Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Oklahoma Sooners [Print without images]

Friday, January 11, 2013
Big-name safety tops OU visitors list

By Bob Przybylo

Certain weekends during the football season stand out as blatant big-time recruiting opportunities. Oklahoma is no stranger to that.

But after the season, there are always one or two weekends that set themselves apart heading into national signing day. The Sooners are having one of those this weekend.

Tahaan Goodman
ESPN 150 safety Tahaan Goodman could see early time at OU if he were to sign with the Sooners.
How big is it? Big enough that OU coaches made the bold move to postpone an originally scheduled junior day to focus on the solid crop of 2013 recruits who will be seeing the campus.

Here is what the seven confirmed official visitors bring to the table:

OT Christian Daimler (Houston/Stratford, 6-6, 270, No. 96 OT)

OU’s latest commit, Daimler flipped from Arizona State to the Sooners on the first day of the junior college signing period last month. Daimler had been hoping to hear from the Sooners for a long time following a positive unofficial visit during the summer. Patience was preached by OU interior linemen coach James Patton, and it was patience that paid off.

Juco OT Matt Finnin (Crete, Ill./College of Dupage, 6-7, 315)

Finnin is an interesting case. Had the Sooners missed out on ESPN JC 100 tackle Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley), then the priority would be much higher. But with OU landing St. John, it’s tough to envision OU taking two juco OTs -- even one as talented as Finnin. But Finnin has appreciated how OU has not rushed him and is still set to see the campus.

S Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga, 6-2, 184, No. 8 S)

OU is back in the running for one of the top uncommitted defensive backs in the nation. Goodman, ranked No. 100 in the ESPN 150, received a surprising in-home visit from Mike Stoops last month and the good will has carried over. Goodman is also set to see LSU this month, and UCLA and USC are also in the running. But with Tony Jefferson declaring for the draft with Javon Harris already graduating, immediate playing time is a real option in Norman.

ATH Devin Lauderdale (Houston/Bellaire, 5-11, 170, No. 44 ATH)

OU had backed off on Lauderdale, who used to be a Texas Tech commit, but the Sooners are launching a full-court press on the four-star athlete now. There is still a question about whether he would play receiver or cornerback, but that has never stopped OU from taking a kid before. Oklahoma State is in great position as well following his visit there last month.

CB L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East, 6-0, 164, No. 28 CB)

Moore was expected to take an official visit in October but plans were changed the week of the visit. Then there were some reports this visit might be scrapped before Moore cleared the air earlier this week. Moore is a teammate of OU ESPN 300 safety commit Hatari Byrd. OU is definitely still in the market for a top cornerback, and Moore would fit the bill perfectly. Oregon State seems to be the team to beat for Moore heading into this weekend.

DT Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland, 6-4, 280, NR)

Maybe OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp is simply seeing something nobody else is. Walker is being pursued hard by North Texas, Houston and New Mexico, but the Sooners look like the clear team to beat. Recovering from labrum surgery, Walker said he should be good to go within the next two months. He has thought about committing a couple of times but said he needed to see the campus. He gets that chance this weekend. A commitment is possible.

WR K.J. Young (Perris, Calif./Citrus Hill, 6-0, 183, No. 79 WR)

Another under-the-radar prospect, but it’s getting tougher to call Young that anymore. Since the OU offer two weeks ago, his stock has gone sky high. Schools like Washington, Washington State, Texas Tech and Iowa State have jumped into the picture. He really wants to wait on making a commitment, but if the visit is as positive as he’s hoping, the Sooners might lock this one up before the weekend’s over. He admits he has been incredibly excited talking with OU coaches last two weeks, so it’s OU's chance to make a huge first impression and seal the deal.

Summary: It’s a golden opportunity for OU, and it’s at a time when the program could use some good news. It will be interesting who the hosts are since players do not need to be on campus, and it will be interesting to fell the vibe on campus since the students will be gone. The last week has been tough for OU football. But this weekend can go a long ways toward changing things around.