OUInsider Weekend Wrapup 6/3/06

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Incoming Recruits Looking Good . . . As Weekend Wrap Up resumes, before we focus on next year's class, let's check up on what we already have.

Bob Stoops was ecstatic on the first Wednesday in February and offered his assessment of the newest OU recruiting class.

"It's really a great group of players. As a staff we're really excited about this group for a number of reasons. It's a typical class for us in that we have really good balance throughout. We've never just recruited any one side of the ball or any particular position. It's always about getting quality at all positions."

After a few months it looks like Stoops was correct. We also told you in February that several of the incoming recruits were outstanding, nationally ranked athletes. Adding proof to Bob Stoops' assessment and this statement is the fact that the nation's top Long Jump in outdoor track this spring (25-7¾), belonged to Adron Tennell, of Irving, Texas - who obviously will be playing wide receiver for the Sooners this fall. Another jump making the national elite list, at 24-3½, belonged to yet another OU signee, DB Malcolm Williams, of South Grand Prairie, Texas. Williams did not stop there as he also had the second best Triple Jump in the Lone Star State this year with a total distance of 50-1¼.

The national best triple jump this year was 50-07, so Williams' numbers are amazing for a multi sport athlete. Another OU signee, Fork Union's Brandon Caleb also made the regional elite list with a best TJ of 46-5.75 at the UNC track meet, after dominating several Virginia indoor meets earlier this year, where he had a time of 7.55 – a Top 10 national performance. He was also a member of the Fork Union 4x400 relay team, and competed in the long jump, and broad jump as well. Remember too that Caleb is no slightly built sprinter, as he was a fierce competitor on defense, and most schools recruited him as a linebacker.

Likewise, Chris Brown had several great performances at the Louisiana State Championship Track Meet a few weeks ago. Brown's Alexandra team won the meet with 90 total points, and Chris contributed 18 of those points. Brown placed 2nd in the Long Jump with a distance of 22-10. His 4x200 Meter Relay team placed First in State and Chris ran the initial leg. All of this success came as no real surprise, as Brown was also was the state champion in the 110m and 300m hurdles last year.

However the most impressive news is that it looks like all of the recruits could be eligible. That includes DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown and Jermaine Gresham who are all awaiting final clearance, but appear to be in good shape. At NEO, Chris Patterson still has a summer English class, (3 hours), that he has to complete, but he should be ready to go in August.

The only real bump in the road appears to be outstanding Altus athlete Daniel Tabon. Without going into a detailed report of the young man's sad situation, remember that Daniel has been in the DHS system for a couple of years, living in several foster homes. However, when a young person turns 18, the state allows an individual to make his own decisions, and upon turning 18, Daniel elected to leave his foster home a few months ago and live with another student.

However, as James reported, Tabon has now realized that moving out was a mistake and he does want to succeed, and has asked for help from his step mom. Tabon and his step mom made a trip to Norman today to meet with academic counselors to see what he need to get into OU.

Apparently his academic situation is such that he needs an English class and two other humanity classes to graduate from Altus High. It was discovered that he actually had an 'A' in a science class that wasn't being counted. Now that grade is in the books and he is three classes short of graduating.

He is going to take those classes on-line and when he completes them he will be graduate from Altus and he will be eligible to enroll and play at OU. How long it takes him will determine whether he is at OU in August or in January of 2007. If he makes solid grades in the three classes he already has the test score that he needs to qualify.

Stay tuned.

Tracking Incoming Missiles . . .

Most all (95%) of the varsity will be returning next week, (June 5), which is also the start of summer school, and many of the new recruits will also be reporting to Norman this weekend, and we expect that about half should be on campus by mid week, although we will not know 'who' until the guys report.

Meanwhile, here's a quick rundown on the signees.

Curtis Bailey (6-6 / 355 / 5.8) Dallas, TX (Carter). A dominating big man, who is extremely athletic, in the mold of Duke Robinson. If Curtis can duplicate Robinson's weight room dedication, and lose some unneeded weight, he may follow Duke in being proclaimed the next 'Great' OL at OU.

Jeremy Beal (6-3 / 245 / 4.75) Creekview, TX. One tough cookie. Although Beal is generally thought of as a DE, some coaches think he could also make an excellent middle linebacker. Ultimately his size and strength will determine. Unless injuries dictate otherwise, Beal will be a RS candidate this fall.

Chase Beeler (6-3 / 275 / 5.4), Jenks, OK. Beeler will likely will play Guard or Center, and could play earlier than people think. OU will need his leadership as much as his athletic talent, and that could be a huge intangible ingredient to future Sooner success. Contrary to some reports, Beeler will not be moved to DT.

Cory Brandon (6-6 / 260 / 5.4), Corsicana TX. Cory arguably has the most potential of the oncoming HS O-linemen, but he needs bulk and a year or so in the weight room. OU coaches believe that the wait be worth it - both for Brandon and the future OU OL.

Sam Bradford (6-4 / 190 / 4.7), OKC, OK (Putnam City North). Sam needs a year or two in the system before he plays. Some have reported that he could be OU's backup this year. Unlikely, and not good for either party if it happens. Bradford was chosen over other QB's because of his great potential and superior athletic ability. But the coaches also knew that he's a few years away, and brought in JC Joey Halzle for immediate relief.

Chris Brown (5-10½ / 195 / 4.5), Alexandria LA. He's better, (and faster), than you think, and capable of playing several positions. Think of all the athletes in Louisiana, and take note of his track accomplishments a few weeks ago, where he alone outscored most of the teams in state wide competition. If that's not enough to convince you of his qualifications, remember that Brown rushed for almost 6,000 yards and 79 TD's in his high school career, (4,000 yards, 45 TD's Junior & Senior years).

Brandon Caleb (6-1 / 195 / 4.5), Fork Union Military VA. Brandon will shock everyone but OU coaches who wanted this exceptional east coast athlete since January of 2005.

Quinton Carter (6-1½ / 172 / 4.6), Las Vegas, NV (Cheyenne). Iglesias last year, Carter this year. Bobby Jack Wright looks like a genius as he drops some 'highly' recruited DB's in December and gets Carter, who came in and had perhaps one of the best springs by a newcomer in a long time. Mark it down, a future star.

Brandon Crow (6-1½ /210 / 4.75), Comanche OK. Brandon is the tough, aggressive, leave it all on the field player that mirrors a former KSU LB star named Brent Venables. He's got excellent strength and had over 300 tackles the last two years, and over 600 for his career. Crow should really blossom under Venables' tutelage.

Dominique Franks (5-11½ / 185 / 4.4) Tulsa, OK (Union). If confidence is the determining factor, Franks is already starting and vying for the Thorpe Award. He probably made as much progress in his senior year as any recruit in this year's class. Don't be surprised if Franks elects not to RS this year.

Jermaine Gresham (6-6 / 226 / 4.7), Ardmore, OK. Gresham had recent ACL surgery and because of that he was recently not counted on to contribute this fall. However, Gresham's rehab is ahead of schedule - and he is doing exceptionally well, and if he continues, could be cleared to play this fall.

