Yes, technically, the actual dealership, (at the time), may not have been at fault, but it will be a long time before the name BIG RED SPORTS & IMPORTS sets well with Sooner fans.
There's plenty of blame to go around here, but the brunt must eventually be laid at the feet of the players involved, starting QB Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn, and the adult 'booster' who, as acting manager of the dealership, devised and suggested the plan.
It is now well known that the Hudiberg Automotive Group purchased the Big Red dealership several months ago, well after the transgressions, and that the former manager was terminated for whatever reasons, sometime this spring.
Whether any of those 'reasons' had anything to do with this incident is a matter of conjecture, but the former majority owners have told friends that they did not know of the falsified records regarding Bomar and Quinn, and that the manager, (Brad McCray), was terminated for other reasons.
As to who uncovered what, when - according to one source in the athletic department, originally OU investigators did not catch the misdeeds simply because all paperwork supported the payments, and all documentation was deemed to be correct on the surface. However, when an audit was done isolating the timesheets on a daily basis, it was discovered that some of the sheets overlapped periods when both players were known to be working out on campus.
Not that it matters, but the overpayments that have been reported to be as high as $15,000 - $18,000 are incorrect. Neither player received more than $ 2,000 in unearned compensation, making the entire story more tragic, as many lives have been ruined over a relatively small amount.
The bottom line is that two players, who knew better, accepted money for something they did not do, (and signed false timesheets to justify the payments), taking the money from an individual with a clown like persona masquerading as an adult, who apparently enjoys the spotlight so much that he pines for friendship of young college athletes.
Bomar and Quinn have both offered apologies, and it's very difficult to not ache for their misdeeds, for they were both Sooners and we gave them our affections and cheered their accomplishments. Typically however, Mr. McCray has offered no apologies, only his denial of any wrongdoing with the explanation that - as far as he knew, Bomar and Quinn were paid for hours worked.
Hopefully the OU administration and staff have learned a lesson that clowns, at some time or another, resort to childish behavior that is not becoming to a program that sets high standards, and certainly that clowns are not to be trusted with wives, children or for that matter - your best players.
Paul Thompson to the Rescue . . .
Late last week Bob Stoops received the news that an internal OU investigation into the dealership revealed that the two players had both knowingly accepted payment for work not performed. Stoops immediately suspended both players from the program and set about formulating a plan to recover on the field.
The first roundtable was held within the coaching staff, and contingent options, drawn up months ago, were dusted off and debated. The consensus was the relatively easy decision to anoint senior Paul Thompson the heir apparent at QB. But first Thompson - who had moved to receiver in the spring, had to accept the offer.
Bob Stoops commented on the decision; "It was pretty apparent, Joey Halzle has been here for 15 days of practice while Paul Thompson has been here four years and backed up a Heisman winning QB for two of those."
Thompson was told of the impending crisis and offered the starting quarterback job on Monday. It was not a quick decision, as Stoops and Thompson both agreed to take 24 hours to think about it.
Thompson explained what his thought process was like on Monday:
"No, honestly, it wasn't an easy decision - at first. It took me a while, and I wish it could have been longer. What happened did happen so soon, and with two-a-days starting as quick as they were it took me probably a full day to come to a decision. I needed a day to talk to my family to decide what I wanted to do."
"I committed to play for Oklahoma, not Paul Thompson" . . .
"My initial thought was to stay at receiver. Naturally, I still had some pride from last year - when I think I played better than maybe I was given credit for. But after I called home and talked to my folks it was an easy choice. We talked about it and we agreed that I committed to play for Oklahoma, not Paul Thompson. Football is a team sport, and the team needs me at quarterback. So I have to set my personal interests aside and do what's best for my team."
"Although it might be best for me personally to stay at receiver, I believe that I need to be at quarterback to put us in the best position to accomplish the goals this team agreed on. I want to be the guy to lead us to our goals, and with the help of the other players and coaches, I believe I will."
"The main thing was the fact that I had not played quarterback in a while. I was at receiver and you have to switch your whole mindset to make that move. So when I made the move I was focused on receiver, and to switch it back that quick is pretty difficult, especially with the number of plays with have and with the ability to make plays with good decisions."
