily because he made spectacular plays that ignited his teammates and turned many close games into routs.
After one short week, PT has shown not only that he can catch the ball and run great routes, but that he can also have an explosive psychological impact on the offense. One coach that was impressed after a few practices was Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables:
"The first day he was out there we saw one pass that he just ripped out of the sky. It was pretty incredible with good tight coverage on him. It doesn't surprise you because you know he will be a big, strong competitor."
He's a tremendous athlete who has great leaping ability. I would think that he would be precise in the things that he does as a receiver, because of his knowledge that he knows as a quarterback and his understanding of schemes defensively. He probably understands better than most receivers in that regard, and he is a sharp guy."
Thompson admits that playing quarterback has given him an edge at playing WR: "It is different than just coming out blind, especially when you have been playing quarterback. It might be different if I was playing defense, but coming from quarterback I know every position. I know all the routes and depths and what I the timing is supposed to be. It is going to be an easy transition for me. I am still working at quarterback watching film with Coach Long, as well with Coach Wyatt. There was no regret. I just have to get out there and help this team."
Look for Thompson to see action in the KSU game, and also look for an end around pass at some time in the next several games.
Offensive Line Relishes Off Week
It's no secret that most of the problems so far can be traced to the offensive line.
Akim Millington's practice meltdown four days before the season opener was an early season-defining disaster. And obviously, after throwing a fit at practice, Stoops thought that to allow him back on without severe reparations, would do nothing for a team in search of unity and toughness. In the end Akim rejected the conditions set before him, and the team backed the coach.
With that decision now in stone, OL coach Kevin Wilson gets another chance to make changes and get the right combination, and ultimatley get an answer.
This week he may have found it.
Wilson's current thinking has Davin Joseph at left tackle, next to freshman Duke Robinson who moves into the left guard spot. Why?
Joseph is the team's most solid player along the OL, while Robinson currently is still not in the shape he needs to be to block effectively on the outside. Therefore, putting Robinson at LG solves a problem and gives the Sooners better pass protection on the flank. In time, Robinson will replace the extra pounds with muscle and with some improved quickness, could star at tackle. But his position for the remainder of this season may be at guard.
Chris Chester remains at center, and freshman Jon Cooper, who has just returned from an injury, most likely will back him there, but could also see time at guard if that position continues to struggle.
At right guard Chris Bush should continue to start, but is being pushed by J.D. Quinn and maybe even Cooper. Obviously, Bush is still the most versatile OL, fully capable of playing either guard or center, and in a year like this, could be the key player regardless of where he plays.
Look for freshman Branndon Braxton to stay at right tackle, but he must continue to improve his footwork if the run game to the right side is to be successful. Chris Messner is a capable backup, but still could use another 10 pounds in order to sustain a fight for more than a half.
Wilson is aware that his freshmen linemen must continue to improve, but refuses to be critical of either Braxton or Robinson, reminding that the UCLA game was only their second college start.
Meanwhile - Wilson and company hit the JC ranks to find a few good men. They hope to get a top five OT and OG that is slated for December graduation. If not, either Billy Blackard and/or Cordero Moore will likely be needed to fill in the OL ranks next spring, if other candidates do not improve. Both are athletic and talented enough to get the job done in time.
Receiving Woes Improve
While the receiving corps has shown some improvement, it's youth was also exposed early on. Quentin Chaney's missed TD catch was crucial in the UCLA game, and Lendy Holmes did his team no favors with his horrible struggle to get proper position and make a catch on punts, in all games this year.
The miscues and misfires has enabled Juaquin Iglesias to shoot ahead of both, and he also has the speed to play the slot, allowing Malcom Kelly and Travis Wilson to stay outside.
Obviously, Paul Thompson should add some needed punch here, and coaches also believe that freshman Eric Huggins will star after a year in the weight room. A healthy Jejuan Rankins return will also boost the receiving game, but he may need to lay out until the Texas game.
