Recruiting: Scouting the signees

Brent Venables and Kevin Wilson break down Oklahoma's offensive and defensive recruiting class. Venables has high praise for Enid, Okla. linebacker Austin Box (pictured).

Alex Williams, OL, New Orleans, La.
Kevin Wilson: "Long, big-framed guy. The kid played basketball so he showed a lot of speed and athleticism. I think coming out of a city program, he'll make some significant leaps and gains physically. I think he's got a lot of upside. He's probably a tackle, but not so big that he couldn't be a guard. I think he's a guy that's got a lot of upside. Once he gets into a stable situation in the weight room and with better nutrition, he'll be a potentially nice-sized, quality player."

Tyler Stradford, WR, New Orleans, La.
Kevin Wilson: "He's a fast guy. He's a nice-sized, big-framed guy that has tremendous speed. You'd like to think he can give you some vertical stretch and explosiveness at the receiver position, and also some size. He's not so big that he's a strider. A lot of fast guys are taller and long stride guys, he's a fast guy with pretty good size so he can give you a physical presence at receiver with a lot of true, great speed."

Donald Stephenson, OL, Blue Springs, Mo.
Kevin Wilson: "He's similar to Alex, but I don't think he's quite as big. A tackle guy that might be a guard. I think Donald's in that mode. He moved to a quality team this year at Blue Springs. Before that, he was with a city program at Central High School in Kansas City. He was injured this year with a broken toe, so he did miss some time. He's an athletic guy. I do think both those guys (Stephenson and Williams) are very good where you could potentially see some tremendous upside that is still yet to be developed just based on their maturity, their size and some of the things that's come on with where they're coming from. What you're seeing on tape right now I think is going to be physically better after a couple good years within our program."

Keith Nichol, QB, Lowell, Mich.
Kevin Wilson: "He has some athleticism where he will be able to do some things if you want to run the quarterback etc. He has a very quick and a very strong arm. He's not an overly large quarterback — a 6-1, 195-pound guy — but has tremendous arm speed and arm strength. He makes all the throws and can pass the ball, not just throw it. He can throw the ball with a lot of zip. Also, he's a good enough athlete whether it be just avoiding the rush, making some plays with his feet or designed quarterback run. He's got a lot of the intangibles that you look for with a combination of some physical skills and his mental makeup. I think he has a bright future. He posseses a lot of things, personally for me, that I always liked in quarterbacks. I wasn't hung up on that you had to be real big and I wasn't hung up that you had to be real fast, but he's big enough and fast enough. I see a lot of across the board qualities that give him a chance to potentially have a great career as a college quarterback."

Jason Hannan, OL, Waxahachie, Texas
Kevin Wilson: "I'd say he's a center/guard. He played a lot of high school guard, then they got him in there snapping and he looked truly comfortable at it. He's going to be one of those inside three guys. I think he, combination-wise, is probably a lot like Trent Williams. There might be some other players with more potential, but he might be one of the more closer, ready to play guys even though we've got a lot of guys back on the line. He's mentally mature and he's a tough kid, and I think he's very athletic and strong for a young guy. I think he's going to be a really quality offensive lineman. I know coach Patton's very excited about him. Fundamentally, he's been very well-coached in high school and I think he'll come in early and be a very competitive early player."

Corey Wilson, WR, Creekview, Texas
Kevin Wilson: "Corey was very good in our camp last summer. We didn't offer him until he was in the camp, but he actually did some things where athletically he was a little bit smoother than his brother (Travis Wilson). He's maybe not quite as big as Travis, but he actually is a little more fluid, a little more smoother. He may be a smidge better athlete than Travis was. He's maybe not quite as big, but we're only talking about a half inch and a few pounds. So he's a little smaller than his brother, but in some ways he's shown some athleticism that we kinda thought he was a maybe a little bit more athletic than Travis. And that's not putting Travis down, he's a nice, quality player who's playing for the Browns. So that's not putting his brother down. I mean, his brother was an awfully good player. I wouldn't be surprised when he gets here if, physically, if the opportunity presents itself he has a chance to maybe be in the mix to play young. If not, it's because everybody's doing well and everybody's healthy. Once we had him in camp, we were very excited about what we thought he could do."

