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Friday, June 21, 2013
Sooner Intel: Recruiting news and notes

By Bob Przybylo

Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.

Brown itching to see Sooners

At some positions it’s not 100 percent clear how many legitimate options the Sooners have for the Class of 2014. That’s not the case at wide receiver as receivers coach Jay Norvell has put OU in the mix for a multitude of talented wideouts.

Perhaps going a little under the radar is Houston Alief Taylor’s Keenen Brown. The three-star prospect wants that to change in the next couple of weeks.

 Keenen Brown
Three-star receiver Keenen Brown wants to visit OU soon.
Brown, who is 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, has been for a few months hoping to see the OU campus. He’s going to try one more time here soon.

“I’m going to go to OU, West Virginia and Michigan State,” Brown said. “I’m probably going to go to OU at the end of this month or after the Fourth of July.”

Brown said he got in contact with Norvell two weeks ago when the Sooners were set to have their satellite camp in Houston. Brown has been taking it easy this summer, recovering from a concussion he suffered during spring practice.

Brown said he’s healthy now and ready to start seeing some schools.

“I’ve talked to Coach Norvell about four or five times now,” Brown said. “He’s a pretty cool coach and has kept it straight up the whole time. He said a lot of the wide receivers will be gone, and I can earn early playing time.”

Brown has a lot of ties to LSU and there are a lot of people telling him to go ahead and commit to the Tigers. But he said his parents aren’t pressuring him to go that direction.

His intentions are to visit all the schools already listed. But he doesn’t rule out a commitment to the Sooners if everything clicks for him.

“If I go to OU and everything is like I hope, I will probably commit,” Brown said. “I love their coaches. They produce big time at wide receiver. They play in major bowl games and contend for championships. It’s a great fit.”

Brown’s last talk with Norvell was trying to iron out the details for his trip. That part is important as Brown has stated several times in the past his desire to see the campus.

He wanted to attend for junior day and for the spring game, but it never materialized. Now he’s trying to make sure a visit all comes together for he and his parents.

“My parents’ opinion means a lot so they’re definitely coming with me to OU,” Brown said. “Coach Norvell said either next weekend or wait until July. I have to check with my dad to see if we can do it next week. If he has enough vacation time, we’ll go next week.”

Commits putting on the press for Parker

ESPN 300 safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) can't go a day without hearing why he should end the drama and commit to OU already.

Leading the charge are two of his friends and coincidentally, OU commits ESPN 150 quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and ESPN 300 tight end Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union).

That was ramped up a notch three weeks ago for OU’s camp since it was the Meier family that drove Parker to the Norman camp.

“I hear it a lot from Carson,” Parker said. “It’s just the usual stuff. And being in the car with his family the whole time, I heard it, for sure.”

Meier wasn’t shy about that. When he committed, he said his goal was to get Parker and wide receiver teammate Jeffery Mead.

And when Hansen pledged two months ago, one of the first things he talked about was getting Parker to join him. That’s still a work in progress and still something Hansen hasn’t stopped doing.

“Carson is not that bad compared to Justice,” Parker said. “I hear it a lot from Justice. He’ll be giving me lectures about how OU is the place for me.”

Even OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops got into the act at the camp. Stoops made sure Parker and three-star cornerback commit Marcus Green (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) were introduced and talked to each other.

“That was the first time I met him. We talked a little bit. He seems like a real cool guy,” Parker said. “I can definitely understand why OU wants him.”

The pursuit of Parker won’t slow down, but I don’t get the impression this is having any backlash for OU. Parker and Meier have known each other for years because of AAU basketball, and Hansen has emerged as one of his close friends.

Parker remains adamant about being patient and seeing all the schools he needs to see, but at this point, OU still appears to be the school to beat.

OU commitment changing things for Windham

His coach warned him. Once he committed to OU, things were going to change considerably for cornerback Tito Windham (Gulfport, Miss./Harrison Central).

Tito Windham
Cornerback Tito Windham says he's done with recruiting after committing to Oklahoma.
It has. Since receiving an OU offer, Florida State and Southern Mississippi have joined the conversation. The FSU offer was more surprising to him because he hadn’t had any contact with the Seminoles prior to the offer.

He said he is starting to get accustomed to his newfound celebrity.

“Everybody is acting a little different toward me lately,” Windham said. “I’ve gotten more offers, but it doesn’t change anything for me. I’m still 100 percent with OU.”

Windham said he is contact with either Mike Stoops or Bobby Jack Wright every week just to check in and see how things are going. He said he still wants to visit soon but no timetable has been set.

Windham did earn some brownie points with OU fans as well as some current OU players like running back David Smith. Windham changed his Twitter header photo to a Superman “S” that stands for Sooners.

“I wanted to do something to show how much I love OU,” Windham said. “I’m glad other people like it, too.”

Pruitt eyes OU trip

Three-star offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) doesn’t say much, but when he does, you listen.

Pruitt hasn’t been very active during the summer camp/unofficial visit season, but he said there is one school he is ready to see again.

“I’m definitely going to visit OU this summer for an unofficial visit,” Pruitt said. “I talked to Coach [Bill] Bedenbaugh a few days ago and things are good.

“He’s a good coach and does a good job of breaking things down. He’s definitely the type of coach I would like to play for.”

