Friday, April 12, 2013
Is OU in store for big recruiting weekend?
By Bob Przybylo
NORMAN, Okla. -- So far, Oklahoma has been more active on the recruiting trail for the 2014 class than it was last year. Offers have gone out sooner and more unofficial visits have taken place.
But the results? They’re not there yet. Heading into this weekend’s spring game, the Sooners have two commits in ESPN Watch List running back Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and strong safety Vontre McQuinnie (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster).
Contrast that with recruiting rivals Texas and Texas A&M. The Longhorns have picked up five 2014 commits in the last two weeks and have 14 total. The Aggies have 10 for the class and could get more with their spring game on Saturday.
ESPN Watch List offensive tackle Ty Barrett is making his second visit to Oklahoma this spring.
Is this the weekend for Bob Stoops and OU? We know OU or A&M will add one name to their list in ESPN Watch List quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe). Hansen said there is a strong likelihood of him committing this weekend, and he has stated numerous times he wants to do it in person in Norman or College Station, Texas.
Hansen isn’t the only top prospect who could be visiting the Sooners. Here are five more recruits to keep an eye on this weekend.
ESPN Watch List OT Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline, 6-4, 296)
Barrett has been consistent in saying he doesn’t have a favorite, but OU has put itself in a great position. The Sooners offered Barrett at their junior day on Feb. 2, and it’s apparent Barrett is high up on their target board.
Originally recruited by former OU assistants James Patton and Bruce Kittle, Barrett has developed a strong bond with first-year coach Bill Bedenbaugh. Coincidentally, Bedenbaugh offered Barrett when he was coaching at West Virginia, so Barrett was a familiar name for Bedenbaugh.
The Sooners are unlikely to get a commitment from Barrett this weekend, but quality face time for Barrett with Bedenbaugh can help as the spring evaluation period begins soon.
ESPN Watch List DE Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass, 6-3, 231)
(Update: Douglass coach Willis Alexander tells ESPN.com that Clark has instead decided to visit LSU this weekend.)
There's never a dull moment with the Clark family. This weekend is about the Sooners building a relationship with Clark and making sure he knows he's a wanted man.
It has been a rocky road for Clark and the Sooners with a lot of factors going into everything. Clark doesn’t want to stay home for college and is looking at several SEC schools. OU let it be known early how much it wanted Clark last summer.
The Clark family was hurt by former coach Jackie Shipp being fired. And now it’s up to first-year defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to mend the fences and see if he can convince the family to not give up on the Sooners.
Sam said he would never commit on the spot because he would need to talk to his family and coaches about it first. That’s true, but Sam has already seen the campus once when he was at OU’s junior day last month.
He said he is excited about coming back to OU one more time, and linebackers coach Tim Kish has been in constant communication with Sam ever since junior day.
He is scheduled to visit Arkansas’ spring game next weekend. OU fans are hoping that won’t be necessary with a commitment this weekend.
ESPN Watch List WR Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada, 6-5, 210)
It seems strange for a Cali kid to say that, but Todd has many aunts and uncles in the Oklahoma City area. The problem is several top schools are after Todd, so it won’t be easy for OU to keep him even if it does get his pledge this weekend.
Todd made a strong connection with first-year tight ends coach Jay Boulware on their initial phone call. Expect wide receivers coach Jay Norvell to attempt to seal the deal this weekend.
OU has a couple of big-time 2015 offensive tackle targets coming into town, but Jalin Barnett (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and Zach Rogers (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) have both seen the campus.
It is crucial for the Sooners to make a huge first impression on Sheffield, who will likely be recruited by a who’s who in college football when it’s all said and done. Already with OU, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M offers, this weekend is a golden chance for defensive backs coach Mike Stoops to make his presence known.