If Rankins is healthy he will be the starting punt returner as well, but if not then either Reggie Smith or Nic Harris will field punts. Smith has improved at catching punts the last couple of weeks and Harris seems a natural at it.
Defense Almost There . . .
The pieces are closer to coming together a bit faster on the defensive side of the ball.
Brent Venables gave his assessment so far, and the UCLA game in particular: "There are a lot of little things that we are a little bit rough at right now at a few different spots. We do have many positives and the attitude has been wonderful. The front seven was very solid in terms of run defense. Reggie Smith came in and played really well, probably better than all the other DBs, which speaks volumes for his maturity. And he still has many things he can improve on as well. We need to create more awareness from the secondary and linebackers. In particular, our positioning needs to be better as it is very evident that needs work."
"We're not as sharp as we need to be. There were many, many good things in that game, but we have to make sure what we do is not hurt ourselves. Not run ourselves out of position, not give a 10-yard cushion when we are supposed to have a five yard cushion or no cushion at all. Jump routes when their keys tell them to and they are supposed to, and trusting their keys and not freelancing.
"Demarrio Pleasant came in and started his first college game and did some really good things. The defensive ends were very limited in relief and those guys played outstanding. Dusty Dvoracek was our defensive MVP. He was just outstanding. I don't know if a defensive lineman was on the ground the whole day, and against that team that is huge. That was a real key to stopping them in the run game."
Still, coaches were not 100% pleased with coverage during the UCLA game and that should signal some changes - again, in the defensive backfield.
Bobby Jack Wright has moved Chijioke Onyenegecha to the boundary to compete with sophomore D.J. Wolfe. On the 'wide' side, Eric Bassey regains his starting spot, but will share it with sophomore Marcus Walker. Bassey should start at cornerback against Kansas State.
Wright said that Reggie Smith played an outstanding game against UCLA and has all the makings of a great safety. At free safety, Darien Williams was solid and at the moment is still the starter. However, he is getting pushed very hard by freshman Nic Harris, who may now be the starting nickel back, and who has a great chance to win the starting free safety job.
Venables said his concerns at UCLA were generally related to yards after the catch. "We didn't tackle well. We gave up 150 yards after the catch, and they were easy tackles to make. We need to be better at that than that. The effort was good, but again in the fourth quarter we gave up three drives and that was very disappointing."
"We are a zone defense primarily and people are going to make some completions against us, so what we have to do is limit yards after the catch. Then we need to be in position where we can step in front of some balls as well."
"Our run defense was a good thing and we had a lot of young guys who showed they can play. Reggie Smith and Demarrio Pleasant came in and played well. The two defensive ends C.J. Ah You and Calvin Thibodeaux played without a whole lot of rest. They more than held their own. They played well for us."
Venables admits that even though Pleasant played well for the injured Clint Ingram at SAM, he'd now hesitate to put him in as the backup at all three LB positions, as he would have done a few weeks ago.
"In all likelihood, I'd put in one of the freshman at the MIKE or WILL positions. Demarrio's very comfortable where he is (SLB) and not as comfortable at the other two because of practice reps. The MIKE (Curtis Lofton) and the WILL (Ryan Reynolds) are much different than the SAM in regards to technique, fundamentals, run game, pass game and all of the above. I think he would be pretty average right now at those without a couple of weeks of preparation. He's more than capable of playing it, but I think the other guys would be ahead in that regard."
Recruiting - Spotlight on the OL:
In addition to JC prospects - many of whom coach Wilson is looking at this weekend, Oklahoma extended an offer to Chase Beeler from Jenks, and may look to add one or two other HS seniors having great years.
One such senior in exactly the same position as Beeler was up until this week is Shreveport, La. offensive lineman Doug Stroud, who admits that he and Wilson have talked: "I've talked to Oklahoma a couple of times and I am still talking to them, but they have not offered me and I need to get my film to them."
