Oklahoma Sooners: Kentucky Wildcats

1. Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell is moving to tight end, which makes the Sooners coaching staff the absolutely last people to look at the 6-6, 252-pound Bell and think, “Isn’t this guy out of position?” The truth is Bell remained Oklahoma’s best option at quarterback until Trevor Knight matured enough to take the job. Knight answered that question at season’s end. Bell’s move, taken with the Sooners’ great close to recruiting season, means Oklahoma is a step closer to ending that three-year Big 12 title drought.

2. That said, Sooners coach Bob Stoops almost didn’t win Best Recruiting Class in his family. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, 2-10 last season, signed the No. 20 class. Mark Stoops said Facebook and Twitter deserve a big assist in overcoming the stigma for the Wildcats, who have lost 16-straight SEC games. “I think it's easier in some ways because of all the social media that you have,” he said. “These players understand what we're doing….(W)e're working right now for 2015, and the 2015 recruits know what's going on with 2014. That has an effect. Again, it's all this information they get very quickly.”

3. They might not be playing championship football in the state of Virginia, but they’re creating some kind of a story. Virginia, also coming off a 2-10 season, signed a top-25 recruiting class. Is that strictly because Mike London and his staff can still recruit? Is it because Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has entered the retirement spiral (15-11 the last two seasons) as he moves toward 300 wins (266 and counting)? This has gotten fun.

Kentucky lands four-star DB Randolph

January, 21, 2014
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ESPN 300 safety Kendall Randolph (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) verbally committed to Kentucky on Tuesday. The No. 284 player in the country chose the Wildcats over offers from Oklahoma, Louisville, Indiana, Arkansas and many others.

Randolph confirmed his decision via text message.

"Kentucky is a program where I feel like I can come in at and make an impact the earliest," Randolph said in the text message. "I've been close with Coach [Mark] Stoops since my freshman year and I feel like he along with the rest of the staff has my best interest at heart & will put me in the best position to succeed on and off the field. A lot of people are sleeping on UK right now. It's time to wake them up #BBN."

Randolph also sent out a tweet about his commitment.



Randolph is scheduled to visit Kentucky this weekend and Oklahoma next weekend, but the four-star prospect also announced on Tuesday that he was dropping Oklahoma and would not take the visit.

With the addition of Randolph, the Wildcats are now up to 25 commitments, including six ranked in the ESPN 300. Kentucky currently has the No. 19 recruiting class and is still in contention for four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin).

Early Offer: Mixon all mixed up 

November, 7, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Just when it seemed clear on what four-star running back Joe Mixon was thinking, an official visit to Florida State has seemingly brought his decision back to square one; two of the top recruits in Ohio were hoping to make a decision in early January, but the success of their high school teams might change those plans; Missouri and Tennessee made nice climbs in the latest RecruitingNation class rankings.

Mixon mixed up

Lessons learned: Texas State 7-on-7 

July, 13, 2013
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LEANDER, Texas -- The 2013 Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament saw a number of college football targets put on a show. It also saw some of the lesser-known players make a case for more publicity.

Graham (Texas) High School won the Division II (small-school) competition, while Southlake (Texas) Carroll claimed the Division I (large-school) prize. Carroll won the first 7-on-7 state tile 15 years ago in College Station, Texas.

Here are five things we learned from the state tournament:

2015 has one over former Carroll QBs

[+] EnlargeRyan Agnew
Damon Sayles/ESPN.comClass of 2015 QB Ryan Agnew showed poise in leading Southlake Carroll's aggressive passing attack to the Division I title.
Southlake Carroll has a tradition of producing quality quarterbacks. Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy and Kyle Padron all have NFL experience, and Daniel, McElroy, Chase Wasson, Riley Dodge and incoming Texas A&M freshman Kenny Hill have won state championships. Ryan Agnew hopes to follow those footsteps.

The 2015 quarterback did something that the others hadn’t, and that’s lead Carroll to the state 7-on-7 title. Agnew connected with receivers such as Luke Timian and Keaton Duhon en route to an undefeated run in the tournament.

Agnew, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback, has early looks from Northwestern, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Ole Miss.


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Top three coming soon for OT Barrett 

June, 19, 2013
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High three-star offensive tackle Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) recently trimmed his list of schools to seven. Don’t be surprised if he has a top three soon.

Barrett said he is getting closer and closer to making a final decision, and a top three could come by next month.


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One top Texas high school prospect released his top 12 on Friday afternoon. Another Texas high school recruit wanted to wait until a little later in the day.

