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Monday, July 2, 2012
Sooners shore up depth with Matt Beyer

By Brandon Chatmon

Oklahoma’s recruiting class is quickly rounding into shape as the Sooners continue to address critical needs for the class of 2013.

Offensive tackle Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) picked the Sooners over Oregon, Oklahoma State, Baylor and others on Monday. He becomes OU’s 12th commitment and second tackle of the class.

A former teammate of current Sooners Trevor and Connor Knight, Beyer has an 80 rating according to ESPN’s Scout’s Inc. and should bring the ability to block in space, toughness and a nasty streak when he signs with OU.

The Sooners signed one prep tackle prospect, Kyle Marrs, during the last recruiting cycle, making offensive tackle a critical position of need for this class. Junior college tackle Will Latu joins Marrs as a February signee and will have two seasons of eligibility for OU.

Beyer’s commitment should give tackles coach Bruce Kittle a little more peace of mind. The four-star tackle joins Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union) as 2013 offensive tackle prospects who have decided to play at OU. The Sooners are looking to sign three tackles in this recruiting class.

It would be easy for Sooners fans to be concerned about OU’s struggles to land an elite tackle after missing out on prospects like USC signee Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) in the class of 2012 along with Texas verbal Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and LSU pledge Ethan Pocic (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) in this recruiting cycle.

But the Sooners already have several talented young tackles on the roster including Daryl Williams, Tyrus Thompson and Derek Farniok so there is no urgency to secure an elite tackle. But landing quality prospects like Beyer remains important.

Williams, Thompson and Farniok are considered the top three young tackles on the roster and none of the three were “elite” tackle prospects out of high school. Yet all three have shown solid upside early in their careers.

In recent seasons, OU has shown the ability to make quality evaluations at the tackle position, field explosive passing offenses and send offensive tackles to the NFL.

So while the Sooners haven’t landed a "can't miss" offensive tackle prospect, they continue to land quality prospects to protect the quarterback.

And Beyer appears to be another quality prospect to add to the list.