<
>
Insider

Analysis: Top targets still on OU's board

2/27/2012

A good weekend for Texas doesn’t automatically mean a huge loss for Oklahoma. Because let’s get one thing straight immediately -- it was definitely another successful junior day for the Longhorns this weekend.

Texas landed three more commits to give the Longhorns nine for the 2013 class. Two of them, linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Woods) and wide receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls), had OU offers.

And so far through the first real month of 2013 recruiting, Texas is holding a 6-0 edge against the Sooners in head-to-head battles.

However, take a closer look at the battles. Were any of the six realistic OU targets? They were certainly on the Sooners wish list, but did OU have a solid shot at quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright), wide receivers Warrick and Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), linemen Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) and Davis?

Isn’t it more realistic to say OU was trying to work from behind with all six and hoping to steal a prospect? It’s not like OU was in the driver’s seat and messed up with any of the recruits listed.

Though OU missed out on the six prospects, has it really hurt its potential class? No, not at all. And now that the Sooners have spent so much time on the sidelines watching as teams made their moves, it’s OU’s turn to take center stage.

It would be different if Texas lured recruits like D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) or cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) or defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). Manning attended Texas’ first junior day. Ward and Taylor were invited to last weekend’s junior day but couldn’t make it.

What the Longhorns did was simply take care of business on the top prospects within the state. No commit was surprising and no commit was a backbreaker for the Sooners.

One of the more lasting effects of the weekend might be who wasn’t offered. Defensive end/linebacker Deon Hollins Jr. (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) and cornerbacks Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop) left Austin this weekend without an offer. All three have OU offers and Smith will be on campus for junior day Saturday.

This weekend is a chance for OU to hold serve with its top kids. Top prospects like Ward, Manning, offensive guard Rob Boyd (Vian, Okla./Vian) and athlete LaQuvionte Gonzalez (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) immediately come to mind. While the Feb. 4 junior day was a patient, feeling-out approach, Oklahoma should look for some positive action this weekend.

The national approach helps in the matter, too. OU is not left looking for answers at any of the positions. The Sooners missed out on Swoopes but already are in great standing with Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). Davis would have been a great addition at linebacker, but OU leads for Chans Cox (Pinetop, Ariz./Blue Ridge).

Even though OU has been left reacting to everything the last few weeks instead of initiating things, there is no reason to believe most of the Sooners’ top targets aren't still on the board. And better yet, there's no reason to believe that the recruits high on OU have soured on the Sooners.