- Bob Przybylo, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Team needs: For the first time in a long time, the quarterback position is up for debate in 2013. With Landry Jones graduating, there isn’t a clear-cut favorite, although it appears Blake Bell has been pegged as the guy. As for the rest of the offense, the Sooners are in pretty good shape. If you’re looking for OU’s real issues, though, it’s on defense. OU knew it was losing cornerback Demontre Hurst and safety Javon Harris, but with safety Tony Jefferson opting to not come back for his senior season, OU doesn’t have either of its safeties returning for 2013. Linebacker became a sore spot for the program during the latter half of 2012, culminating in linebacker Tom Wort declaring for the NFL draft because the scheme isn’t really tailored for him.
Help is on the way: OU fans can debate whether Josh Heupel is the guy to run OU’s offense, but you cannot question his ability to recruit. Heupel has landed yet another top quarterback in ESPN 300 prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage, ranked No. 178). OU needs help in the secondary, and Mike Stoops attacked the position hard during the spring. Three-star safety Ahmad Thomas (Miami/Central) is enrolling early, and ESPN 300 safety Hatari Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central East) said he is ready to replace Jefferson. Corner shouldn’t be hurting either with the pledge of ESPN 300 athlete Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central).
Other key commits: Cannot talk OU’s 2013 class without mentioning running back Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch). Ranked No. 27 in the ESPN 150, Ford is the top-ranked recruit for OU’s class. OU is also getting help from the juco ranks with the commitment of four-star ESPN JC 100 offensive tackle Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley). Defensive end was locked up in April with two ESPN 300 commits in D.J. Ward (Moore, Okla./Southmoore) and Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy).
Other key targets: OU is still seeking help in the secondary and is looking at ESPN 300 athlete Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) and four-star cornerback L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East). The Sooners are still keeping tabs on several offensive tackles after four-star tackle Aaron Cochran (Atwater, Calif./Buhach) committed to Cal earlier this week.