Friday, September 28, 2012
14 in '14: Oklahoma's top offensive targets
By Bob Przybylo
With several months to go until national signing day for the Class of 2013, it's never too early to look at Oklahoma’s top prospects for 2014 with a 14 for ’14 wish list.
Up first is the offense, where the Sooners have made a big impression on a number of top recruits.
Wideout K.D. Cannon was one of the standouts at Oklahoma's summer camp.
• WR Nick Alexander (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster; 6-3, 195; OU Offer: Yes): He is an interesting case because he’s not producing as much as you might think on the high school level. But anybody who saw Alexander at OU’s camp in June knows the potential is there for him to make a lot of noise. OU was among the first schools to show real interest, and that should help moving forward.
• OL Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline; 6-5, 285; OU Offer: No): The Sooners aren’t strangers to Dallas Skyline and the program is once again a good place to go for quality prospects. Barrett doesn’t have an OU offer yet, but he’s already picking up considerable interest from top programs and racking up offers from BCS conference schools.
• OL Blake Blackmar (Houston/Clear Lake; 6-5, 299; OU Offer: No): Blackmar and the Sooners got familiar with each other during his sophomore season. As he continues to develop, it will be interesting to see whether OU’s early interest pays off down the road.
• WR Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe; 6-1, 175; OU Offer: Yes): OU has been at Phoenix Mountain Pointe this season for UCLA offensive tackle commit Kenny Lacy and have stumbled upon Brown. Brown has a nice blend of speed and size and is going to see his stock climb as the months go on.
• WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant; 6-1, 165; OU Offer: Yes): He dazzled at OU’s camp in June and picked up the offer the next day. Top schools across the country are flocking to Cannon. It won’t be easy, but Cannon seems to have a strong interest in the Sooners and OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell.
• ATH Cedric Dale (Keller, Texas/Timber Creek; 5-8, 169; OU Offer: No): His position is debatable, as he is proving to be effective as a running back and as a defensive back. He is also familiar with OU, visiting for the spring game and camping at OU in June. Dale's first few weeks of the season have produced some eye-popping numbers. The Sooners have been among his favorites for a long time.
• ATH Michael Farmer (Edmond, Okla./North; 6-2, 210; OU Offer: No): Right now Farmer is playing running back at the high school level. But linebacker might be his position in college. Farmer visited OU last season and has been an unofficial visitor for each of the first two home games. Arizona State is the school showing the most interest in him right now.
Koda Martin appears to be the Sooners' top priority at tight end.
• ATH Maurice Hall (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs; 6-2, 185; OU Offer: Yes): OU noticed Hall incredibly early. Hall’s future remains unclear as everybody hopes he is able to recover from being shot in the stomach two weeks ago. If Hall is able to recover physically and mentally, he’s another top recruit who could see time at linebacker or receiver.
• QB Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe; 6-3, 190; OU Offer: No): On the offensive side of the ball, there might not be a recruit OU fans want more than Hansen. His father played baseball at OU, and Hansen has camped at OU the last two summers. He has a great relationship with Josh Heupel, but schools are going to flock to Hansen, as proved by the heavy interest Florida State has been showing.
• TE Koda Martin (Manvel, Texas/Manvel; 6-6, 245; OU Offer: Yes): Tight end is going to be a big area of concern for OU as the Sooners are struggling and need a difference-maker. Martin could be that guy. He had a great time last week on an unofficial visit and is teammates with 2013 OU commit Austin Bennett.
• OL Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe; 6-6, 325; OU Offer: Yes): There’s a reason this is called a wish list. Robinson is going to be incredibly tough to land and should end up being one of the top offensive linemen in the class. The good sign is OU at least attacked Robinson early.
• OL Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./South; 6-6, 265; OU Offer: Yes): Smith was one of two sophomores invited to OU’s junior day in February, when the offer was officially made. He has been quiet about his recruitment, but OU’s proximity should help the Sooners in terms of getting to see Smith often and building a relationship.
• RB Nathan Starks (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman; 5-11, 200; OU Offer: Yes): The final two are running backs, and we’ll start with Starks. OU has been one of his favorites for a long time, although Texas and USC are making a strong run. The Sooners’ ace is their success at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, with players like Ryan Reynolds and Dallas Cowboys running back Demarco Murray. Murray even visited Starks in the summer and told the junior how impressed he is with him.
• RB Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow; 5-11, 190, OU Offer: Yes): Thomas is dynamic and explosive, but there are questions about him off the field. After setting a school record for rushing yards as just a sophomore, Thomas has been suspended so far this season and hasn’t played a snap. Thomas was the other sophomore at OU’s junior day in February and was at OU again last week for an unofficial visit.