Joey Halzle (6-4 / 215 / 4.6), Golden West JC. If Joey were being counted on to start, it might be tough. But he showed he can grasp the offense in Spring and the coaches were happy with his performance and progress. Summer workouts, and pre-season drills should put him closer to being a capable backup this year.

Tim Johnson (6-5 / 255 / 4.7), NEO JC. The prototypical OU DE with great size and speed. Three years to play makes Tim an invaluable addition that would have saved the Sooners season last year, and will probably save them in the future.

Pryce Macon (6-1 / 251 / 4.79), Corpus Christi TX. Don't let his 'small' size fool you. Get tangled up with Macon and you're going to end up on the ground.

Mossis Madu (6-0 / 190 / 4.5), Norman, OK. Maybe the most underrated recruit in the class. Like others, capable of playing several positions.

Gerald McCoy, (6-4½ / 285 / 4.9), Southeast, OKC. With a great preseason, McCoy could make the four man DT rotation as a freshman. At times this fall, we may even see McCoy and RS Freshman Demarcus Granger along the same D-line at the same time. Scary thought.

Eric Mensik (6-5 / 232 / 4.8) Rosenberg, TX. Almost sure to play as a freshman, as a deep snapper is often overlooked, until a punt is muffed - or game winning field goal is missed. In time, Eric could also develop into a dominating TE or H-Back.

Sherrone Moore (6-5 / 300) Butler County JC. Moore will be fine in a year, and maybe by fall if Schmitty can develop a quick start plan to add bulk and strength. Regardless, Moore provides immediate depth and will play a lot for the Sooners.

DeMarco MurrayReggie Bush, (but without the NCAA - FBI problems). For a recent OU player, maybe a Demond Parker clone - but will obviously have a much better supporting cast, preventing defenses from keying on him.

Jonathan Nelson (5-10½ / 170 / 4.52), Arlington, TX. A pure cover corner who knows how to quickly adjust and use his speed, regardless of direction.

Chris Patterson (6-2 / 225 / 4.4), NEO. Chris has been all world on the field, and has shown this semester that he can perform academically when pushed. OU coaches would have rather seen this kind of dedication during the fall semester. With the injury to Ryan Reynolds, Patterson could provide great depth this fall and could push to start, if he sets his mind to it.

Daniel Tabon (6-3 / 215 / 4.45), Altus, OK. Even with all the past family related problems, Tabon could be a perfect gray shirt candidate - if he chooses. (See above).

Adrian Taylor (6-4 / 260 / 5.1), Mansfield, TX. Adrian will likely RS this fall, but Sooner coaches love his upside.

Adron Tennell (6-4½ / 196 / 4.5), Irving TX. After being an Honorable Mention AP All-State selection in football, Tennell garnered All-District honors in basketball and then followed with the state title in track, (above). However, OU coaches are most interested in Tennell's ability on the gridiron. He racked up almost 1,900 receiving yards in his final two seasons at Irving High School, and with 4.42 speed and a 40-inch vertical jump to go along with his height, the lanky receiver provides a unique threat for the OU offense. Don't be shocked if Jeff Capel asks Stoops to allow Adron to help the hardwood boys in the off-season.

Brandon Walker (6-3 / 308 / 5.2), Coffeyville JC. Now on campus, Walker arrived ready to go with an excellent attitude and obvious work ethic - as he reported in even better shape than instructed. That, more than idle chatter, impresses coaches and moves Walker into solid contention to start this fall.

Malcolm Williams (5-10 / 176 / 4.5), So Grand Prairie, TX. The Texas Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year and elite level track star (above), will contend somewhere in the defensive backfield, but unlike last year, will not be pressured to start early.

Trent Williams (6-4 / 300 / 5.3), Longview,TX. May be the first of the 2006 OL recruits to play, due to size and athleticism. Another great catch by Malcolm Kelley, who convinced OU coaches to recruit Williams early, and Williams to check out the Sooners. Chad Roark (6-2 / 285 / 5.3), Ada, OK. We realize it's been discussed as much as any subject short of Jeff Capel, but the ball is in Chad's court. Stoops will simply not allow insubordination to disrupt team unity.

In hindsight, Chad may have been too immature to come to college a semester early. All of us have made our share of stupid mistakes - especially in our youth. Chad made a very common error, and violated a minor team rule, but declined to pay the price, which he thought was too severe, and on top of that became angry and cursed a coach. If he apologizes and asks for forgiveness he can return. If not, good luck, but he might cancel any plans of a military career.

Michael Cohen: Besides being able to kick a pigskin 40 - 50 yards through the uprights, kickers generally serve some kind of weird comic relief for football teams. However back in April, Bob Stoops was not laughing, but doing the booting, as Cody Freeby sailed 'high and wide' for the last time. Introduce Michael Cohen (Kilgore JC), an all-conference selection who averaged 43.8 yards per punt. Cohen will walk on his fall and likely scholarship as soon as one is available. True to script, Cohen's commitment is non binding and will not be official until he enrolls and attends a class at OU.

A Tight Recruiting Year . . .

There's never been a year like it in the Stoops' era.

Because Oklahoma lost so few players, and is still a relatively young team, scholarships are few and far between this year. At this time, OU appears to have only 12 available, (with three commitments, leaving nine), however, that number will probably grow to 14 - 15 next February due to normal attrition, career ending injuries, etc.

Last November, when Oklahoma was still drawing interest from a multitude of recruits and at the same time had precious few scholarships available, the decision to recruit athletic, versatile players capable of playing several positions, and in some cases on either side of the ball, was a solution to the state of emergency. That same solution could be employed this year as well.

In other words, if you are recruiting several players for one position, the prospect with the most athleticism, versatility (and academics), would trump the other candidate and initially draw the most attention.

To contrast just how careful OU coaches have been compared to last year, consider that the Sooners have only offered approximately 35 prospects at this time, compared to roughly 125 at the same time a year ago.

Before Sooner fans explode with outrage and 'doom and gloom - sky if falling forecasts,' this situation is the result of a healthy, successful program that retains the majority of it's players. The fact that OU may only sign 13 or 14 players next February does not mean a 'bad' recruiting year. In any given year, only a dozen or so prospects actually contribute for more than a year or two. Obviously, with a numbers crunch in effect this year, OU coaches will have to project what players have the best chance, both athletically and academically, to stick - and at some point start. It's also safe to say that there will be very few 'risks' taken this year.

What to Expect

Don't expect the commitments to come in bunches - although they could by late summer. OU coaches are well aware that they must only go after the cream of the crop. Adequate depth at all positions makes no one position a must get. So literally the incoming class could consist of a majority offensive or defensive prospects. However, as we said above, it's far more likely that the class will be heavy with athletic types that can play multitude positions. Who's On Board . . . The Sooners have four commitments so far, leaving - we project, about 10 or 11 to go.

LB Mike Reed - (6-3 / 250 / 4.6), Yuba JC, Marysville, CA. Reed, a devastating linebacker, was the first to commit as Brent Venables wasted no time in getting this human wrecking ball on the dotted line on March 29.

