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Tuesday, April 2, 2013
OU, Norvell building options at WR

By Bob Przybylo

Not every position has gone smoothly for Oklahoma on the recruiting trail the last few years. But if there’s one spot OU fans can usually feel comfortable with, wide receiver is definitely up there.

Year after year, wide receivers coach Jay Norvell has done a tremendous job bringing in top talent. And every offseason during which the Sooners are able to keep Norvell from taking another job simply means more good things to come for OU.

Nick Alexander
It's early, but WR target Nick Alexander looks promising for OU, considering two teammates have also committed to the Sooners.
The Class of 2014 was off to a great start with ESPN Watch List receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) having committed in October. But several top schools have been in pursuit of him and combined with Foreman's desire to play with his brother, he decommitted from the Sooners on Monday night.

Foreman isn't out of the picture. But if he is, that's something OU can adjust to because Norvell has more tricks up his sleeve and already has offered several quality names:

ESPN Watch List WR Nick Alexander (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster)

The Sooners were the first school to approach Alexander after his tremendous three-day summer camp at OU in June. SMU and Washington have joined in offering him, while top schools like Texas and LSU are keeping an eye on him. Alexander has been quiet about his recruiting, but it can’t hurt OU’s chances with the Lancaster ties right now. Cornerback Dakota Austin signed with OU two months ago, while safety Vontre McQuinnie pledged to the Sooners on the same day Austin committed.

Watch List TE Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain)

ESPN scouts see Andrews as a tight end, but Norvell has made it clear the Sooners are pursuing him at receiver. He attended OU’s junior day last month and grew up a huge OU fan. It doesn’t hurt that his brother is attending medical school at Oklahoma, either. Regardless, it will be a long battle for Andrews, who intends to make as many visits as necessary to find his choice.

WR Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe)

OU went to Phoenix Mountain Pointe last year and came up empty. So far there hasn’t been a sign of serious interest from Brown regarding the Sooners. Until there is, it’s awfully tough to consider OU as one of Brown’s favorites.

WR Keenen Brown (Houston/Alief Taylor)

Brown is eyeing a trip to OU for the game April 13. It will be crucial for the Sooners to get him on campus because he has a lot of ties to LSU and has an offer from the Tigers. But instead of committing to LSU, Brown said he definitely wanted to see OU first. Brown’s former teammate, three-star defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, signed with OU in February.

Watch List WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant)

The key with Cannon is to keep perspective. He is arguably the most sought-after receiver in the class. He has seen OU several times, but he has also seen schools including Texas and Texas A&M multiple times. Cannon is going to have that luxury to essentially tell schools how his recruitment is going to go, and they will wait for him. Norvell has done a good job of getting in there early and staying in the hunt.

WR Byron Daniels (San Antonio/Madison)

Daniels, like Keenen Brown, said he hopes to attend OU’s spring game. The Sooners were the first school to come knocking on Daniels’ door. Many more have joined the race since then, but Daniels hasn’t forgotten about OU. Daniels said he has been talking to Norvell every couple of weeks. OU has strong ties to San Antonio Madison, including 2013 ESPN 300 wide receiver Dannon Cavil.

Watch List WR Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas)

Another top national recruit, and it’s simply too early all the way around to say whether Holmes is a top OU target or no longer in consideration. It’s highly unlikely OU will be able to get him for an unofficial visit, so if the Sooners are in the mix, we’ll find out in the fall.

WR Dorian Leonard (Longview, Texas/Longview)

Norvell was the first coach to recognize what Leonard brings to the table, offering him in February. Still very much under the radar, Leonard has added offers from Texas Tech and Florida State. He said after his OU junior day visit the Sooners are his No. 1 school. Will Norvell be able to keep it that way?

WR Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla./Union)

A surprise offer at OU’s junior day in February. Mead is not a natural receiver, having played quarterback for most of his life. But Norvell sees something in Mead, whose 6-foot-5, 179-pound frame would give the Sooners a lot of options. His family is full of huge OU fans, but Mead will have to decide whether he wants to play basketball or football.

Watch List WR Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake)

Scott is being recruited as a receiver by most schools, but he might not end up that way with OU. There’s still time, but OU sees him primarily at cornerback as of now. Scott has a strong connection with defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, as he was recruited by Montgomery when Montgomery coached at Michigan, and the relationship has carried over.

Watch List WR Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada)

It wouldn’t be crazy to say Todd will be OU’s next commit. His aunts and uncles on his mother’s side live in Oklahoma City, and he said that is going to be a big factor going forward. He is visiting for the spring game and didn’t rule out a commitment on the visit. If he does commit, though, write that in pencil. Todd is going to be heavily recruited until signing day, and nothing is guaranteed. He is being recruited by tight ends coach Jay Boulware, but the Sooners have made it clear he is being viewed as a receiver.