Three-star offensive tackle Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) waited until Friday evening but said his top seven schools in no particular order are Baylor, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU and Texas Tech.


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Randle trims NC State and Oklahoma 

March, 8, 2013
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ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) has cut NC State and Oklahoma from his list of finalists, ESPN.com's Dave Telep has learned.

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Julius Randle added to McDonald's game 

March, 6, 2013
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It has been an eventful couple of weeks for ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian). First, he returned to the court three weeks ago after being out since November with a fractured foot. Then on Monday he announced he would make his college decision March 20.

And on Wednesday, the McDonald's All American Games announced Randle has been added to the McDonald's roster as a 25th player. He will suit up for the East squad in the game, which will be played April 3 at the United Center in Chicago and televised live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
John F. Rhodes for ESPN.comJulius Randle was added to the McDonald's All American roster on Wednesday.
The McDonald’s All American Games released the following statement: “Today, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee is pleased to name Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian Academy to the 2013 McDonald’s All American Team. As promised, we’ve been closely monitoring Randle’s play since his return to the court in February, and it’s been an inspiring return to watch. Randle has not only proven that he is capable of competing at the highest level, but truly deserving of the title McDonald’s All American.”

Why did this happen and what does it mean?

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Julius Randle will announce on March 20

March, 5, 2013
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ESPN 100 power forward Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) announced on Monday night he will make his college decision on March 20.

The senior will announce at 1 p.m. ET, with the decision expected to come on ESPNU.

Randle has visited all six schools on his list, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State.

Randle led Prestonwood to a Texas private school state title over the weekend.

Offers rising for Adeosun, sleeper OL 

January, 23, 2013
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During an interview with George Adeosun (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta), a funny thing happened. It started out like any other, with the 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman giving his thoughts on his first two BCS offers -- Virginia and Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma is notable for its alumni association, and Virginia is well known for its academics,” Adeosun said.

But toward the end of his answer, a familiar sound occurred as a tweet was sent out. It was from his coach.


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Some of the country's biggest programs have sat down in Larry Cox's office at West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West. Many will be back again this month and again in April and May.


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Three-star Kyle Meadows visiting Sooners 

November, 7, 2012
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Three-star offensive tackle Kyle Meadows (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) walked into school Wednesday with news for his coach, Larry Cox.

“Kyle walked in today and said ‘I’m going to visit Oklahoma on Friday,’ ” Cox said.

Earlier this week, Cox spoke with Oklahoma offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle, and that really got the ball rolling in the Sooners’ pursuit of the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Meadows. The Oklahoma staff has tried to get in contact with Meadows for several weeks but could never hook up with the tackle, who is ranked No. 42 nationally.

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Third-ranked Julius Randle trims list to six 

October, 2, 2012
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On Monday, power forward Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Academy) picked up the phone and called Baylor, Duke, North Carolina and Oklahoma State. Those four programs did not make the next round of cuts for the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect in the ESPN 100.

However, six programs did make it to the next round and remain in the mix to land Randle, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound power foward. Kentucky, NC State, Florida, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma remain.

This weekend, Randle will take his second official visit. The Florida Gators host him. Randle’s connection to Florida was crystalized last summer when Gators coach Billy Donovan had Randle on the United States' under-18 national squad.

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TE Beau Sandland has to eliminate SEC 

October, 1, 2012
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Junior college tight end Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce) is one of the most highly-recruited players at his position in the nation, but the 6-foot-5, 250-pound athlete said Monday that he had to eliminate an entire conference from his possible destinations. Sandland earned offers from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas A&M out of the SEC, but he won't be at any of those schools in January.

[+] EnlargeBeau Sandland
Courtesy of Pierce CollegeBeau Sandland has to eliminate SEC offers from his list because of an academic requirement.
Sandland said that in order to graduate in December and enroll early at his school of choice, he will need to take an online math class through a school other than Woodland Hills Pierce. He added that while the SEC made a recent change to allow student-athletes who have completed online math and English courses, they must be taken through the school the student attends, which is not possible for Sandland.

"I've been talking to the coaches and obviously they are disappointed," Sandland said of the SEC coaches. "They said it's a big problem for them and they've lost recruits to this."

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Julius Randle names Top 10 

August, 27, 2012
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Power forward Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian), ESPN's No. 3 ranked player, has narrowed his choices to 10 schools. The Dallas native Tweeted out his list on Monday and the news has been confirmed by mulitiple sources.

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