Thompson was asked how he feels this season compared to last year:
"It's a lot different. Last year I was locked into a battle for the starting spot. There was a lot of pressure on me - maybe I put it on myself, but I obviously I knew that Rhett came into the mix much more highly regarded than I was. So yeah, there was pressure on both of us. Sometimes I felt like if I made one mistake that it might be the thing that determined the starter."
"This year I'm a senior with nothing to lose. I'm relaxed, and I know that if I make a mistake, I'm still going to be the starter. I'm going to give it everything I've got, and I think I can get the team to do the same. This is going to be last year and I am just out here trying to have fun and trying to do the best that I can."
"I've been leading this team for a while now. I am not the only leader, but one of the leaders of this team and to come in at this position allows me to do that even easier. The guys respect me and I respect them. We have a good mutual feeling of respect for each other."
"I told them before practice Thursday that I was going to 'ride out for you all and you all ride out for me - so get on board and let's do this thing!' I am not worried what other people have to say or what other people think as far as fans. I am ready to ride out."
Thank Goodness for Kevin Wilson . . .
If there's something Sooner fans can be thankful for it can be spelled 'K-E-V-I-N W-I-L-S-O-N." Wilson worked miracles in the Big 10 with half the talent, and without a complementing defense as stout as the one the Sooners should field this year. A defense that can hand the ball over at mid-field as opposed to inside the 25 yard line is a huge advantage for any offense.
Wilson addressed his offensive philosophy, which has been trademarked by creative innovation, yesterday:
"I don't know if I'm a great coach or what not, but I play to my players' strengths. Everyone talks about the Northwestern spread, it was put in because we didn't have tight ends and fullbacks – period. Unfortunately, the dear friend of mine that passed away, struggled in going to that formation. He wanted a fullback and wanted to be in the ‘I', we did not have it. We had to adapt and adjust.
Ever since I've been here, all the ‘I' plays have been put in since I've been here. That's something we changed, we were different with Quentin Griffin than we were with Jason White. We've always adapted. Last year we didn't have a clear-cut QB and it took us until about the third of fourth game to get in-sync. Unfortunately, last year, no QB separated and we were out of sync finding ourselves and in hindsight took us longer than we'd like to get moving.
But Wilson believes that Thompson can get the Sooners going this year:
"You go through the history of Paul, he's really been our number two guy throughout his time here. We went through a situation last year where we were trying to separate two guys, through spring and all, there wasn't much separation. The only time in his career he hasn't been a number two guy was last year, when he was a receiver last spring. But when the situation changed, we had it in mind that if it did that he would be our guy."
"So now he's our guy, to me, to Coach Stoops and to all our players. So now we can go through the year knowing that he's our guy. What can we do now to make him comfortable? What can I, Coach Heupel, Coach Sumlin do?"
"Again, we aren't going to become a running team because he's an athlete and just run with him and Adrian, with the quarterback run game. We're going to have to throw the ball to win a championship. We think we have a great chance to be a championship team, and we're going to have to throw the ball down the field and throw it effectively. So we have to find out what he's efficient at and can we go in a direction where we can hit the field early with some cohesion and have a chance to start fast as an offense."
Twenty Eight Days and Counting . . .
There's never a good time to lose a starting quarterback. But a month before the first game is certainly better than a day or a week. Wilson says he thinks the Sooners have time to work with Thompson and make the proper adjustments before the opening game on September 2nd.
"With the NCAA now changing the rules and spreading pre-season out like they have, it gives us plenty of time where we don't have to rush. It gives us plenty of classroom time and a lot of days for him and us as coaches to get comfortable and see where we are. I really like the fact that, where a few years ago, we have Jason White blow a knee out in the first quarter of the second game and we only had a week to get ready."
"Now we have a whole preseason to get ready so it's not the situation that we had or expected, but we have ample to time to get ready to play at a high level early. Our goal was to come out quick, offensively, and come out productive and start fast so that we get to conference play and can be a competitive, upper level team and make a championship run."
"We do not need to go to the first game, searching and feeling and finding ourselves. One of the reasons we chose Paul as our guy was so we could get out to a faster start in those first few weeks."
Tweaking Thompson . . .