Among the suitors looking at Stroud are Michigan, Florida, Alabama and OSU. "My top school is Michigan, followed by Florida and Alabama. All three schools are really high on my list. All three of these schools are still waiting to look at my film before they offer, but they all say they will offer me. I have not done a good job of sending my film out and dealing with my recruiting, and I'm playing catch up a little bit."
At present, here is OU's offer list along the OL - listed in order of signing possibility - as of this date:
Cory Brandon - (16) (6-6 / 255, 5.1), Corsicana, TX; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Curtis Bailey - (Top 25), (6-6 / 350 / 5.6), Dallas Carter;
Ian Symonette - (3), (6-9 / 330), St. Pius X HS, Houston, TX;
Antonio Logan-El - (10) (6-6 / 320 / 5.2), Forestville, MD.
J. B. Walton - (Top 25) (6-3 / 270 / 5.1, Indian Head, MD;
Matt Allen - (UR) (6-3½, / 280 / 5.3), Klein (Collins), TX.
Jim Barrie - (UR) (6-5 / 305), Tampa, FL;
Daron Rose - (Top 25) 6-5 / 310 / 5.4), Tampa, FL;
Daniel Wenger - (Top 25) (6-4 / 285 / 5.3), Fort Lauderdale, FL;
Lee Tilley - (15) (6-5 / 321), Springfield, OH;
Kendrick Ellis - (DT - OL) (6-5 / 320 / 5.0) West Palm Beach, FL;
Jovon Hayes - (Top 25) (6-2½ / 320 / 5.3), L.A. Dorsey, CA;
Andre Smith (1) (6-4 / 315), Birmingham, AL;
Chase Beeler - (UR) (6-3 / 275), Jenks, OK;
Marcus Gilbert - (UR) (6'6½, 285, 4.9), Fort Lauderdale, (St. Thomas Aquinas), FL;
Butch Lewis - (13) (6'6 / 280 / 4.8) , Denver (Regis Jesuit), CO;
Aaron Brown- (17) (6-6 / 283 / 5.1) OT Cincinnati, (Princeton), OH;
Cruz Barrett - (UR) (6-4 / 315), Daytona Beach, FL;
Phillip Taylor - (OT / DT) (6-4 / 340 / 5.1) Brandywine, MD;
Jeff Adams - (UR) (OT / DT) (6-7 / 325) Cadiz, KY;
Recruiting Receivers (OU expected to take 4 WR's + 1 TE):
OU commit Jeremy Maclin continues to draw conflicting comments about his 'solid' commitment to Oklahoma. He was quoted last week in the St. Louis paper as saying he may want to look at Missouri, as he was not sure what was going on with OU's offense. Although he did call OU this week and explain that he was misquoted, there is usually something behind these comments when they show a continual pattern.
OU loves Maclin as it's scat back - receiver with more moves than an Egyptian belly dancer. But you can only take so many mixed signals and one more will likely close the book on Maclin, should it appear in print.
The sudden and surprising emergence of Juaquin Iglesias has made the position a luxury item instead of a necessity, and it's no secret that OU would love to get Terrell Reese, a big, physical wide out (6-4 / 200 / 4.5), from Pflugerville, TX.
Reese, who is considering OU, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Arizona, visited OSU last week, (where the 'boys did everything they could to sell Reese on the fact that OU has too many receivers), and will go to Nebraska next.
"I still like Oklahoma a lot. There is a lot of talk about Oklahoma recruiting a lot of receivers in this year's class, and that may be a factor in my decision. I need to talk to Coach Wyatt and see what is going on with that. It is has been a dream to play at Oklahoma since I was young, but I just need to find out about how many wide receivers they are recruiting and how many they have on their roster."
Look for Wyatt to get that matter straitened out quickly, as he knows the O-State recruiting mantra better than anyone, having spent a few seasons in Cowtown and knowing very well what must be said in order to attract good players there.