"I had been talking to Coach Venables, and I just realized that Oklahoma would be a great place for me. I got recruited out of high school and I understand what happens in recruiting. Coaches and people will tell you just about anything to get you to go their school and it is hard to get straight information. But 'Coach V' was always shooting straight with me, telling me who would graduate and what players would return when I got there. He told me who my competition would be. In fact, he said he had good linebackers and that impressed me."

Mike played HS ball in Vero Beach, Florida, had offers form Florida, Auburn and several SEC teams but just missed qualifying and decided to hone his skills at JC.

Reed describes the style of play that excited Coach Venables: "I probably the season with 90 tackles in seven games. I had four sacks and four forced fumbles. I didn't have any fumble recoveries and or interceptions. I'm just a 'banger' - I bang and cause fumbles. I don't get a chance to recover many, but I cause a lot of them. I love calling signals. That is what I am born to do. I have a knack for playing middle linebacker. I love it."

LB Austin Box - (6-3 / 217 / 4.6), Enid, OK. Box is one amazing athlete, playing anywhere and everywhere, including QB last year when Box threw for 1,400 yards, rushed for and 28 total touchdowns, while also making 70 tackles and three interceptions on defense.

"It's fun to move around and do different stuff," said Box. "I like it because I can be a big part of the team and I can do whatever the team feels is important. My freshman year I played cornerback and wide receiver. My sophomore year I was moved to quarterback and running back, and I split time at those two positions on offense and played free safety on defense. I played the same positions as a junior. Next season I will play quarterback and either free safety or outside linebacker on defense."

Austin admits that he jumped on the Sooner wagon on March 31, when he saw that Reed took one of the LB slots, leaving only one available. "I was aware of the other commitment, and I was aware they only wanted to sign two linebackers. So, yes, I felt that I should go ahead and commit because I knew that I wanted to go to OU and I also knew that they weren't going to sign many linebackers. Coach Venables has told me that he is done recruiting." Regardless, the Sooners got a 'backer they have coveted for several years.

DE Jontae Bumpus - (6-4 / 220 / 4.6) Muskogee, OK. Bumpus finished with 96 tackles, four sacks and 17 tackles for losses, and those kind of numbers will get you noticed. Incredibly, Bumpus runs the 200M (23.5) and 400M (54.9) in track and he will play basketball next year. "Track helps me with speed and leg strength," said Bumpus. "I think my speed really helps me a great deal on the field."

His coach believes that Jontae can really fill out when he stops running track, and you have to think the Jerry Schmidt can work with. Jontae committed to the Sooners in early April surprising almost everyone. "I just wanted to get the recruiting pressure off my back," said Bumpus. "There was already a lot of pressure where I should go and I just wanted to enjoy my senior year. I liked the style of play at OU and style of defense so I just decided to commit to OU."

CB Jamell Fleming - (5-11 / 197 / 4.5) Arlington TX - Sequin HS. Fleming had been on the OU radar screen for some time, but apparently got a rare offer after an impressive in person evaluation. The Sooners need one CB in the upcoming class, and it did not take Jamell long to decide that he wanted the one open slot. On Thursday, Jamell showed up on campus for an unofficial visit, and before the clock struck midnight, had given the Sooners his pledge. He is one of the three top corner prospects that Oklahoma has offered. Doug Wiggins of Miami Beach, and Mobile's Phelon Jones, (who has committed to Miami), were the two other corners that OU had offered.

Fleming is one of those lockdown, crackdown type of cornerbacks that allows a defense to do some crazy things in the secondary and with the rest of the defense. He can take away one side of the secondary and leave all the other three players to any number of zones. He broke into the starting line-up when he was a sophomore when he had 75 tackles and picked off seven passes. He only played in five games a year ago because of his damaged finger, but he has had surgery and is now back to 100 percent.

Fleming can bench 320 pounds, squats 375 and he has posted a 35-inch vertical jump. Fleming also runs in open 200M (22.4) and the 4X100 (second leg) and 4X200 (second leg). He c=hose Oklahoma over Florida and Texas A&M.

At this time we don't see another pure CB being offered, and it is unknown whether the Sooners will stop pursuing Wiggins. Our best guess is that Fleming will be the only incoming CB.

Official Offers on the Table

We will go out on a limb and say OU will give 15 scholarships in 2007, although the number could be as low as 12, or as high as 17. (Obviously, no one knows for sure). Remember, when we talk about 'offers', there are two kinds - 'Verbal' (we're going to offer you), and a 'Written' scholarship offer and invitation to visit the campus paid by the school. When we say 'OU has offered,' it means Oklahoma has sent a WRITTEN offer to the prospect.

Here are the Official OU offers, (to uncommitted prospects), that are out there as of June 2, 2006. As we have explained, the evaluation process continues and more will come over the next 3 - 4 months. Also, keep in mind that many of these prospects project on both sides of the ball. They are most often listed at their primary high school position.

Frank Alexander DE (6'4 ½ / 229 / 4.7), Baton Rouge, LA (Southern Lab)

Tray Allen OL (6-4½ / 290 / 5.3), Grand Prairie, TX (South)

Rolando Barragan DT/DE (6-3 / 262 / 4.8) El Camino JC (CA)

Ben Bass DE (6-4 / 260 / 4.9), Plano, TX (West)

Arrelious Benn WR (6'2 / 208 / 4.4), Washington D.C. (Dunbar)

Ron Brooks SR (6-0 / 170 / 4.5) Irving, TX (MacArthur)

Dez Bryant WR (6-1 / 203 / 4.6) Lufkin, TX

Javario Burkes OL (6'6½ / 300 / 5.2), Phoenix, AZ (Moon Valley)

Lennon Creer RB (6-1 / 195 / 4.45), Tatum, TX

Dewey Elliot (6-1 / 240 / 4.6), Fairfield, OH

Everson Griffen DE (6-4 / 265 / 4.55), Avondale, AZ

Blaine Irby Ath (6'3 / 230 / 4.55), Ventura, CA (Probable OU offer expected to come shortly)

Desmond Jackson (6-1, 193, 4.5) Seguin, TX

Chad Jones Ath (6-3 / 220 / 4.5) Baton Rouge, LA (Southern Lab)

Gerald Jones (6-1/190/4.49) OKC (Millwood)

Richetti Jones DE (6'3½ / 235 / 4.7) Dallas, TX (Lincoln)

G.J. Kinne QB (6-1 / 215 / 4.6) Gilmer, Texas

James Kirkendoll SR (5-11 / 178 / 4.4), of Round Rock, TX

Travis Lewis S - Ath (6'2, 220, 4.34), San Antonio, TX (Lee)

Pat Lazear (6-1 / 235 / 4.6), Bethesda, Maryland

Greg Little WR (6-3 / 205 / 4.5) Durham, NC (Hillside)

Jermaine Love Ath (5-11.5 / 206 / 4.4) Garland, TX (North)

Ryan Miller OL (6-8 / 280 / 5.1), of Littleton, CO

Sam Proctor Ath (6'1 / 205 / 4.4), Pearland, TX

Joseph Reese RB (6-2 / 190 / 4.4), of Pflugerville, TX

Matt Romine OL (6-6 / 275 / 5.2) Tulsa, OK (Union)

Christian Scott (6'0 / 185 / 4.4) Dallas, TX (Skyline)

Terrance Toliver WR (6'5 / 185 / 4.4), Hempstead, TX

Doug Wiggins (5-10, 185, 4.5), Miami, FL (North Miami Beach HS)

Lee Ziemba OL (6-7 / 295 / 5.2) Rogers, AR

Receivers: (two most likely), ideally the Sooners would like to take one rangy outside receiver, and one slippery dynamic 'oil-slick' slot receiver. Several off of this list can qualify for either position:

Arrelious Benn (6'2 / 208 / 4.4), Washington D.C. (Dunbar). Benn is one of top three wide receivers in the country. Size, speed, hands. He has it all. Benn can bench 285 pounds, squats 450 and he has posted a 38-inch vertical jump. He runs the 100M (10.6), 200M (21.20), 4X100 (second), 4X200 (first). But the best testament to his ability is that almost every D1 school has offered, or tried to offer, if they can get his phone to ring.