Thompson also was asked about what changes the Sooners offense would employ with Wilson, who was the master of the quarterback run game while at Northwestern.
"I'm very comfortable with Coach Wilson. He knows my strengths - and I know he'll put a few plays in to take advantage of them, but I'm aware of the fact that we have to be able to throw the ball to win championships."
"We're also aware that teams will likely stack the line and scheme to stop the run. Mainly because of A.D. - but no one is going to expect me to pass as a first option when we open the season. Coach Wilson will put some plays in to take advantage of teams that do that. My job the next four weeks is to learn those plays and execute them, and also recognize defenses that make themselves vulnerable somewhere else."
Coach Wilson says he told Thompson to just relax and use all of his weapons:
"We told Paul that he doesn't need to put this team on his shoulders. We have a tremendous team, a great defense, talent on offense and it's his job to get in sync with us and manage the players around him."
"I told him, ‘We don't need you to win us games.' I've been raised in coaching (to believe) that the team can win the game; just see what the defense is giving you. Sometimes the nicest pass is an incomplete one because you got blocked by coverage, the spacing wasn't there, the route got clustered, the protection wasn't there. Sometimes not forcing the football is the critical play - so there's very little that I said to him or will say to him that will be any different than any QB that I have or will ever deal with. That guy to me has to be an extension of coach Stoops, of me and the offensive staff."
"I do like to take chances," Wilson said last week, "but not when it's forced. I've told the guys I want to be as aggressive as they let me be. It's all about trusting them."
Thompson has four weeks to develop that 'trust factor,' and it will be interesting to see what Wilson will do with what Paul delivers.
Around the Horn . . .
OL newcomer Brandon Walker reports that he's now at 306 pounds and intends to take the starting right guard spot, "I just need to learn the plays he said, it's a lot different than JC, and it's a totally new system to me," while big Duke Robinson says he's down to 336 pounds, (from a high of near 380 last year).
"I'm also a lot stronger, and I think I'll do a lot better this year, said Robinson, who is currently the most valuable ‘hole card' in the OL, as he is capable of playing either guard or tackle.
And freshman TE Jermaine Gresham reports that he's ready for battle and feels 100%. "My knee feels fine and I'm ready to go," he said.
Meanwhile Jon Cooper says he's right on target to start September 2. "I appreciate the fact that the coaches are not rushing me during two a days. I've worked really hard to get ready for the first game and I'll definitely be there. By game two or three I should be able to go 100% for four quarters." Until he is ready to play every snap, we could see freshman Chase Beeler, RS freshman Ben Barresi, or sophomore Cameron Schacht spelling Copper at center late in early games.
Cooper evaluated his initial season; "Last year was really a surprise to me. I went in the Nebraska game when Chris Bush got hurt. I was running onto the field thinking, 'what have I gotten myself into? - this is Nebraska!' But after a few plays I settled down and started to find a groove. I actually had a pretty good game and was named the starter next week against A&M. And of course I started the next week when I broke my leg in the Texas Tech game."
"But I'm OK now, and I think I'll have a good year. Last year I actually played at 270 pounds. I'm up to 290 now and have lowered my body fat and gained quite a bit of strength," Cooper added.
Senior DE C.J. Ah You is also excited about the possibilities this year:
"Last year was tough. There were only two of us, (at DE), and we were usually pretty tired in the fourth quarter. It seemed like we really couldn't ever cut loose, even when we were fresh, because we had to be thinking about the DB's. This year Reggie Smith has settled down the entire secondary, and all of those guys are going to let us be a little more aggressive on the edge."
Numbers and Names . . .
What a difference a week makes, as names on the back of jersey's was the hot topic last week. That seems to be somewhat unimportant this week, but there is a reason that 2006 Sooner jerseys have no names. Sooner equipment manager Greg Tipton offered an explanation:
"It's got nothing to do with ego's - unity, selling programs or anything like that. The fabric name placards that fit on this year's jerseys (which are made of a slightly different fabric), just didn't look good," he said.
"Last year the letters making up the names were three inches high, this year there's not as much room between the shoulder seams, and the name placards came in with smaller (2") letters. They looked ridiculous, and was not possible to read them from 20 rows up, so we just decided to leave them off. But I still have them stored away if we change our mind for some reason."