If Reese does opt elsewhere, the Sooners are still looking for big and physical, and this week considered Milwaukee receiver Lance Kendricks (6-3½, 210).
"I've gotten offers from Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Arkansas and LSU," said Kendricks. "Then I hear a lot from Notre Dame, Iowa, UCLA, Oklahoma and Michigan State."
"I'm visiting LSU on October 22nd when they play Auburn. I'm going to visit Arkansas but the date hasn't been set, and I'm going to be at the Michigan-Wisconsin game on Saturday night," said Kendricks. "The other two schools I'd like to visit are Oklahoma and UCLA."
Right now the offer is on the table for Reese to accept or reject.
OU will also bring in one TE this year and Ocean Springs, MS TE Richard Dickson is back on the active list after taking a few weeks to deal with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which leveled his hometown, 20 miles east of Biloxi. Ocean Springs, has seen its season delayed due to the hurricane, but that has not stopped the recruitment for one of the country's top tight end prospects.
Minnesota Tight End Jordon McMichael, (6-5 / 230 / 4.7) is another top TE target and has already visited Oklahoma and Boston College and has Nebraska still waiting in the wings. He says that after he visits NU on October first he'll sit down and try to get some kind of feel of how his top three compare.
Ardmore's Jermaine Gresham, (6-7 / 235 / 4.7), remains on the list but again, has not tried to narrow his choices.
OU Offer List - at present - listed in order of signing possibility:
Adron Tennell - (16) (6-4 / 180 / 4.5), Irving, TX; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Jeremy Maclin - (UR) (6-0 / 180 / 4.4), Kirkwood, MO; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Brandon Caleb (UR) (6-1 / 195 / 4.5), Atlanta, GA; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Terrell Reese - (13) (6-4 / 200 / 4.5), Pflugerville, TX;
Jermaine Gresham - (9 TE) (6-7 / 235 / 4.7), Ardmore, OK;
Jordon McMichael - (UR TE) (6-5, 230, 4.7), Minneapolis, MN
Wesley Lyons, (UR WR /DB) (6-5 / 205 / 4.5), Pittsburgh, (Woodland Hills), PA;
Jeff Cumberland (4 - WR TE / DE/ LB) (6-4.5 / 221 / 4.47), Columbus, Brookhaven, OH;
Na Derris Ward - (3 TE) (6-5 / 245 / 4.8) Oakland, (McClymonds) CA;
Trent Pupello, (UR TE) (6-3 / 255 / 4.7), Tampa, (Jefferson), FL:
Richard Dickson - (UR TE / DE) (6-4 / 238 / 4.7), Ocean Springs, MS;
Tony Wilson - (14 CB) (6-0 / 175 / 4.45), Dayton, Fla.
Markeith Summers (UR) (6-4 / 190 / 4.6), Olive Branch, MS;
Konrad Reuland (2 TE) (6-6 / 240 / 4.7), San Juan Capistrano, CA
Andrey Baskins - (UR) (6-4 / 200 / 4.6) Camden, N.J.;
Jarred Fayson - (8 WR) (6-0 / 195 / 4.4) Tampa, FL;
Recruiting D-Backs - OU expected to take 4:
OU commit James Henry is having a great year and should know this week if he made the roster for January's Army All America game. Regardless, the San Antonio Schertz product is having a super star year.
"I'm mainly playing running back, and a little cornerback in special situations and in goal line situations. In my last game I had 218 yards and that brought my total to 598 yards and 10 touchdowns thus far."
It didn't take Oklahoma long to notice. In a surprising phone call, Henry heard from OU coaches this week who told him they were so impressed by his season so far that they were going to give him a shot at tailback, which is just fine with Henry.
"I grew up playing running back, so I like playing there. My sophomore year I played free safety, and that is where Oklahoma saw me at defensive back. I feel more comfortable at running back, but again it really doesn't matter it me. I may wind up on defense at OU, but if I have to play offensive guard then I will be an offensive guard if it will get me on the field for the Sooners."
