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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Adams, Parker top OU safety targets

By Bob Przybylo

In Mike Stoops' first year back as defensive backs coach, OU got exactly who it wanted at safety for the Class of 2013.

The same can be said so far for the Class of 2014, as OU secured the commitment of three-star safety Vontre McQuinnie (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) three months ago at the Sooners' first junior day.

Since then, there has been no question about the level of McQuinnie’s commitment. The question now is who is going to join him in Norman?

Stoops has made sure OU has options. He hasn’t offered any safeties so far during the spring evaluation period. Instead he and the Sooners have focused on maintaining a tight bond with these top targets:

Jamal Adams
ESPN 150 safety Jamal Adams is considering the Sooners, among other schools.
ESPN 150 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron, No. 3 safety)

OU offered Adams last summer and has stayed in constant communication. Adams was back at OU in the spring for practice. It was a good sign, but it’s going to be a long race to get Adams’ signature.

The plan is for Adams to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January, and the Sooners certainly hope they’ll be in the mix.

Adams has a tight relationship with McQuinnie and had OU in his top seven two months ago. The problem is Adams has added a bevy of quality offers since that original list, and recruiting rivals like Texas and Texas A&M are going to be tough to beat.

Things with Adams should become a lot more clear during the season when he starts to decide where his official visits will be and who is going to make the cut.

Safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar, No. 19 safety)

The smart money is on Bonney committing to the Longhorns, but the longer it takes to happen, the more reason there is for hope for OU.

OU offered Bonney in the winter and has been high on him since a summer satellite camp in the Houston area. The Sooners had hoped to get him on campus for a spring practice or spring game, but track obligations kept him from making the trip.

Stating the obvious, but no matter how much interest OU has shown in Bonney, it’s not going to matter until they get him back on campus. Bonney made two unofficial visits to OU during the 2012 season.

Safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks, No. 13 safety)

Adams is the top-ranked safety prospect, but Parker might be the No. 1 priority for OU’s overall board right now. The Oklahoma high school class for 2014 is top notch with six four-star prospects right now. But OU only has one commit in ESPN 150 quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe).

It’s almost a necessity for Parker to be the second. OU was the first school to offer Parker last May. Parker now has more than 20 offers with interest not slowing down.

Parker visited Texas and Texas A&M during spring break, but it felt like an important gesture that Parker made the trip to OU’s spring game last month even though he had a basketball tournament on the same day. He was swarmed by Mike and Bob Stoops during his brief appearance for the game and then made his basketball tournament.

Oklahoma State is certainly in the picture, and it wouldn’t be surprising for Arkansas to get a visit. OU coaches sometimes get questioned by the fans about how hard they recruit. There can be no such questions with Parker, as OU has made it clear how much it wants him in the crimson and cream.

Add in the fact OU has a strong pipeline to Jenks, including signing one Jenks player the last two years in running back Alex Ross (2012) and wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (2013), there’s reason for optimism that Parker will be the next Trojan to become a Sooner. Parker is also close friends with Hansen, and Hansen has made Parker his own priority to try to encourage him to commit to OU.