Among the number changes: TE Jermaine Gresham gets #2, as WR Malcolm Kelly takes #4, along with CB Jonathon Nelson. S Reggie Smith and RB DeMarco Murray are both #3, (formally occupied by JeJuan Rankins), while no one claims #1. (This interesting tidbit does tip us off that Murray and Smith will not be on the same KO Return team, and we have already established Smith as the probable punt returner).
QB Sam Bradford gets #14, replacing Brett Bowers who takes #26. TE Joe Jon Finley is now #19, replacing WR Quintin Chaney who now sports #84, worn last year by now DE Auston English, (who is now #33). Keenan Clayton is now #22, replacing Chijioke, and vacating #9, which is now the exclusive domain of Juaquin Iglesias.
Trent Williams gets Chris Chester's #64. OT Sherrone Moore is #77 (Davin Joseph), freshman DT Pryce Macon takes Dusty Dvoracek's #94, and big Gerald McCoy is #93 - formerly worn by DT Remi Ayodele .
Recruiting . . .
QUARTERBACK - Projected: 1 / Current QB Commitments: 0
Quarterback with Bomar only a sophomore - was hardly an afterthought a week ago. Obviously that position now moves up to 'priority' status. The problem is, top quarterbacks tend to commit early, because they don't want to miss the one possible opening at the school of their choice.
Out of this year's class, most of the top 20 quarterbacks are verbally committed. Obviously, we know too much about how solid those can be, particularly in light of coaching changes.
OU will likely call many of the top twenty, regardless of their commitment status, – just to see if there is any interest. You can bet that there will be some – somewhere if the Sooners manage a fast start this fall. Top committed targets are Clemson commit Willy Korn (6-2 / 200 / 4.6), Duncan, SC and Texas commit John Brantley, (6-2 / 180), Ocala, Florida.
Of the top 20, four are still uncommitted:
Georgia's Josh Nesbitt, (6-1 / 200 / 4.5), generally is considered a top 10 QB, but will likely stay in the South; Kodi Burns (6-2 / 190), from nearby Ft Smith Northside is also a top 10 guy who is aware of the fact that Arkansas landed Mitch Mustain last year; Atlanta's Cameron Newton, (6-5½ / 225 / 4.51), is big, fast and would be a perfect fit for Kevin Wilson's offense; and Tampa Florida's Stephen Garcia, (6-3 / 212 / 4.7), is still uncommitted.
You can also bet that OU will be looking at a handful of promising HS seniors that perhaps had an injury or other circumstance that kept them off the highly rated list this spring. And obviously, a JC QB is a possibility as well. There are also several signal callers on OU's ‘athlete' list that may now get a second look at playing QB, primarily based on how they play this next month.
Oklahoma should have a revised QB recruiting strategy mapped out within the week, but for now, two a days and getting Paul Thompson ready are more important.
We have said from day one, that attrition and unforeseen factors always provide more scholarship opportunities. We will stick with our projection of 15 scholarships being available in February, some way some how.
This Week in Recruiting . . . One BIG Commitment
Sometimes – even when things are going bad, you get lucky. With all the news centered on the ‘Big Red duo', OU caught a break when OL giant and LSU commit Phil Loadholt, (6'8 / 345) from Garden City Community College called his friend D.J. Wolfe and asked if Oklahoma could use a potential all America lineman.
Wolfe wasted no time in letting the Sooner staff know that highly talented Loadholt was looking around after LSU said he needed an additional Algebra class to qualify. Phil has already graduated, but OU is full on scholarships, so he will be going back to Garden City and play football this year and will come to Norman at semester and go through spring practice in 2007, with two years of eligibility left.
Loadholt explains how his relationship with D.J. sealed the deal:
"I called him when I knew I wasn't eligible at LSU. I trust him and love him like a brother. I trust him and what he tells me and he says he loves it at Oklahoma. I would love to play with him and won't mind getting on a team with him, because I think we make a pretty good package."