"I like Notre Dame, Florida State, Illinois, USC and Maryland." said Benn. "I also like Oklahoma, but I have to get out there and see it," said Benn. "I like their athletic ability at OU and their football program, but I have to get out there and see for myself what it is all about. I am going to try to get out to Oklahoma this summer on an unofficial visit."

At this time it looks like a coup if OU can just get Benn to visit this summer. If so, a fast start and high ranking in 2006 may put them in the picture.

Greg Little (6-3 / 205 / 4.5) Durham, NC (Hillside). Little ranks up there with Benn in DC and Toliver in Texas as the 'best of the best.' Little is a terrific, versatile athlete that plays running back and receiver for his high school team. He also has the ability to be a future safety or even linebacker. Little has a unique combination of size, speed, strength and quickness, and has a vertical jump of 36.5 inches. At times he can be physical, aggressive and really show his strength but he can also finesse you with some shake and bake or just run right by you.

The ACC schools are going to be very hard to beat here. OU has offered - but so far there's not been much of a nibble.

Terrance Toliver (6'5 / 185 /4.4), Hempstead, Texas. Currently Toliver ranks as the best in Texas, along with Texas commits Curtis Brown (5-11 / 177 / 4.4) of Gilmer and Malcolm Williams (6-3 / 205 / 4.5) of Garland. After getting Malcolm Kelly and Adron Tennell - it might be asking too much for OU to pull off a 'hat trick' of getting one of the top WR in Texas. Tolliver has stated several times before that OU, LSU, USC, Miami and Texas Tech were his favorite schools, and the rumors are flying faster than footballs surrounding the recruiting of Toliver, and he usually answers them with: "I'm still pretty wide open right now."

Toliver says he expects to make his decision after school starts sometime this fall, and not sooner:: "It will probably be during the school year because I have a lot of things to decide on. I need to get all the information that I can and then get my coaches and parents to look over the information so that we can make a good decision."

Another Texan, perhaps more in the 'slot' mold, is Ron Brooks (6-0 / 170 / 4.5) of Irving MacArthur. Brooks has been offered by 13 schools at this point and he is thinking over his options. He lists Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and USC among others. "Right now I am just trying to get out and see all the schools that I can," said Brooks. "I don't necessarily want to drag out my decision, but I do want to make the best decision for me."

Brooks, who is better known as 'Hollywood', is blessed with sprinters speed. Brooks is so quick and fast that he is hard to handle for any secondary. He played special teams as a sophomore as a gunner before breaking into the starting line-up last year at receiver. He also saw some time at cornerback.

"My speed is my greatest asset, I'm usually the fastest player on the field or close to it, and I usually have the advantage with my speed. My best routes at receiver are a vertical or post, and I am stronger than people think. I don't have any problem getting off the line of scrimmage, and then I usually can get the advantage on people with my speed."

Hollywood can bench 225 pounds, squats 425 and he has a 33-inch vertical jump. He also runs on the 4X100 (second leg), 4X200 (second leg) and the open 200 (21.98 ).

The Sooners have a good chance here. "I went to OU on an unofficial back in March I really liked it," said Hollywood. "I liked their campus, because there wasn't a lot of walking to do to get to my classes. I thought the academic center was tremendous, and the football program is the best in the country." Brooks plans to come back to OU this summer, as well as visit UT, A&M and Texas Tech.

James Kirkendoll (5-11 / 178 / 4.4), of Round Rock, TX is another slot receiver who the Sooners have offered. But other top programs have also located Round Rock, just on the northern edge of Austin. James also has offers from Clemson, Miami, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Colorado State, and Florida. He expects to add offers from LSU, Notre Dame and Michigan this month.

Blessed with great speed, Kirkendoll finished last season with 59 catches for 659 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for TDs of 99 and 98 yards. Kirkendoll can bench 230 pounds, squats 380 and he posted a 36-inch vertical jump. He starts in hoops (25 ppg) where earned All-Region honors and was named the Williamson County player of the year.

"I definitely have to say that my skill level is better than most players that I play against," said Kirkendoll. "I have been playing football since I have been in the second grade and I have a high football IQ. I have been fortunate to grow up around some people who have played professional football and that has helped me to. My dad, Maurice Miller, played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts and my uncle, Lee McCormick, played wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. I have grown up around some great receivers all my life and I have put in the work every day and all that has paid off."

Dez Bryant (6-1 / 203 / 4.6) Lufkin, TX. Bryant will go into his senior year as one of the most talked about wide receiver prospects in the state of Texas, and with his potential he could be regarded as one of the best in the country by the end of the year. Bryant caught 48 passes for 1,025 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. He also returned punts and kickoffs, and that is a duty that Bryant will have again this season.

Bryant can bench 270 pounds, squats 410 and runs the 100-meter (10.9) and the 110 high hurdles (14.6). He has not attended any football camps up to this point, but he plans to go to camps at Texas A&M and Texas. He also hopes to make it to USC or UCLA.

Bryant has been offered by LSU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M up to this point. Right now, Texas Tech may have an edge, unless OU can convince Bryant that they need him as much as TT. "They are all about the same, but right now Tech is my leader. They throw the ball a lot and I think they are going to win a national championship. I really want to go a school that is close to winning a national championship and help them get to that level. OU has won several championships and it looks like they have everything they need to win championships again. I also need to find out if they have all the receivers that they need. I also don't have to start, but I want to play my freshman year. And I know I can do that at Texas Tech."

Offensive Linemen: (three likely), the Sooners would probably like two OT's, one Guard / Center.

Our first OL candidate is national super star Ryan Miller (6-8 / 280 / 5.1), of Littleton, CO, (Columbine HS). Miller is the top prospect from the state of Colorado, and possesses a great frame that could get much bigger. A prototype OT, he's quick off the line, moves well and is a dominating run blocker. As a junior, he had 43 pancake blocks. On defense, at defensive end in spot-duty, he had 12 tackles and three sacks. Miller was one of only two juniors to be named first team all-state.

Miller is aggressive and can be nasty at times, and for a tall frame he plays low and has a great base, whether in pass pro or is run blocking. Miller lists his current favorites as: Colorado, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami (Fl), Oklahoma, USC, Florida. CU and Notre Dame look to be leading at the time.