That decision is still a long way from happening, and Pruitt said he hasn’t made a favorites list.

He did, however, visit Arkansas a few weeks ago and said it was everything he hoped it would be. To go along with the Sooners and Razorbacks, Pruitt said USC and Ole Miss are the two schools showing the most interest.

Regardless of the summer season, Pruitt is locked in for his senior season and becoming a better leader for Dallas Bishop Dunne.

“That’s what this year is about for me -- becoming that leader,” Pruitt said. “I don’t think there’s any real pressure that comes with being a leader. I’m accustomed to it and excited about my senior year.”

Weather keeps Williams at home

If there was one recruit who might have committed at OU’s camp, it was three-star defensive tackle D.J. Williams (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin).

DJ Williams
Three-star defensive tackle D.J. Williams is planning to reschedule his visit to OU.
Everything seemed to fall into place for Williams to head to Norman three weeks ago and give his pledge. Williams wasn't able to make the trip, however.

“It was very disappointing,” Williams said. “I wanted to go down there and show what I could do. The airport was shut down and everything was canceled so I couldn’t go.”

Yes, Williams is another victim of Oklahoma weather. The day before OU’s camp, severe weather wreaked havoc throughout the Oklahoma City metro area, causing the Oklahoma City airport to lose power and shut down that night and into the early morning.

Williams said he definitely wants to visit OU but doesn't know when it will happen. He said he talked to OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery recently and said everything is still very solid between him and the Sooners.

But as the visit lingers, more schools are entering the picture. The biggest threat right now looks to be Missouri.

“I’m busy talking with other schools, too, like Missouri. I know they’re real interested,” Williams said. “I’m looking for a good education and a good place to be. I’m definitely happy with the OU offer.”

Injury sets Johnson back

Three-star defensive tackle Cedric Johnson (Rowlett, Texas/Rowlett) was all set to compete at OU’s satellite camp in Carrollton, Texas, two weeks ago, but a pulled hamstring kept him from participating.

Johnson, who is 6-foot-2 and 298 pounds, has been seeking for the Sooners offer and said he was hoping to earn it at the camp. Now it will just take a little more time.

“I haven’t talked to Coach Montgomery recently, but I did talk to my main recruiter Coach [Josh] Heupel,” Johnson said. “I know what I can do and definitely want to show them.”

Johnson said he hurt his hamstring at a satellite camp for Oklahoma State, which has slowed him down. He went to Baylor’s camp just to speak to the coaches, but he said it wasn’t the same as working out.

Johnson has offers from Tulsa, Washington State and Baylor and said he is hopeful to get to SMU later this summer. Wherever he goes, he said he is definitely going to participate in the camp. He said he is a lot different player than he was last year.

“I’m more explosive,” Johnson said. “I’m cutting weight so I can move a lot better. I’m close to around 290 right now and want to replace 15-20 pounds with muscle. It’s not hard to cut weight, you have to want to do it.”

Johnson visited OU for spring practice and said the Sooners remain one of his top schools.

2015 in-state recruits Simpkins, Dismuke get first look at OU

Going to end the Intel this week with a look at a couple of in-state recruits for the Class of 2015 that got their first taste of OU at the camp three weeks ago.

Offensive lineman Dalton Dismuke (Duncan, Okla./Duncan) and running back Marquiz Simpkins (Clinton, Okla./Clinton) were both at OU’s one-day camp. Neither left with an offer, but it was a positive experience for both.

Simpkins used his OU camp performance to springboard him to a solid outing at Tulsa the following week and earned an offer from the Golden Hurricane.

Simpkins, regarded as one of the state’s best backs for 2015, said he has only recently started to get in touch with OU running backs coach Cale Gundy.

“He came to my school last month,” Simpkins said. “That was the first time I met him. It was fun to be at the camp, and it was exciting to get the Tulsa offer.”

Simpkins said when he was younger, he was a huge OU fan. With recruiting, though, he has stopped being a fan of any school.

OU’s tradition at running backs stands out to Simpkins, but he said his No. 1 priority is grades and making sure his test scores are good enough for him to qualify.

Simpkins played a major role in helping Clinton win the state championship last season. He’s hoping for more of the same in the fall.

“I wasn’t nervous about playing so much as a sophomore,” Simpkins said. “I accepted that role, and I feel very confident in everything.”

Dismuke is a name familiar to OU fans as he is the younger brother of former OU offensive lineman Dylan Dismuke.

Dalton Dismuke is already 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds heading into his junior season. The camp was fun and let him know he has a lot of work to do.

“I learned a lot of things there,” Dismuke said. “It was great going up against a lot of top athletes. I know I still have a lot of work to do.”

Dismuke said coaches from Texas Tech and Texas A&M have also been showing interest. The camp was the first time Dismuke met Bedenbaugh as he said it was OU tight ends coach Jay Boulware who visited Duncan during the spring.

“I didn’t get to talk to Coach Bedenbaugh that much, but it was good to meet him,” Dismuke said.

One thing Dismuke is leaning on is the advice of his brother and what Dylan went through during the recruiting process.

“It helps a lot,” Dalton Dismuke said. “I feel like I kind of know what to expect and what to do differently and what to do the same. I like OU because I'm from Oklahoma, but I’m not the diehard fan he is.”

Dismuke said he hopes to camp at Kansas State and TCU this summer.