"People like to compare me to Adrian Peterson because of my sized and speed. I think we are totally different, because he is so powerful. He is the best running back I have ever seen. He is so good. I am not that strong, but I can put a move on you in open field and I have good speed. I'm pretty strong, but not Adrian Peterson strong. I don't know of anybody who is."
Corners Perrish Cox, (6'0 / 175 / 4.4), and Terrance Anderson, (5-10 / 161), remain the top prospects at that position. Cox will visit Norman this weekend (K-State) and the Sooners need to close the door quickly.
"Oklahoma is one of my top three schools along with LSU and Oklahoma State. Oklahoma is a good team and they have cool coaches, at least with the ones I talk to. I talk to Coach Wyatt all the time and he is very cool. They talk to me about playing cornerback and receiver. The only thing that I don't know about when it comes to Oklahoma is about their academics, and I will find that out when I get there."
Houston Aldine QB Terrance Anderson projects as a CB on the college level, has a top five of Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Northwestern.
As for OU, Anderson says: "I've been keeping track with those guys. I know they got off on rocky start. I think they need some help on the offensive the ball. I think I could go in and help them on either side of the ball. They have told me that they are recruiting me as a cornerback and as an athlete. That is great with me because I would love to play on both sides of the ball. I think Coach Stoops is going to get things turned around at Oklahoma real soon."
"I haven't been able to set any visits this week because of Hurricane Rita. I am focusing on my family and what we have to do to stay ahead of this hurricane."
Another athlete that has had to battle hurricanes is the top rated corner in the country, Destrehan, Louisiana's Jai Eugene, who is posting some dazzling numbers on both sides of the ball early in the 2005 campaign.
Eugene was hoping to have his official visits set up by now but Katrina dashed those hopes. Now, he hopes to start ironing out the details for those visits and he is pretty sure he knows where he is going.
"It looks like Miami, Florida, Tennessee, USC and Michigan," Eugene said of his officials, "and I'm still considering Oklahoma a little."
Los Angeles defensive back Darian Hagan, Jr. (6-0, 175, 4.5) remains open-minded, but named, in this order, UCLA (already unofficially visited), Oklahoma, California (already unofficially visited), Arizona and Oregon as his favorites.
"Schools are recruiting me to play both safety and corner. Cal, UCLA and Arizona are programs that want me for safety. The others want me for corner.
"It's hard to pick a top one or two," said the Crenshaw High School phenom. "I don't really know. I've never had a favorite and I've never come close to committing anywhere. Anyone who's offered me is a favorite and they've all offered me."
Darian's father was a superstar option quarterback for Colorado. So, where are the Buffaloes? "It's my decision, and I won't go to a school just because my dad went there. He coaches the wide receivers for Colorado and I know he really wants me to come. He's my recruiter. I'd probably not be thinking about Colorado if my dad didn't coach there. But I could compete early there and I'd have family near there."
OU DB Offer List - at present - listed in order of signing possibility:
James Henry - (7 - S) (6'2 / 205 / 4.5), Schertz (Clemens), TX; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Jonathan Nelson - (13 CB) (6'0 / 175 / 4.4), of Mansfield, TX; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Perrish Cox - (5 CB) (6'0 / 175 / 4.4), Waco, Texas:
Terrance Anderson - (UR) (5-10 / 161), Houston, (Aldine Nimitz), TX;
A.J. Wallace - (UR) (6-1 / 195), Pomfret, MD.