Matt Romine, (6-6 / 275) Tulsa, OK (Union). Currently the contenders are: Arkansas, Houston, Kansas, Miami (Fl), Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. "Right now I am open to any team," said Romine. "I am just waiting to see who is calling me, who is offering me and I am just trying to figure out who I like."

What about the Oklahoma Sooners? "There are definitely up there," said Romine. "They are definitely at the top. My parents and I have always followed Oklahoma and we have gone to a bunch of games and stuff. They are definitely high. I don't have a leader yet. I am trying to see who is going to offer me and then I am going to go from there."

What are the important factors for Romine in making his decision? "It is going to be important that I feel comfortable with my position coach, because I am going to spend a lot of time with him," said Romine. "It is important that I feel comfortable around the head coach a well. It is also important to me what kind of facilities that the program has. Outside of those things I really haven't thought about it."

One potential problem is that some Tulsa folks say that the new head coach at Union may be pushing Romine to Notre Dame, but that may, or may not be true.

Javario Burkes (6'6½ / 300 / 5.2), Phoenix, AZ (Moon Valley). Burkes is clearly one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the country. He has all of the intangibles necessary to be a super offensive tackle. Burkes broke into the starting line-up as a sophomore and helped Moon Valley to a state championship and 14-0 record. However, last year was a rebuilding year for Burkes and his team as they finished 2-8.

"Playing offensive tackle comes very natural to me," said Burkes. "What sets me apart at the position I feel is my footwork and athletic ability. I usually am the best athlete on the line and that always helps me. I haven't run up against anybody yet who I felt was a better athlete than me."

Burkes hasn't maxed out on the bench in a while, but he does reps with 275 pounds, squats 445 and has posted a 28-inch vertical jump. He starts in hoops where he averages 20 points and 11 boards a game.

Burkes has been offered by 42 different schools, at least he thinks it is 42 give or take a school. With so many schools still to consider, what are going to be some of the factors that will help him narrow down his choices.

"I am looking for a good school environment," said Burkes. "I am looking for a place where I feel real comfortable. I want to try to go into sports medicine so that will be a factor. I will just have to take my vists and see how I feel about things at that particular school."

"Oklahoma is among the schools that I am considering," said Burkes. "I don't know a lot about Oklahoma, but I know they have a pretty good football program. They will be one of the schools that I take a hard look at when I get my test behind me."

Lee Ziemba (6-7 / 295 / 5.2) Rogers, AR. Despite what our own network and others report, OU has offered Ziemba and thinks that they have a legitimate shot. Ziemba is quick off the ball and can block on the move. He has a good lower body and finishes his blocks, and is equally effective in the passing game. He has as much upside at this position as any offensive linemen in the nation. As a jinior, Lee had 27 pancake blocks, 25 knockdowns, 21 champion blocks and 13 duece blocks. He bench presses 325 pounds, squats 485, power cleans 315 and verticals 28". He has qualified.

Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are current leaders, but many think he'll ultimately trek to Auburn where his dad (Mike), graduated from. The Sooners however, have other plans. The fact that dad did not attend Arkansas at least gives others a shot here, as it's usually almost impossible to wrestle a top get out of the 'Land of Opportunity' without at least one family member getting threatened. Most Arkansas prospects just resign themselves to the pressure, and that may not work here.

Tray Allen (6-4½ / 290 / 5.3), Grand Prairie, TX (So Grand Prairie HS). Yeah, we know. Allen is committed to Texas, but OU refuses to back off until Signing Day. If the Sooners thought they had no chance, they would not continue to call.

Allen, the top OL in Texas this year, graded out at 89% last year and he averaged 12 pancake blocks per game. He can bench 325 pounds, squat 550. He also has posted a 32-inch vertical jump. Allen also starts in basketball averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game. In track, he throws the shot (52'3) and he runs the third leg in the big man relays.

Before committing to UT, Allen had LSU and OU at the top of his list - along with the Horns. Who knows, perhaps a win in this year's Red River Shootout can convince Allen that OU might better get him to the NFL. It's going to be tough, but normally this staff leaves committed recruits alone. The fact that they continue to contact Allen indicates that there may be a slight puff of smoke there somewhere.

Quarterback: (one likely).

This one is almost too easy, there are just too few QB's that meet the Sooners' high standards. The Sooners have offered only one pure QB who is uncommitted, former Canton Texas star, and now QB at Gilmer Texas G.J. Kinne, (6-1 / 215 / 4.6).

The reason for the move? Kinne is the son of 2005 National HS Coach of the Year, Gary Joe Kinne. Kinne is known as an accurate - pin point passer and excellent field general with uncanny football skills. At Canton, G.J. threw for 4,200 yards as a junior. So far in his high school career, Kinne has thrown for 8,600 yards. G.J. was named 1st team all-state in 2005. He was the 3A Offensive Player of the Year in Texas and he was named "Mr. Texas Football."

Kinne admitted that the offers have "slowed down", but that wasn't until he was into the double-digits. Kinne pulled in nearly a dozen offers including Alabama, Baylor, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, USC. He recently said that he has it narrowed down to a top three: Baylor, Florida and Oklahoma. "I will be heading to Florida in June, and shortly after that I plan on having my decision. I want to get this over with."

We know we'll hear from fans of Gerald Jones (6-1 / 190 / 4.4) OKC, (Millwood), but we are listing him as an athlete (below). Obviously, he certainly can play quarterback, and just about every other skill position on the field. If Kinne opts for Florida or Baylor, Jones is talented enough to allow the Sooners to shut down the QB recruiting with his verbal. And if Kiine decides he wants a crimson jersey, Jones can easily dominate at other skill positions.

Running Back: (one tailback, perhaps a fullback or big back that can also play TE or LB).

Running back is also a pretty short list, consisting of only a handful of prospects at the present time. Without a doubt, the top candidates are Texans, Joseph Reese (6-2 / 190 / 4.4), of Pflugerville, and Lennon Creer (6-1 / 195 / 4.45), Tatum, TX.

Reese is the younger brother of receiver Terrell Reese, who the Sooners recruited last year, but ended up with Mike Stoops at Arizona. The Reese kids come from a great family and are both 'off-the-charts' athletes. While we thought Terrell was underrated last year, the same thing can not be said of Joseph, who some say is the best in Texas.

Yes, he is verbally committed to A&M, but that's about as solid as Fran's job. "I am still committed to Texas A&M, but I am still talking to other schools. I just talked to Coach Jordan at Nebraska and we are building a great relationship. I talked to Coach Stoops from Oklahoma last week and he was a real nice guy. He is cool, calm and collective and just a nice guy to talk to."

"The coaches at Nebraska and Oklahoma tell me that they are going to keep recruiting me no matter if I am committed or not. I am honored that they feel I am good enough for them to keep recruiting me and I want to keep talking to them. So, we will see what happens."

Project Fran's record this year, factor in the Aggies frustration and draw your own conclusion there. (Quotes from OUInsider interview of May 9).

Another back that commands attention is Lennon Creer (6-1 / 195 / 4.45), of Tatum. Many argue that Creer is the best in the Lone Star State, and that can not be dismissed easily. As a junior, Creer rushed for 2,150 yards and 18 touchdowns out of a flexible offense, and that followed his sophomore year when he rushed for 1,252 and 10 touchdowns.

