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Monday, June 17, 2013
ESPN 300 analysis: Oklahoma Sooners

By Bob Przybylo

NORMAN, Okla. -- Not everything is a well-oiled machine for Oklahoma when it comes to recruiting. Though there are still issues to be addressed, with eight months left until signing day, time is on the Sooners' side.

The offensive and defensive lines need a lot of work and OU hasn’t secured a linebacker yet, despite the fact the position is a major need.

Justice Hansen
ESPN 150 quarterback Justice Hansen remains Oklahoma's top-ranked recruit in the 2014 class.
But Sooners fans can relax when it comes to one particular group. OU is never lacking for offensive skilled-position recruits and that’s once again the case for the Class of 2014.

The proof is in the ESPN 300 rankings released Monday. OU has four recruits in the ESPN 300, and it’s not a shock that all four come from those spots -- quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.

It has to start at quarterback, and it did for this class as OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel got the first name on his board with ESPN 150 signal-caller Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe).

Down to OU and Texas A&M, Hansen, ranked No. 97 in the ESPN 150, picked the Sooners at the spring game two months ago. Since that time, he hasn’t shied away from becoming the face of the class. He's actively recruiting prospects from all over the country with phone calls and social media messages.

OU needs a fullback for this class, but you could argue it already has a tank in ESPN 300 running back Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson). For the second class in a row, OU has been able to nab the top Texas high school running back and bring him north.

Perine, who is No. 222 in the ESPN 300, is already 215 pounds and only getting bigger. Make no mistake about it, though: He’s a running back and not a fullback.

Hansen is going to need some receiving targets, and he’ll be glad to sling it to ESPN 300 wide receiver Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and ESPN 300 tight end Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union).

Todd was an interesting case. He made an unofficial visit to OU for the spring game. He had never met Hansen or Hansen’s family before that weekend but connected with them immediately and was at Hansen’s commitment surprise dinner.

Two days later, to nobody’s surprise, Todd pledged to the Sooners, too. A firm commit, Todd hopes to be an early enrollee.

You don’t think of tight end as an Oklahoma high school staple, but the state has at least four prospects who are going to be sought after.

The Sooners got the jump on Meier during the spring. OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell came down to watch Meier for spring practice. Less than 72 hours later, Meier had an offer. Less than a week after that, he was committed to the Sooners. Meier comes in at No. 282.

OU will take at least one more tight end, and it wouldn’t be shocking if tight ends coach Jay Boulware opted to stay within the state for this one as well.

Between Heupel, Norvell and running backs coach Cale Gundy, the skill positions just haven’t been a huge concern. Add in Boulware at tight end, and he’s already off to a fantastic start in his first year on the job.

The focus of the summer will most likely be on filling needs with the offensive and defensive lines and linebacker. But don’t be alarmed if more top skill players pledge to OU as the Sooners, as usual, are right in the mix with several top ESPN 150 and ESPN 300 running backs and receivers.