Loadholt is more than just a big offensive lineman, as he also excelled at basketball in high school:
"I am originally from Fountain, Colo. which is right near Colorado Springs. I played my high school football at Fountain Fort Carson. I was a three-year starter in high school at tight end and earned first team all-state honors in high school. I was runner-up for Mr. Basketball in high school basketball and I had two offers for basketball from Colorado, Colorado State and Southern Illinois. A couple of junior colleges also offered me, but I think I am better at football. I started at offensive tackle at Garden City and was named second team All-American this past year."
"I have big expectations at Oklahoma. I want to be on a team that is going to compete for a national championship. I want to get in there for the spring and start competing for a starting spot, and then jump into the Big 12 and start competing for the Big 12 Championship."
Here are Oklahoma's current commitments for 2007:
Jontae Bumpus - DE - Muskogee, OK
Desmond Jackson - DB - Seguin, TX
Jamell Fleming - DB - Arlington, TX
Austin Box - LB - Enid, OK
Mike Reed - LB - Yuba JC, CA
Phil Loadholt, - OL - Garden City Community College
ATHLETES: Projected: 1 - 4 / Current Commitments: 0
Travis Lewis (RB ***) S - Ath (6'2, 220, 4.4), San Antonio, TX (Lee)
Gerald Jones (19 RB) (6-1 / 190 / 4.49) OKC (Millwood)
Chad Jones (11 S) Ath (6-3 / 220 / 4.5) Baton Rouge, LA (Southern Lab)
Sam Proctor (RB ***) Ath (6-1 / 205 / 4.4), Pearland, TX
Jermaine Love (UR) Ath (5-11½ / 206 / 4.4), Garland, TX (North)
Ben Bass (25 DE) DE/OL (6-4 / 260 / 4.9), Plano, TX (West)
Kamar Aiken, (****) FS/WR, (6'2 / 205 / 4.4), Hollywood, (Chaminade Madonna Prep) FL
Doug Wiggins, (10 CB) Ath, (5-10½ / 185 / 4.5), North Miami Beach, FL
Billy Chavis, (5 TE) Ath - TE, (6'5 / 227 /4.7), Beaumont, (Westbrook), TX (future offer pending)
Cameron Jordan (UR ***) DE (6-4 / 240), Chandler, Arizona (future offer pending)
Plano's Ben Bass (6-4 / 260 / 4.9), is just a football player. He's talented enough to play on either side of the ball and last week he narrowed his list down to two schools:
"Right I am down to two schools. I am down to OU and Texas A&M. Those are pretty much my last two schools."
"I like what I see from Oklahoma. I like the coaches, coaching staff and I like the facilities. I like how they have competed the last couple of years. It just seems like they are a pretty solid program. At A&M, it's just the way I fit in around the coaches. I like the coaches and I like the players that are there right now. They seem to be the kind of players who will keep you up and try to make you better. They aren't the kind of guys who will always try to replace you. They will work with you to get better."
OU probably trails A&M here, as Bass admits a slight Aggie lean in August.
RUNNING BACK - Projected: 1 / Current Commitments: 0
Running Back Prospects:
Lennon Creer (8) (6-1 / 195 / 4.45), Tatum, TX
Joseph Reese RB (6-2 / 190 / 4.4), of Pflugerville, TX ('Soft' A&M Commitment)
Caleb King (3) (5-11 / 197 / 4.4), Lilburn, (Parkview), GA
Lennon Creer, the #1 back in Texas this year, says he now has a top four: "My top four would be Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Miami."
Creer, who is a solid student with a 3.0 GPA and a score of 19 on his ACT, says he has identified a top factor in his college choice: "Sending players to the NFL is important to me, and how they are developing people for the next level. The depth chart is important to me. I don't want to go someplace where they have a bunch of running backs stacked up ready to play. How a team runs the football is also important to me because I want to go somewhere that they at least run the ball."
RECIEVERS - Projected: 2 / Current Commitments: 0
At present, here is OU's offer list of Receiver prospects- with their current Super Prep/Scout national ranking ('X'), and listed in order of signing possibility - as of this date:
Corey Wilson, (UR) (6-0 / 185 / 4.4), Carrollton (Creekview HS), TX.