"I think I am a power back and a running back," said Creer. "I like to make people miss and I like to run them over. I love running inside. As soon as I see the hole I hit it as hard and fast as I can, and then my natural ability takes over from there."

Creer can bench 310 pounds and he can squat 450. He also runs the 100M (10.8, sprint relay (second leg) and the mile relay (third leg) in track. He has been offered by Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Houston, Missouri, Baylor and Oklahoma State thus far.

"I have a top four," said Creer. "I have already narrowed my decision down to four. They are Oklahoma, Texas, LSU and Miami. I went to Oklahoma for the spring game and it was great up there. I really liked it a lot at Oklahoma. The coaches were very friendly and I got a chance to meet Adrian Peterson and Malcolm Kelly, who are from my area. They were great and every player I met was real nice to me. I have also been to Texas and they have a lot of tradition there. Their coaching staff really made me feel at home."

Creer says a decision may come sometime later this month, and UT has given Creer a deadline of Sunday June 4 to decide. "They said I still have an offer and they really want me, but they are filling up and need to know something. They said that if I haven't committed by then they would go in another direction."

It will be interesting to see if Mack gives Lennon a deadline 'extension' if he's not ready to decide by tomorrow night! Meanwhile, you can bet that Sooner coaches are camped out with 'directional' signs pointing North to Norman.

Defensive Ends: With Bumpus committed, OU probably needs one more standout DE - if they can get one of the super stars listed below. If not they may pass. Bumpus is thought to be the prototypical rush or speed end, while those listed below are already thicker and have a slightly different set of skills.

Everyone knows about Richetti Jones (6'3 ½ / 235 / 4.7) of Dallas, TX, who same say is the nation's premier DE this year. OU agrees, and would love to get his pledge, but they also think that there are a few more in the same category, and have offered Jones plus four more. Those include: Arizona's Everson Griffen, (6-4 / 265 / 4.55), Avondale, AZ; Plano's Ben Bass (6-4 / 260 / 4.9) (Plano West) and Louisiana's Frank Alexander, (6'4 ½ / 229 / 4.7), of Baton Rouge (So. Lab).

Richetti Jones has been a dominant force in the state of Texas for the past two seasons, and he goes into his senior season regarded as the top defensive end in Texas and by most accounts the top defensive player in Texas.

As a sophomore, Jones played in 16 games and finished with 75 tackles, 25 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Last season Richetti finished last year with 73 tackles, 16 sacks and 25 tackles-for-loss working out of a 4-3 defensive set and playing in 10 games.

"I could have had a million sacks or tackles for losses last year, but I swear I missed six or seven sacks," said Jones. "I came in and made the wrong angle or didn't tackle like I should. I will do better this year as I get better. There is always room for improvement no matter what level you are or where people rank you at. There is always room for improvement. I need to work on my escape more than anything. I have the speed, strength and everything I need talent-wise, but I need to work on my escape. I can beat my blocker despite the fact I get held on every play, but I need to get better at getting away from that block and then getting to the ball carrier."

Jones can bench 375 pounds, squats 550 and he has posted a 31-inch vertical jump. He throws the shot and discus in track, but says he doesn't really get a chance to work it real hard.

"I don't have a top five," said Jones. "I am telling all the coaches that it is all up in the air. I am giving all the coaches a chance. I am just going to be watching everything before the season starts. Before the season starts I am going to narrow my choices down to a top five or top ten. I will watch them and try to make it to some of their games during the season."

Oklahoma has offered, so what are Jones' thoughts on the Sooners?

"I don't know right now where I am leaning," said Jones. "I really don't know. Sure, Texas is in the picture. They are the National Champs. I didn't grow up a fan of Texas per say, but I grew up a fan of whoever was winning National Championships. Growing up, Miami was the best thing since sliced bread. Then Oklahoma had their time and now Texas is winning. It just varies, but when I was young I was wanting to go to all those schools. So now that I am finally in a position to go to a school I have found out that it is not as easy as I thought it was going to be."

"I am just looking at how a team plays and hangs out as a team," said Jones. "I want to make sure I like the environment. It just comes down to how I feel. The depth chart will be important, but it doesn't matter to me if I play early or not. I mean, everybody wants to play early but it really won't bother me if I redshirted my first year. You can always benefit from redshirting, but if you play your first year you can get experience from it.

"If you play you can get ahead of everybody who has redshirted or is just coming into college. If you redshirt you are able to get your mind right. You can get mentally and physically ready. You can lift weights and study what you need to study all season. There is an upside and downside to all of it. I will be ready to do what is best for the team and what my coaches want me to do."

Every college in the country would like to line up with Everson Griffen in their starting line-up at defensive end. Regarded as the best defensive end prospect out West, Griffen just might also be the very best defensive end in the country.

"It just gives me more motivation to push myself harder and to do better," said Griffen on the high acclaim being thrown his way. "It just makes me do better in the classroom and in the weight room to make myself as a better player."

Griffen worked his way into the starting line-up as a sophomore and he has never looked back. This past season, Griffen finished with 47 tackles, 30 solo jobs, five sacks and three fumble recoveries. On offense, he rushed for 794 yards, 168 yards receiving yards and nine total TDs. As a sophomore, season Griffen finished with 70 tackles and 12 sacks.

Griffen can bench 405 pounds, squat 540 and he has posted a 32-inch vertical jump. He starts in hoops and averages 18 points per game. In track, he throws the shot (2nd in state 56'6) and discus (1st in state in discus at 165 in his first year to throw the discus) and he played a key role in school winning the state track and field championship.

Griffen has been offered by 15 - 20 schools thus far, but he says he is keeping his options open.

"All my options are open right now," said Griffen. "I am just looking for the best school that fits me both academically and athletically. I have a top five — USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Arizona and Arizona State, but I am still talking to everybody and still evaluating everybody. I am going to take my five visits and then make my decision, so I will eventually choose among the five schools that I visit. I don't have a favorite."

Most that talk with Griffen think that he will stay with a Pac-10 program, but Griffen disputes that theory.

"Where the school is has nothing to do with it," said Griffen. "If the school that fits me the best is out West, then I will stay out here. But if it in Oklahoma or wherever, then I will go there. Distance or where the school is located doesn't matter to me."

If you think landing Griffen out of Arizona might be a tall order, how about wading into Baton Rouge and getting Frank Alexander right out from under Les Miles. Almost impossible, but the Sooners will try it.

Alexander was a first team all-district selection on both sides of the ball. He started at tight end and defensive end, and with his size and speed he has the game to play either at the college level. A few months ago, Alexander was somewhat of a mystery man, but May evaluations changed that. In addition to LSU and OU, Alexander says he's starting to hear from other schools as well.

"I've gotten calls from Southern Miss and Clemson," Alexander said. "Coach Haywood from Notre Dame and coach Hevesey from Florida have come by. Miami and Ole Miss have also been in."

Before the Sooners offered, Frank stated that: "LSU, Miami, Florida and Auburn are my top four, I want to wait a while and weigh out all of my options before I decide anything."

Hopefully, Oklahoma will move into the picture now that they have offered.

