Tuesday, February 19, 2013
OKPreps 14 for '14: LB Gyasi Akem
By Bob Przybylo
Is the Class of 2014 crop of in-state talent the best Oklahoma has seen since 2006? With six recruits in the ESPN Watch List, it’s shaping up to be a busy recruiting year in the Sooner State. For the next three weeks, SoonerNation is going to profile the OKPreps’ 14 for ’14: a look at some of the top names and where they stand with OU.
When OU announced its original junior day of Jan. 11 with an invite to Akem, it came as a bit of a shock. Not because Akem isn’t worthy but because the Sooners hadn’t really spent that much time looking into the Watch List prospect.
Gyasi Akem is the top in-state linebacker for the Class of 2014.
OU has been busy at Broken Arrow, but Akem wasn’t high on the list when it came to Broken Arrow 2014 prospects. He is now. The junior day invite got the ball rolling, and an offer from the Sooners came last month although he wasn’t able to attend junior day two weeks ago.
“It’s just a blessing right now. I’m trying to stay humble and doing the best I can,” Akem said. “We have a lot we need to work on as a team to accomplish our goals.”
Akem became a name to watch during summer camps. If anybody has ever looked like an outside pass-rush linebacker, it’s Akem.
But the question was how would he fare during the season? A torn ACL eliminated his sophomore campaign, but Akem responded, both mentally and physically.
And then the offers started rolling in. Clemson, Missouri, OU, Oklahoma State all within a week. TCU and Houston have joined the cause.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Broken Arrow coach Steve Spavital said. “He is so fast but has so much power. He can disrupt offenses in so many ways.”
Maybe no play showcased what Akem brings to the table than one SoonerNation saw live in person. Jenks running back Trey’Vonne Barr’e was sprinting for a touchdown when Akem tracked him down. There was no angle, no pushing him to the sideline. Akem simply ran him down and kept him from scoring.
Akem has made unofficial visits to TCU and Oklahoma State and was at OSU’s junior day last month. He wanted to attend OU or Baylor’s two weeks ago but couldn’t get out of his job responsibilities.
Even though OU might have taken longer than it looked like it needed to take, the Sooners are definitely in the mix for Akem.
“OU is definitely up there,” Akem said. “It’s a campus I really want to see more and get a better feel of everything and get to know the coaches better.”
Akem had a decent start to his junior season before finding his groove in the latter portion of the season. As his film circulates to more and more schools, it won’t be shocking to see Akem’s offer list grow by leaps and bounds. And with OU in desperate need for impact makers at linebackers for its 2014 class, Akem is going to remain near the top of the list for a long time to come.