Darian Hagen - (4 CB) (6-1 / 186), L.A. CA;
Reshad Jones - (13 - S) (6-2 / 177 / 4.5), Atlanta, (Washington), GA:
Jashaad Gaines - (UR) (6'0, 198, 4.5), Las Vegas High, NV;
Jai Eugene - (1 CB) (5-11 / 185 / 4.4), Destrehan, LA ;
Brandon Heath - (6 S) (6-1 / 190 / 4.55) Palm Beach, (Lakes), FL;
Jonas Mouton (4 S) (6-2, 212, 4.6), L.A. CA;
Devin Ross - (2 CB) RB / CB (5-11 / 180 / 4.4), Rancho Cucamonga, CA;
C.J. Gable - (6 RB) RB / DB (6-1 / 190 / 4.5) - Sylmar, CA;
Recruiting - Defensive Line - 6 available scholarships:
This week OU extended an offer to Tulsa Union DE Chase Nelson, (6-3 / 240 / 4.8) . Nelson already has an impressive offer list including Tennessee; UCLA, Missouri, Iowa State, KU, K-State, Minnesota, Tulsa, North Carolina, and Arkansas. It will be interesting to see if the Sooners can work their way up his favorites list.
California defensive end Jeff Miller (6-6, 250, 4.75) from Westlake Village still has Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Arizona State, Oklahoma and UCLA on his list of favorites.
OU's offer list at DT and DE - listed in order of signing possibility - as of this date:
Pryce Macon - (Top 30 DT) (6-1 / 261 / 4.7), Corpus Christi, TX.(Committed to Oklahoma)
Jeremy Gibbs, (JC DT) (6'4 / 285 / 4.8) , Northeastern A&M, OK; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Tim Johnson - (JC DE) (6'5 / 265 / 4.7), Northeastern A&M, OK; (Committed to Oklahoma)
Gerald McCoy - (2 DT) (6-4 / 280), OKC Southeast;
Derek Burton - (Top 25) (6-3 / 250), Muskogee, OK;
Chaz Washington - (Top 25 DT) (6-3 / 288 / 5.0), Destrehan, LA;
Ugo Chinasa - (13 DE) (6-5 / 230), Richardson, TX;
Brandon Antwine - (14 DT) (6-2 / 270 / 4.8) , Garland, TX;
Louis Holmes - (JC) (6-6 / 270), Scottsdale, AZ;
Jeff Miller - (UR DE) (6-6 / 235) Westlake Village, CA;
Chase Nelson - (UR DE) (6-3 / 240 / 4.8) Tulsa, OK.
Kendrick Ellis - (DT - OL) (6-5 / 320 / 5.0) West Palm Beach, FL;
Greg Banks - (UR DE) (6-5 / 260 / 4.8) , Denver, CO;
Jared Odrick - (19 OL / DL) (6'6, 290, 4.9), Lebanon, Pa (also listed at OL)
Aleric Mullins - (15 DT) (6-2 / 295 / 4.9) Wendell, N.C.
Phillip Taylor - (UR DT) (6-4, 340, 5.1), Brandywine, MD;
Audie Augustine - (UR TE / DE), (6-3 / 226 / 4.6), Ft. Lauderdale, FL;
Josh Minton - (10 DE) (6-4 / 247) Pulaski Co, KY.
Adam Patterson - (UR) (6'3 / 260 / 4.6), Columbia, South Carolina
Jermaine Cunningham - (14 DE) (6-4 / 220) Stone Mountain, GA;
Recruiting - Running Backs:
We told you a few weeks ago that Oklahoma will recruit two running backs, as long as they are different in style. Without a doubt, Las Vegas running back DeMarco Murray tops OU's list as a speed back.
Murray has watched OU so far and has his own opinions: "I think Oklahoma is actually doing a good job. I know they have lost two games and that is a big deal to a lot of people, but in the grand scope of football it is not. They still have a lot to play for and they just have to keep working and they will turn it around."
Oklahoma has always been high on Murray's list and he admits that they remain there:
"Oklahoma is still very much in there along with USC and Miami. I am also beginning to think about Penn State and South Carolina - Right now I think everybody is on the same page. I haven't set up my visits yet and I am going to do that soon. I want to take those visits and see where everybody stands."