Plano's Ben Bass, (6-4 / 260 / 4.9), was not too highly regarded as a DE because he was needed on the OL last year at Plano West. However, at the A&M combine, he opened quite a few eyes as he dominated all of the DE drills.

This season Bass will go both ways - and the Sooner coaches already have an idea what position Bass is best suited for. And after the May evaluation period, so do at least a dozen other schools. "I have been offered by 11 different schools. Arkansas, Arizona, Texas Tech, TCU, OSU, OU, Ole Miss, Colorado, Colorado State, Texas A&M and Kansas."

Bass admits that A&M is his leader at the moment but says that he has not had a chance to see OU yet. "I haven't visited Oklahoma and haven't really seen them. I haven't had a chance to see the facilities, team, and coaches or meet any of the players. I am not sure what their campus looks like or what their academic situation is. I haven't seen enough to formulate an opinion on them."

Perhaps a favorable opinion can be formed this summer.

Defensive Tackle: (Possibly one).

So far OU has offered only one DT candidate, and that's Rolando Barragan (6-3 / 262 / 4.8) of California's El Camino JC. Reading between the lines, they apparently believe they have adequate depth down the line at DT with Granger and McCoy, but may need some help at the upper class level. And it's also possible that OU may be looking at Barragan as a DE prospect.

Last year. Barragan had 46 tackles and nine tackles for loss, including four sacks during his freshman season at El Camino. He has offers from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona, Auburn, Oregon, Washington, and currently lists Tennessee and Oklahoma as his top choices. He expects to graduate in December, so scholarship limitations may come into play here.

Defensive Backs: (Ideally one CB, (Fleming); one safety, but many HS athletes are capable of playing both. And as we have seen, when push comes to shove, it's very hard for Bob Stoops to turn down a dynamite DB).

This week the Sooners played host to one of the top safety prospects in the country - Christian Scott (6'0, 185, 4.4) of Dallas Skyline, Texas was seen walking around the OU campus. Scott saw time at quarterback, running back, receiver and linebacker during his junior season, but make no mistake about it this kid is going to be a free safety at the next level and a good one at that.

"I'm probably up to about 15 - 16 offers," said Scott, who picked off five passes and scored eight touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball last season. "I've got one from LSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, OSU, Florida, Nebraska, K-State and Notre Dame."

"I'm considering LSU, FSU, A&M, OU and Florida pretty strong," he said. "Those five are all pretty much the same." Hopefully, after this week's visit, Scott will be able to distance a few of his top picks.

Cornerback / Safety Desmond Jackson (6-1, 193, 4.5) from Seguin, TX finished his junior season with 70 tackles, seven pics with six for touchdowns. He also had 11 tackles and three sacks. Offensively, he had 1 punt return for a touchdown and one kick return for a score.

"I'm tall and have good strength and explosiveness," Jackson said. "I'm really aggressive and like to really go after it and mess up the wide receiver's route. I like to play physical and lay a lick, but I still need to get faster and get my 40 time down. I want to improve my footwork."

Jackson benches 305 pounds, squats 425 and has a vertical jump of 34-inches. The Sooners are chasing Texas here, and will have to work hard to overcome the current Longhorn lead. Jackson is yet one more Texas star that could be swayed by the Red River clash in October, if either school still has room at that point.

Cornerback / wide receiver Doug Wiggins (5-10, 185, 4.5) from North Miami Beach, is one of the most explosive players in the entire state of Florida. Wiggins will soon be entering his 4th season as a starter at NMB says he has over 30 scholarship offers but denies having a top five.

"I'm keeping it open right now," Wiggins said. "I need to sit down with my coaches and family and see what is the best place for me. I think I'll go through the whole process. I need to be sure it's the right decision. I'm going to try and have a top five by the end of summer so that I can start to set up my official visits."

As a junior, while leading his team to a district title, he had 858 yards and 10 touchdowns passing, 346 yards rushing, and 86 tackles with seven picks on defense.

Wiggins' childhood favorite was Miami and the 'Canes have offered him. "They were winners when I was growing up and still are," Wiggins said. "I was just always impressed with all the amazing athletes they had. Plus, they are the hometown team so everybody roots for them. They are about 45 minutes away, but that really doesn't matter to me. I want to play real early so depth is going to be important. I also want to play for a team that is competitive and plays against top teams."

Besides Miami, Wiggins also has offers from Auburn, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Western Michigan (first offer last fall), Oklahoma, USC, Boston College, Florida and several others.

It will be interesting to see how Flemings' recent commitment effects the recruitment of Wiggins. Will Oklahoma now drop off, or switch to a receiver full court press?


Although OU is probably done at LB with Reed and Box, however, they continue to recruit three prospects that currently play LB, but who also are athletic enough to play other positions. These three, Pat Lazear of Maryland, Jermaine Love of Garland, Texas and Dewey Elliot of Ohio, are chronicled below under 'Athletes'.

Athlete: (Several)

OU will always take an outstanding, versatile talent that can play multiple positions, particularly in a year with limited scholarships. They have offered five or six prospects nationally that fit this description. Heading the list is OKC's Gerald Jones, San Antonio's Travis Lewis, Pearland Texas star Sam Proctor and a Louisiana surprise.

Gerald Jones (6-1/190/4.49) OKC (Millwood) is one of the best pure athletes in the state of Oklahoma playing. Jones plays quarterback in high school and is being recruited at a number of different skill positions, but just where he plays on the D-1 level remains to be seen.

"It all depends on the where I go to school," said Jones. "If I go to Kansas or Kansas State, I can see myself playing quarterback. But if I go to Texas Tech I would probably play flanker. It really doesn't matter to me, because I will play wherever the team needs me the most. Whether it is quarterback, flanker or running back, it is wherever I can help the team on offense."

Gerald had 203 carries for 1,900 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns working out of Texas Tech style of offense last season. Jones also threw for 950 yards and 11 touchdown passes.

"I prefer offense because I have always played offense," said Jones. "In high school, I have always been an offensive player and I have never really played defense. I would prefer to play offense in college. We work out of a versatile offense — we work out of shotgun and I also get under center. We spread it out quite a bit and go four and five wide receivers. I have just concentrated on offense my whole high school career."

Jones has been offered by OU, OSU, Tulsa, Texas Tech (first offer), Kansas, K-State, Florida, Nebraska Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Hawaii and at least a dozen more.

"I haven't taken many visits, but from the visits that I did take I like Texas Tech so far," said Jones. "I like the atmosphere at Texas Tech. When I was there they were very friendly and I could tell they were a big family. That is what I was looking for and right now. I really like Texas Tech."

Travis Lewis S - Ath (6'2, 220, 4.34), San Antonio, TX (Lee). Lewis has emerged as one of the best pure athletes in the Lone Star State. Blessed with amazing athletic ability, Lewis has become an athlete that different colleges view for different positions within their program.

"I am leaving it up to the coaches," said Lewis. "Whoever recruits me or signs me can decide where to play me. I am not going to be the kind of guy who gets mad where a team plays me. The coaches know what they are doing and they will play me in the best position for me in college. I really don't care which side of the ball I play on, but I did play safety when I was a sophomore. Last year I played running back and I spot-played at safety. This year I am going to play more running back and spot-play at linebacker. Many colleges are recruiting me as a linebacker."

