Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Clark, Parker among 2014 Bedlam battles
By Bob Przybylo
Round one goes to Oklahoma. With the commitment of 2014 ESPN Watch List running back Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) to OU on Saturday night, the Sooners have struck the first blow in potential Bedlam recruiting battles of in-state prospects for the 2014 class.
Who will be round two? Which school will win round two? Here is a look at five more potential in-state prospects that OU and OSU could target in the Class of 2014:
Class of 2014 defensive end Deondre Clark was offered by both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this summer.
Akem doesn’t have an offer from either Bedlam school but that will likely change when his junior film is released. Akem missed his entire sophomore season because of a torn ACL but was dynamic and explosive throughout this season.
Texas A&M has shown a strong interest in Akem, and he made an unofficial visit to College Station a few weeks ago.
Akem is friends with Thomas so he could be swayed by playing with a teammate if the Sooners start showing more interest. But he has also made it clear he grew up an OSU fan so if the Cowboys come in strong, they will be in great position.
ESPN Watch List DE Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass, 6-4, 235)
By July, Clark had an offer from both the Sooners and Cowboys. He dominated at OU’s camp in June to earn an offer, while OSU had already liked what it had seen before its summer camp.
Clark’s childhood connection is with the Sooners because his cousin is former OU great Gerald McCoy. But his recent connection could be with OSU because of his brother.
Clark’s older brother, Stevie, is an ESPN 100 point guard prospect for 2013. OSU is considered the favorite to land Stevie Clark, who is tentatively set to sign in the spring.
If Stevie lands in Stillwater, it's not a stretch to see Deondre follow his brother. LSU is also going to be in the mix for the ESPN Watch List defensive end.
Cornwell was known by absolutely nobody coming into this season. That’s not the case anymore as he has developed a relationship with OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel and OSU quarterbacks coach Todd Monken.
He has already seen OSU in person this season and is hopeful he can attend Saturday’s Bedlam contest at OU.
Cornwell has offers from Auburn and Indiana, has visited Michigan and Alabama and is receiving numerous letters from LSU and Alabama. When it comes to Cornwell, it might not just be a Bedlam battle.
Gundy invited Evitt to OU-Notre Dame last month, and it completely turned Evitt’s mind around. Not only can he see himself playing for the Sooners, he wants to play for OU.
One position OU is not hurting at is running back. The Sooners already have Thomas committed and are in great position to land ESPN Watch List back Nathan Starks (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). Evitt and OU might mix well, but the Sooners might run out of room.
It will be interesting if OSU decides to enter the mix. Evitt is great friends with OSU freshman defensive back Kevin Peterson, who signed with OSU after having initially committed to OU. Evitt plans to attend Bedlam on Saturday.
Other schools such as Alabama and USC are entering the mix for Parker, but it has been OU and OSU all the way so far. The Sooners were the first to offer and the Cowboys wasted little time in making one of their own.
Parker has become a frequent visitor to both campuses, having seen multiple home games for each team this season. He said he will be at Bedlam on Saturday.
He has made a smooth transition from cornerback to safety this season and his size and physicality makes him a natural fit for either school. It doesn’t hurt OU’s chances that former teammate Alex Ross is a freshman running back for the Sooners and wide receiver teammate Jordan Smallwood is an OU commit for the 2013 class.