Ron Brooks (6) SR (6-0 / 170 / 4.5) Irving, TX (MacArthur)
Terrance Toliver (3) WR (6-5 / 188 / 4.4), Hempstead, TX
Dez Bryant (UR ****) WR (6-1 / 203 / 4.6) Lufkin, TX
James Kirkendoll (UR ****) SR (5-11 / 178 / 4.4), Round Rock, TX
Greg Little (8 LB) WR (6-3 / 205 / 4.5) Durham, NC (Hillside)
Arrelious Benn (1) WR (6'2 / 205 / 4.4), Washington D.C. (Dunbar)
Terrance Toliver is perhaps the top receiver that Oklahoma is in on at the moment, (ranked #3 nationally), and he says he saw a QB candidate that might fit OU's new need at Florida's camp last week:
"There was a quarterback named Cameron Newton," he said. "He was good and I told him that he should be ranked higher."
Thanks Terrance, glad you agree with the staff here at OUInisder, but what's new with Tolliver?
When asking for a list of favorites he named four schools - but isn't ready to limit it to those four just yet: "There isn't a top five, but Florida, Miami, LSU, and Oklahoma kind of stand out," he said.
Ranked right behind Toliver is Ron Brooks, the dynamic slot receiver from Irving MacArthur. Brooks said this week that he'll postpone his decision until later:
"I don't plan to decide until after the season," Brooks said. "I want to take all of my visits. Also, I want to play early and don't want to redshirt. That'll be big."
Brooks denies a favorite, but likes Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas. All of his favorites have offered except the Longhorns. "They haven't talked about a scholarship yet, but they are still recruiting me. They are interested. I really like the players a lot. I got to chill with them and felt very comfortable around them. I also liked the coaches and the excitement around the program. Texas is the only school that is recruiting me as a cornerback. Everybody else wants me as a receiver."
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN - Projected: 3 / Current Commitments: 1
At present, here is OU's offer list of Offensive Line prospects- with their current Super Prep/Scout national ranking ('X'), and listed in order of signing possibility - as of this date:
Phil Loadholt, - OL - Garden City Community College (Committed to Oklahoma)
Matt Romine ( UR ****) OL (6-6 / 275 / 5.2) Tulsa, OK (Union)
Po'u Palelei (25) OL (6-3 / 314 / 5.8) Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman)
Lee Ziemba (6) OL (6-7 / 295 / 5.2) Rogers, AR
Javario Burkes (22) OL (6-6½ / 300 / 5.2), Phoenix, AZ (Moon Valley)
Matt Summers-Gavin (25) OL (6-4½ / 275) San Francisco, CA (St. Ignatius)
Tray Allen (2) OL (6-4½ / 290 / 5.3), Grand Prairie, TX (committed to UT, but still talking to OU)
Donald Stephenson, (6-6 / 280) Kansas City, MO (Central) (committed to KU, but still talking to OU)
Bryan Bulaga, (6-5 / 250 / 4.8), Woodstock, IL (Marian Catholic) (committed to Iowa, but still talking to OU)
Big Lee Ziemba is the highest ranked OL the Sooners are in on. Ziemba, (6-7 / 295 / 5.2), from Rogers, Arkansas checked out the Auburn campus with his father Mike on their way to visit his grandparents in Enterprise, AL. "My dad graduated from Auburn and my mom attended Auburn," Ziemba says, explaining his interest in the Tigers. "I love the area. My grandparents are here (in Enterprise). It is like a second home to me."
Naturally, Ziemba has a load of scholarship offers and says he isn't ready to name his favorites yet, but he intends to trim his list to two or three teams and try to come up with a decision later this month prior to the start of his high school season in September. "By doing that, I can get that off my chest and concentrate on my high school season," he notes. Here's hoping the Sooners can make the final three.
Add one more OL recruit the mix. California's Matt Summers-Gavin is a Notre Dame lean – without an Irish offer at this time. Matt however is highly regarded and heavily recruited, he has most the Pac-10 on his his along with Nebraska, Notre Dame and OU in the Midwest.