Lewis also wrestles at 215 when he can make weight, and he runs track participating in the 4X100 (anchor) and the 100M. Lewis also long jumps (22'7). He attended the Scout combine in San Antonio and the Nike camp at Texas A&M, where he ran a 40 time of 4.34. Lewis can bench 320 pounds, squats 500 and he posted a 38.5 vertical jump. Lewis lives in the weight room and his best power cleanis 315 pounds.

He has been offered OU, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma State, UTEP, Rice, Texas Tech, Houston and Arizona State, but has an early favorite: "Go Sooners," said Lewis. "I have talked to Bob Stoops and I have told them that they were No. 1, and he told me that if I was going to commit to him then he really wanted me to commit to them. He told me that he wanted me to make sure that OU was the only school that I wanted to visit, and that OU was the only school that I wanted to talk to. I was excited that I was talking to Bob Stoops."

"I know what he is saying and he wants me to make sure that OU is the place, and I respect that. I don't know exactly how close I am to a decision, but OU is definitely No. 1. OU and Nebraska are my top two schools. Nebraska has treated me great and it has been fun being recruited by Nebraska. Nebraska is real sincere about their recruitment of me and I appreciate that."

Lewis admits that his high school coach, Jimmy Ramos, will play a big role in his decision.

"My high school coach has a big influence on where I go," said Lewis. "He has got me this far and his influence means a lot to me. I would love to play for a great coach like Bob Stoops or the coaching staff at Nebraska. Distance doesn't matter, but he would like to see me go someplace near by because he would love to be able to see me play."

Sam Proctor, Ath, (6'1 / 205 / 4.4), Pearland, Texas. There isn't a football fan in Texas or a college coach recruiting Texas that doesn't believe that Proctor is one of the very best football players in the country. Tremendously athletic, Proctor can play any skill position on the field, including QB, but he doesn't really care where he plays.

"The bottom line is that I am a football player and I really don't care where I play," said Proctor. "Right now I am playing quarterback, but I can play any position on the field. Right now I am getting a split decision on my college position from college coaches. Some are recruiting me as a quarterback and others are recruiting me as an athlete. My personal belief is that I have the talent to be a quarterback at the next level and I would like the opportunity to prove that I can play quarterback."

Proctor played his first two years at Dobie High before transferring to Pearland this year. "As a sophomore, I didn't start and I played multiple positions," said Proctor. "Then as a junior, I played quarterback at Dobie and we finished with an 8-2 record. We missed the playoffs because of the point system in our district."

Sam threw for 15 touchdowns and ran for eight more in a one-back and I-formation offense.

"I was kind of trapped under center last year," said Proctor. "We had an offense built around the running backs and I never really got to cut lose in the shot-gun. This year we are going to be in the gun and I am going to get more of an opportunity to show off my abilities."

Proctor can bench 305 pounds, squats 425 and he has posted a 34-inch vertical jump. He also runs the open 200M (21.8) and the 4X200 (anchor) in track.

"Recruiting is really secondary to me right now," said Proctor. "I have just moved to a new school and I am learning quite a bit of offense right now. I want to concentrate on my senior year and do the very best I can and then start thinking about recruiting. So, recruiting is secondary for me right now."

"But I was very excited about the offense from Oklahoma," said Proctor. "Oklahoma is sitting in a great spot with me right. I am not totally sure if Oklahoma wants me to play quarterback or not. Coach (Kevin) Sumlin has let me know that they are recruiting me to be one of the top athletes in their program. I love their offense and feel I could do very well in it. They run the shot-gun, quick passing game, have a great running game and their offense is second to none."

Chad Jones Ath (6-3 / 220 / 4.5) Baton Rouge, LA (Southern Lab). Jones is generally regarded as one of the top three safeties in the country. The problem is, he keeps growing and may even be big enough to play LB or DE in a couple of years. Jones, was named first team All-District and first team All-State in Class A during his junior year, after accumulating 84 tackles and four interceptions.

"Chad has good speed, a good nose for the ball, and he is very aggressive," said Southern Lab head coach Michael Roach. "He may be a better outside linebacker but we keep him in the secondary because he runs better than any defensive back we have. He has all of the intangibles that you just can't coach." Naturally the entire world has offered Jones, and his favorites have been LSU and Miami. But something encouraged Oklahoma in the last ten days, and they offered just over a week ago. Who knows what that was, or if it will amount to anything.

If you were going to describe Bethesda, Maryland's Pat Lazear (6-1 / 235 / 4.6), in one word, it might be 'tough.' "I'm aggressive, I know that," Pat said of his playing style. "Even if I'm not in on the actual tackle, I'm going to find a lineman or someone I can knock on their butt. I guess it's just so they know where I am at and so they know they can't come my way."

Offenses figured that out plenty last year, the Maryland All-State linebacker was knocking plenty of people on their butts. Whether it was running backs, tight ends or receivers, Lazear blasted them for over 100 tackles on the season and he did it to quarterbacks a total of 12 times behind the line of scrimmage.

Lazear said that he'll be checking a lot of schools out over the summer. With the intent of committing before the season and potentially enrolling early, this isn't a decision he wants to prolong. Schools he plans to visit include Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma, NC State and Nebraska . He's visited Georgia and Alabama already.

The Sooners may be thinking bruising fullback, LB or even DE. The best way to sum up Lazear is that he's just one heck of a football player. To us, Lazear almost sounds like the reincarnation of one J.D. Runnels.

Talk about an athlete, the Sooners love North Garland's Jermaine Love, (5-11.5/206/4.46). But so do plenty of other schools, including Arizona, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Washington State, and Texas A&M. At just about 6-0 and 205 pounds, Love may need to add weight, but he runs a blazing 4.46 and benches 330.

Jermaine racked up a school record 140 total tackles as a junior (unassisted & assisted), with seven tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 13 QB Hurries, two interceptions and three forced fumbles on a 5-6 team. He was a unanimous 11-5A all-district first team defense as a junior, one of only two afforded that honor.

"He's a really talented kid," says North Garland coach David Farris. "He's strong, he's fast, and this and that, but what makes him special is the intensity that he plays with."

It may be that Bob Stoops Ohio connections have drawn interest from another tough player. Dewey Elliot (6-1 / 240 / ), Fairfield, OH is undoubtedly one of the top middle linebackers in the Midwest if not the Nation, and he has been offered by a wide variety of schools. As a junior, Elliot racked up over 100 tackles and 12 sacks while garnering All-Conference honors.

"I have over 16 schools that have offered," Elliot said. "I have to take a lot of visits this summer and next fall, so I want to sit down here sometime in the next couple of weeks and try to get my top five set up. I definitely like Ohio State and Cincinnati, but I am also know that Bob Stoops is from Ohio and he has some deep coaching roots in Ohio."

"I know that I am going to go to Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Oklahoma for camps. I may also try to go to the West Virginia camp," Elliot stated.

Could Elliot come in and 'wow' the Sooner coaches at LB or even fullback? It's possible that he can, the OU offer that he has speaks louder than words in this case.

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