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Monday, February 13, 2012
Little changes for OU after UT junior day

By Bob Przybylo

Maybe the expectations were simply too high when it came to Texas’ first junior day. The Longhorns, who have had a track record of rounding up one top commit after another on the day, didn’t get a verbal commitment on Sunday. And Oklahoma fans are clearly excited about not losing out in any head-to-head battles at this point.

The key word there might also be Sunday, though. The same type of attitude the Oklahoma coaches used with top recruits last weekend seemed to be in full effect in Austin, Texas, this weekend. The trend right now is not to rush the prospects into making a split-second decision.

Justin Manning
Defensive tackle prospect Justin Manning received a Texas offer on Sunday but did not commit.
And because of that mentality, Texas still just has one commit in offensive tackle Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina), while the Sooners are still looking at a goose egg in the commitment department.

It’s not gloom-and-doom for either program, and the fact of the matter is quite a few Texas recruits sounded as if they need 48-72 hours to make sure the Longhorns are where they want to call home.

It wouldn’t be shocking if Texas ends up with several commits by week’s end just as it wouldn’t be shocking if the Longhorns didn’t earn one verbal. There are so many other upcoming junior days -- such as Oklahoma State and Texas A&M -- still to come that recruits are looking to take everything in before making a decision.

The weekend didn’t start out great for OU as defensive tackle target Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline) committed to Texas A&M on Saturday. Other than that, at junior days like Texas and Arkansas, where OU targets littered both campuses, the Sooners didn’t absorb a major hit.

The battle lines have been drawn for some prospects as Arkansas is making a strong run at two of the best in-state prospects in quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and athlete Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central). Both have offers from the Razorbacks and are on the short list of potential OU offers. Neither committed over the weekend.

In Texas, it’s OU trying to steal a few of the Lone Star State’s top recruits in quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright), wide receiver Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit) and defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). All three were officially offered by Texas on Sunday and all three have expressed a lot of interest in the Sooners.

One prospect thought to be a heavy Texas lean was offensive tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands), but a family emergency forced him to cancel his trip. Perkins could make an unofficial to Texas this weekend or could attend Texas’ second junior day Feb. 25.

It’s far too early to call Sunday a failure for Texas. But it certainly wasn’t a bad day, either, for OU’s chances with some of the top 2013 names as Sooners are still in the conversation.

The Sooners will get the last initial push as OU’s second junior day is scheduled for March 3, a week after the Longhorns junior day, allowing OU to try to seal the deal with some top recruits.