Kody Cooke, OL, Enid, Okla.
Kevin Wilson: "Kody is a guy that's kinda going to be a guard-type guy. He's a mid-year guy who's already here. I think he's a guy that's going to need to gain some strength and get his body in shape. I think he's a little further away than Jason Hannan. He's going to earn his stripes and then you'll see him a year or so down the road. I like his toughness, and fundamentally he's very good."

Phil Loadholt, OL, Fountain, Colo.
Kevin Wilson: "I think he has a chance to be an outstanding lineman here from what I've seen, but I have yet to break a huddle with him so I don't know. But he is one big of a son of buck who can run and bend and he's working his butt off. I think the kid has a tremendous opportunity to be a really good player."

Ryan Broyles, WR, Norman, Okla.
Kevin Wilson: "He is a versatile guy who can do a number of different things. We needed a slot receiver and he fits that position, but he is athletic enough to play corner as well. He is a local guy and a guy who played a number of different spots at Norman High at a high level. We think he can do similiar things on the football field here at OU in that he can help us in a number of different areas."

Sam Proctor, S, Pearland, Texas
Brent Venables: "We've had great success with high school quarterbacks becoming safeties and DBs for us. He's got great instincts as a football player and makes a lot of big plays. He's a bigger and physical guy. He's got a really good football I.Q. We're excited about him."

Desmond Jackson, CB, Seguin, Texas
Brent Venables: "He's got great instincts. Reminds you of Derrick Strait. He has an innate ability to step in front of a passes. He's physical. He has played safety and corner, and he has a chance to play both here."

Jontae Bumpus, DE, Muskogee, Okla.
Brent Venables: "Like his upside. Plays very hard. His best football is ahead of him when he gets three squares a day and gets in the weight room. When he is completely dedicated to football only, we feel like he'll develop rather quickly."

David Anderson, DE, Lawton, Okla.
Brent Venables: "He's got a lot of length to him. Very athletic. I think his success as a basketball player and a hurdler in track is indicative of the type of athlete you have. The sky's the limit. Very broad. He's very much like Jontae in that he'll make leaps and bounds of improvement physically in the weight room."

Austin Box, LB, Enid, Okla.
Brent Venables: "He'll have an opportunity to get on the two-deep because of our lack of depth at linebacker. Being here early is a tremendous advantage. He's got a physical presence and once he learns how to play in the box and how to get off of blocks and things of that nature and understand the intracacies of linebacker player, I really feel like he'll flourish. He's gives you a lot of flexibility because he can play all three positions because of his physical stature. He's a guy that gets it. He conceptually understands football."

Mike Reed, LB, Yuba Junior College
Brent Venables: "Very explosive tackler, very mature young guy. He's very proud and a very hard worker. We've just got to whoop him into shape. Being here for the spring is going to be a great advantage. He's going to have a chance to compete right away at middle linebacker. The thing that impresses me the most is, from a maturity standpoint, every time I talk to him he talks to me about wanting to get pushed, wanting to get challenged. He can't wait to get under the guidance of Smitty to up the ante so to speak. He's not a guy that comes in here feeling like he's a polished product. He wants to be worked and coached hard in order to improve and to maximize his ability and potential. Since he's been here he's had a willingness to work for it, and that's what you want. He's very hungry and he's got a thirst to be a great player."

Jamell Fleming, CB, Arlington, Texas
Brent Venables: "He's got great man-to-man cover skills. He's got good size already. Physically, he's right there along with Desmond Jackson. They're almost two clones. Another guy with a good football I.Q. He's been well-coached and understands different coverages and techniques."

Frank Anderson, DE, Baton Rouge, La.
Brent Venables: "Probably the most physically mature in regards to the defensive ends. Another good athlete getting another basketball player playing defensive end. He's got good length to him, good range, a high motor. Very good in the classroom as well. He'll have a chance to compete and get into the two or three-deep right away because of the depth there."

Londell Taylor, S, Via, Okla.
Brent Venables: "Very successful at doing a lot of things. Tremendous athlete. When he's on the field he makes a lot of things happen. He's got a big, physical presence to him."

Travis Lewis, LB, San Antonio, Texas
Brent Venables: "Extremely explosive, powerful and very fast. He has a physical and mental maturity that a lot of guys take time to develop. He has it already."

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