Monday, December 10, 2012
Offensive tackles remain OU's focus
By Bob Przybylo
Oklahoma’s last offensive commit for its 2013 class was three-star athlete Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) on June 20.
ATH Austin Bennett pledged to OU in June, which was the last time an offensive player committed to the program.
June 20? The Sooners have gone nearly six months without a commit on that side of the ball. Heading into the final two months until national signing day, that will obviously have to change.
Here is a position-by-position breakdown of who OU is looking at to close out the class.
Sooners are fine here. No worries. ESPN 300 quarterback Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) is a firm commit who is making his official visit this weekend. Thomas had an incredible senior season, throwing for 4,154 yards with 46 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Again, no worries here for OU with the pledge of ESPN 150 running back Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch). The Sooners have tested the waters with former commit Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) and Adam Taylor (Katy, Texas/Katy). Bryant is no longer considering OU and committed to Notre Dame on Sunday. Taylor is set with Nebraska. OU is likely now good with just one back for 2013.
Wide receivers coach Jay Norvell is putting his eggs into one basket with No. 1-ranked receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee). Tough to question Norvell who has clearly shown he knows what he’s doing. And tough to question Treadwell, who only improved during his senior season.
Treadwell is finally making his trip to campus this weekend for the team’s annual banquet. No matter what happens this weekend, it’s going to be a marathon in trying to get Treadwell. Ole Miss, Florida and Oklahoma State are all viable contenders for Treadwell, too.
If it doesn’t pan out with Treadwell, it’s possible the Sooners could look at Florida State ESPN 300 commit Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) at receiver.
Baker is also making his official visit this weekend. Recruited as a cornerback by Florida State and Clemson, Baker said he’s an athlete in OU’s eyes, which could see him switching sides of the ball.
OU is recovering from missing out on junior college No. 1 target Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College). The Sooners are gunning now for Iowa State commit Emmanuel Bibbs (Yuma, Ariz./Arizona Western).
Bibbs took an official to OU for Bedlam, and OU is doing everything it can in terms of in-home visits and putting the pressure on.
If the Sooners are looking in the high school ranks, another look could go toward three-star prospect Mitchell Parsons (Parker, Colo./Chaparral). A former Colorado commit, Parsons is open but after some interest, Bruce Kittle and Parsons haven’t had much communication.
But really the Sooners need somebody who can come in and play in 2013 so the juco option is the best route right now.
Here we go. Ready? OU might have one commit in three-star athlete Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union), but Rodriguez never took a snap at offensive tackle during his high school career.
The Sooners are looking for three and have almost too many options to list. The No. 1 priority appears to be four-star prospect Aaron Cochran (Atwater, Calif./Buhach).
He has already taken an official visit to OU and had an in-home visit with the OU staff on Sunday.
Another high school prospect to be on the watch for is three-star recruit Kyle Meadows. He took an official visit to OU last month but doesn’t have a Sooners offer.
There have been some academic concerns, but Meadows said he has been working hard to fix things on that end.
In light of Tommy Tuberville leaving Texas Tech for Cincinnati, the Sooners could make another run at three-star Red Raiders commit Maurice Porter (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall). Porter was looked at briefly by OU in the spring and summer.
Once again OU will most likely have to look at the juco ranks. Luckily there are several options. Desmond Harrison (San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa College) took an official to OU and had an in-home visit with OU last week.
Copy and paste that with Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley CC). But where Harrison seems to really love Texas, St. John is a little more out there in the open. No favorites to speak of at this time.
The Sooners have made plays for several committed prospects but have been unable to flip any of them or make a real dent there.
OU did offer one new tackle last week with juco tackle Matt Finnin (Crete, Ill./College of Dupage). Former teammate of Treadwell, Finnin is set to make an official visit to OU on Jan. 11.
Find big uglies and find them yesterday. But today will work, too. The Sooners are set at the skill positions. Could get a major shot in the arm with the addition of Treadwell. But realistically most of the work should be centered around offensive tackles in December and January.