2015 Red River Recruiting Battles

Some years during this time of the season, the recruiting wars between Oklahoma and Texas are furious and numerous.

For the Class of 2015, though, things have sort of worked themselves out on the recruiting trail with the Sooners and Longhorns.

Of OU’s 14 commits, two (Rodney Anderson, P.J. Mbanasor) have Texas offers. Of Texas’ 17 pledges, eight (Du’Vonta Lampkin, Jamile Johnson, Louis Brown, Garrett Thomas, DeShon Elliott, Keivon Ramsey, Connor Williams, Toby Weathersby) were at one time offered by the Sooners.

Lampkin and Johnson were once committed to OU before flipping to the Longhorns so there’s still some bad blood in this tradition-rich rivalry.

And potentially more to come. Here are three undecided recruits for the 2015 class that could eventually end up either in Norman or Austin.

Aledo (Texas) High’s Ryan Newsome (5-8, 168, No. 26 WR)

The skinny: Newsome is down to four schools with Texas and OU both in that mix. UCLA and Tennessee round out the quartet, but he is also just returning from an official visit to Ole Miss. He’s a natural fit no matter where he goes.

Why OU: Newsome has visited the campus three times in the last year, and it’s clear he has made a strong, faith-based connection with OU coaches Bob Stoops and Jay Norvell. His official visit is set for Baylor weekend, which should be another huge recruiting opportunity for the Sooners. Watching OU play this season, it’s obvious OU can use another playmaker in the slot position. He’s the only receiver OU is considering accepting from this point forward, and there’s a reason for that. - Bob Przybylo, Sooners Illustrated

Why Texas: There isn’t a coaching staff in America that Newsome has a stronger relationship with than Texas’. He considers UT’s running backs coach Tommie Robinson a “second father” after the time the two spent together when Newsome was younger growing up in the same city while Robinson was a member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. Newsome and Robinson’s younger son are very good friends. On top of that, Texas is in desperate need of playmakers. Newsome knows this and understands the potential for early playing time both on offense and in the return game is there for the taking. But can UT get him the ball? That’s the biggest question that might be lingering in regards to these two. - William Wilkerson, HornsDigest

Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point’s Cameron Townsend (6-1, 195, No. 14 OLB)

The skinny: Townsend has made it pretty clear at this point. He’s down to three schools with Oregon State joining OU and Texas. Entering this month, it’s no secret it feels like the Longhorns have a nice lead with the four-star prospect.

Why OU: Townsend was a frequent visitor to OU during last summer and fall but hasn’t been back in a while. All that changes next weekend when he makes an official visit when Kansas State comes to Norman. The Sooners do not have one linebacker committed for the 2015 class and would be a huge addition. Every linebacker that watches OU in person says they want to be the next Eric Striker. That can only happen if you attend, and next week is OU’s chance to show Townsend exactly what the program is all about. - Bob Przybylo, Sooners Illustrated

Why Texas: Of the three names on this list I’d say Townsend has the best chance at ending up at UT. He was at Texas’ game on Saturday against Baylor decked out in Longhorns gear and has overwhelmingly visited the Longhorns more than any other program. Texas has been on Townsend from the jump. He and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary have a really good relationship and Townsend likes the idea of playing for a defensive minded head coach like Charlie Strong. – William Wilkerson, HornsDigest

Dallas Skyline’s Anthony Wheeler (6-2, 225, No. 6 MLB)

The skinny: Wheeler has said he intends to be at the game Saturday, and it’s a chance for both schools to make an impression on the four-star recruit. OU holds a slight edge in his recruitment right now, but so much can change in such a short period of time.

Why OU: OU can live with missing out on Newsome and Townsend. Wouldn’t like it but could survive. Wheeler is about as a must-get for the Sooners as they come. OU has done everything right during his recruitment and no doubt was hoping perhaps to get that commitment when he visited for camp in the summer. The Sooners need immediate impact players at middle linebacker as it’s a glaring weakness for OU. The Sooners don’t have anybody with his natural size and skill at the spot and, as stated before, do not have a linebacker commit yet for the class. - Bob Przybylo, Sooners Illustrated

Why Texas: This is the player, of the three, that Texas has the most work to do. Right now he has the Sooners slightly ahead of the Longhorns. His reason, as he’s always told me, was that he simply needed to spend more time with Texas’ coaching staff. It’s unlikely he’ll get that opportunity this week since Oklahoma is the home team and will be hosting recruits but he has told me he would like to make it down for a game in Austin at some point. If he does they’ll sell him on the idea of taking over for senior middle linebacker Steve Edmond, who is having a career year, which included a 17-tackle, two-sack performance against Baylor. Texas is sitting in good position with five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson and the idea of playing next to someone like that could appeal to Wheeler as well. But he seems like OU’s to lose. - William Wilkerson, HornsDigest


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