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Monday, May 14, 2012
Receiver now a priority for OU in 2013

By Bob Przybylo

With the indefinite suspensions of wide receivers Trey Franks, Jaz Reynolds and Kameel Jackson, Oklahoma has gone from taking a maximum of two receivers for the class of 2013 to the search heating up to add viable replacements.

The proof was there late last week. OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel was set to see quarterback Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) on Thursday. Instead, Heupel has delayed that visit to this week because he told Los Angeles Cathedral coach Kevin Pearson he has urgent team matters to attend to.

That urgent matter? Heupel was in Texas visiting a pair of standout receivers at Wylie (Texas) East, Marcell Ateman and Quan Jones.

Both have committed to another program, but the Sooners aren’t done evaluating the talent. And instead of jumping in with new receivers, now is the time for OU to reconnect with names it is always familiar with. Here are a few receivers the Oklahoma coaches are targeting.

Marcell Ateman (6-foot-5 and 193 pounds) and Quan Jones (6-4, 201)

Ateman, a four-star prospect ranked No. 33 at the position, committed to Oklahoma State late last month. Jones, a three-star recruit, committed to Baylor in late March. The teammates have never talked about being a package deal, but if you’re going to look at one, there's no harm in looking at the other.

OU showed strong interest last summer and during their junior seasons. Both were invited to OU’s junior day and Jones attended but was not offered. Like several prospects at the two junior day events, they were told they would be evaluated more. At the time, they felt like they couldn’t wait and each made their respective decision.

Heupel stopped by last week and told them to expect a visit from OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell this week.

Dannon Cavil (San Antonio/Madison, 6-4, 210)

Things have been quiet regarding Cavil, a four-star prospect ranked No. 30 at receiver who committed to Ole Miss in March. Passed up by the Longhorns despite his strong Texas ties, Cavil didn’t feel the need to wait around. He was at OU’s first junior day in February where he was told he would be evaluated further.

It’s possible that the Sooners can't make an imprint on Cavil, but it wouldn’t hurt to look in his direction again.

Ra'Shaad Samples (Dallas/Skyline, 5-11, 170)

One of the more intriguing prospects in the nation, Samples was dominating the field at the Nike Football Training Camp event in March before fracturing his tibia. He should be out another couple of months but back in time for his senior season.

Samples looked like a strong Texas favorite earlier this spring, however, the Longhorns recently offered Robbie Rhodes (Fort Worth, Texas/Southwest).

Samples was offered by the Sooners in February and was hoping to see the campus. He still hasn’t at this point. If Norvell were to show more interest, that could change. Ohio State has also made a strong run for Samples, who has more than 30 offers.

Samples has been invited to The Opening in July and accepted an invite to the Under Armour All-America Game in January.

Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks, 6-2, 190)

Want a longshot? It’s definitely Smallwood. The Oklahoma high school class of 2013 doesn’t have anybody resembling a Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall) or Keon Hatcher (Owasso, Okla./Owasso) like it did in 2012.

Smallwood is arguably the best receiver in the state and has great size. The biggest knock on Smallwood is his lack of speed, which he has realized. He spent most of the offseason trying to improve his first step.

Back at the Elite 11 quarterback regional event at Cowboys Stadium and the NFTC event the next day, Smallwood helped improve his stock tremendously. He showed great hands and great strength. Speed is always going to be a concern, but measurables aren’t everything when it comes to the position. He is looking for his first offer but has made unofficial visits to Arkansas, Kansas State and Nebraska in the last month.

Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee, 6-2, 190)

It has been a series of unfortunate events when it comes to Treadwell and the Sooners. He was expected to show up at OU’s spring game in April. However, the threat of severe weather canceled his trip. To make matters worse, instead, he took another trip to Michigan and had a great time. The Wolverines are in a great spot with Treadwell, who is gaining a great relationship with Michigan quarterback commit Shane Morris.

Treadwell said late last week he still wants to make a visit to OU, but he has no idea when it will happen. Will it be too late? OU running back signee David Smith (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen)has talked up the Sooners to Treadwell on a consistent basis. It is debatable if that has helped, but it certainly hasn’t hurt.

Treadwell is a four-star prospect ranked No. 1 in Illinois, No. 5 at the position and No. 42 in the ESPN 150.