Also being selected to the U.S. Army All-American team is Harrisburg (Pa.) running back LeSean McCoy (5-11, 205, 4.45), who is rated as the nation's second best running back. OU remains in the race, but right now McCoy has his eyes on USC, with PennState and Va Tech trailing.
OU's offer list at Running Back - listed in order of signing possibility - as of this date:
DeMarco Murray - (8) (6-0 / 180 / 4.5), Las Vegas (Gorman), NV;
Chris Brown - (UR) (5-11 / 195 / 4.4), Alexandria, LA;
Evan Royster - (UR) (6-0 / 190 / 4.4), Chantilly, VA;
Knowshon Moreno - (10) (6-0 / 195 / 4.5), Middletown, NJ;
LeSean McCoy - (2) (5-11 / 206 / 4.4), Harrisburg, PA;
Stafon Johnson - (3) (6-0 /200 / 4.5), L.A. Dorsey, CA;
C.J. Gable - (6) (6-1 / 190 / 4.5), Sylmar, CA; (also a top DB)
Javarris James - (Top 25) (6-1 / 205 / 4.5), Immokalee, FL.
Mon Williams - (UR) (6-1 / 190 / 4.5), Mesquite, TX;
Mossis Madu - (6-0 / 190 / 4.5), Norman, OK; possible offer may be on way.
Linebackers - OU expected to take 3
Toryan Smith is highly recruited LB prospect out of Rome, GA who has already visited Oklahoma. His offer total has reached 33 so far and could even go higher depending on how he performs this year.
"I took a visit to Oklahoma and had a great time. My host was Lamont Robinson and I really had a great time even though they lost. Man, I ate like a king. I think I gained 10 pounds on the visit they fed me so well."
He also spent some time with the Sooners coaching staff. "I got to talk to coach Stoops at the end of the visit. He showed me their depth chart and talked to me about the schools that I'm interested in. He also talked to me about if I decided to go there how I could contribute next year."
Toryan only has 4 official visits remaining; "I have a visit set up to Notre Dame; Michigan and Florida. There are about 8 schools that are trying to get my last visit."
OU's offer list at linebacker - listed in order of signing possibility as of this date:
Mike Morgan - (Top 25) (6-3½, / 185 / 4.6); Dallas (Skyline);
Anthony Lewis - (17) (6-1½, / 220 / 4.6), Haltom City, TX;
Brandon Spikes (12) (6-4 / 230 / 4.6), Shelby, NC
Joshua Tatum (4) (6-2 / 220 / 4.5), Oakland, CA;
Toryan Smith (UR) (6-0 / 241 / 4.8) , Rome, GA;
Morrice Richardson - (UR) (6'1½ / 228 / 4.7), Atlanta (Westlake), Georgia;
Allen Bradford (1) (6-0 / 222 / 4.5), Colton, CA.
Mark Johnson - (10) (6-3 ½ / 230 / 4.4), Los Angeles Dorsey
Jarrell Miller (9) (6-3 / 235), Highland Springs, VA;
Navorro Bowman - (15) (6'2 / 218 / 4.6), Forestville, (Suitland), Maryland.
Marcus Ball (7) (6-0 / 208 / 4.4), from Stone Mountain, GA.
Bo Harris - (18) (6-2 / 210 / 4.65); Conyers, GA.
OUInsider Weekend Wrapup (9/25)
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
Broiles, Brown shining in spotlightPart I of a two-part series looking at the top performances seen in person so far this season.
Sooners Illustrated10:19 AM
Welcome to the stage, Joe MixonAnother answered question with OU running back Joe Mixon, who thrived at his opportunity to be No. 1 back.
Sooners Illustrated9:05 AM
OU 11: Texas TechAn offensive flavor to the OU 11 this week after the record-setting night at Texas Tech.
Sooners Illustrated7:41 AM
Video: Bob Stoops after Tech, heading to KUWatch OU coach Bob Stoops' full opening statement trying to reconcile what happened vs. Tech and looking ahead to Kansas.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 11:33 AM