If the Irish do offer they will join a fairly crowded room. Matt has scholarship offers from most of the Pac-10 schools, Nebraska, Georgia Colorado, Oklahoma, Virginia, San Diego State, Purdue, UNLV, Northwestern and Boston College. "I've got about twenty offers right now," Matt said. "I'm still wide open. I've got a week off and I'm going to get together with my coach and my parents so I can start narrow it down. I'll go off academics, athletics what type of offense the team runs. My coach has seen me develop and I think he'll a good idea of whether I fit into a schools offense. I'd like to go to a school that has a balanced offense.
"Just before the start of my season I'll have it down. I really only want to focus on a small number of schools. I don't want twenty or thirty schools calling me. I need to focus on academics and focus on my senior year. This is my last year of high school football and I want to go out with a bang. I don't want to have more than I need on my plate so I'm going to narrow it down to five or eight."
DEFENSIVE ENDS - Projected: 2 / Current Commitments: 1
Jontae Bumpus - (6-4 / 220 / 4.6) Muskogee, OK. (Committed to Oklahoma)
Defensive End Prospects:
Richetti Jones (4) DE (6'3½ / 235 / 4.6), Dallas, TX (Lincoln)
Frank Alexander DE (6'4 ½ / 229 / 4.7), Baton Rouge, LA (Southern Lab)
Everson Griffen (1) DE (6-4 / 265 / 4.55), Avondale, AZ
Sam Acho, DE (6'3 / 247 / 4.67), Dallas, TX (St Mark's) (offer pending)
Richetti Jones (6'3½ / 235 / 4.6), is one of the Sooners top DE prospects, and also is highly ranked nationally, (#4 DE). Jones has been seen in Stillwater several times this summer where he has friends form high schools. He admits that OSU is probably his leader at the moment, but is not ready to make a decision anytime soon.
He says that instant PT is a huge factor with him:
"I look at it this way — the quicker way to play on Sunday is to play quickly on Saturday. I don't want to go to a school where I have to wait in line. I think there are opportunities at both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, they lose four defensive ends. But I am not taking anybody out of the fight. I am also considering Texas Tech, Texas and Florida. I am not ruling anybody out. I am still going to take my officials and I am going to visit five schools."
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN - Projected: 1 / Current Commitments: 0
Defensive Line Prospects:
Joseph Barksdale (19 OL) (6-5½ / 315 / 4.9), Detroit, MI (Cass Technical HS)
Rolando Barragan DT/DE (6-3 / 262 / 4.8) El Camino JC (CA)
DEFENSIVE BACKS - Projected: 3 / Current Commitments: 2
Desmond Jackson, (18) - CB (6'1 / 190 /4.5), Seguin, TX. (Committed to Oklahoma)
Jamell Fleming - (UR ***) CB (5-11 / 197 / 4.5) Arlington (Sequin) TX (Committed to Oklahoma)
Christian Scott (9) (6'0½, 189, 4.4), Dallas, TX (Skyline)
Jermaine Love (UR) (5-11½ / 206 / 4.4) Garland, TX (North)
Jeremy Kerley (UR) (5-10 / 175 / 4.5) Hutto, TX
Without question, highly regarded Christian Scott of Dallas Skyline is the top DB on OU's board. Scott was to visit Austin last week, but did not make it:
"My brother had to back it up and he told me the morning we were leaving. He told me that we weren't going to be able to make it today. He was saying that we may have to go on the 5th or the 12th (of August). He had to pick up his wife at the airport, so that was the reason he couldn't take me. He told me at the last minute."
Scott says that he'l still visit UT along with a few others:
"No, I am checking out Texas and I am going to try to visit LSU also. I haven't been to LSU yet. Oklahoma is the only school that I have been to so far."
LINEBACKER - Projected: 2 – Committed 2
LB Austin Box (1 - S)- (6-3 / 217 / 4.6), Enid, OK. (Committed to Oklahoma)
LB Mike Reed - (UR - JC) (6-3 / 250 / 4.6), Yuba JC, Marysville, CA. (Committed to Oklahoma)
PK / PUNTER: Projected: 0 - 1 / Current P/PK Commitments:
The Kicker / Punter Prospects:
Wesley Bryan (6-0 / 180) Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) (offer pending)
Stephen Hoge, (6-2 / 200), OKC PC North (offer pending)
Jimmy Stevens, (5-6 / 150), OKC Heritage Hall (offer pending)
OU would like to wait until October to offer one of the above.