Wednesday, June 6, 2012
ESPN 300: Sooners eyeing top receivers
By Bob Przybylo
What a difference a couple of months make. When the initial ESPN 150 came out in April, Oklahoma fans weren’t concerned about not having any commits at wide receiver. But following the indefinite suspensions to Trey Franks, Jaz Reynolds and Kameel Jackson, the game has changed for the Sooners.
Luckily, OU still has wide receivers coach Jay Norvell. Coming off the most highly-touted group of receivers in program history with the class of 2012, Norvell is slowly trying to work his magic once again for the class of 2013.
The Sooners are still searching for their first commit at the position, but they have wiggled their way into the final lists for some of the best in the nation.
Wide receiver isn’t the only position OU is still gunning for top targets, however. Here is a list of 10 notable targets the Sooners are in good position for -- not necessarily the 10 highest-ranked offers in the ESPN 300, but the most realistic chances OU has in nabbing a top commit:
• No. 38 Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee, WR): We all know his story at this point. He was supposed to attend OU’s spring game with signee David Smith (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) but both stayed home because of the severe weather.
Treadwell has not rescheduled a visit to OU yet although he said he plans to make that happen. Treadwell recently named a top seven with OU making the cut. Michigan appears like the leader in the clubhouse unless the Sooners can get him to take a visit to Norman, Okla.
Senior receiver Laquon Treadwell has the Sooners in his top seven along with a slew of other top schools.
• No. 50 Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood, ATH): Last week Bailey narrowed his extensive offer list to a final 13. OU had no problem surviving that round of elimination.
Bailey is a dynamic athlete that will most likely see his future at wide receiver. He is also the teammate of signee Eric Striker.
“Alvin can ball, no doubt about that,” Striker said recently. “I would love for him to join me at OU, but it’s his decision.”
• No. 59 Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle, LB): Hutchings is a shocker to most as OU appeared to all but out of the picture at this point two months ago.
Hutchings was a Brent Venables guy. With Venables now at Clemson, Hutchings hadn’t heard from the OU coaching staff that much.
It all changed during the spring evaluation period as Hutchings said the Sooners are now back in the conversation.
• No. 91 Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball, DT): If you had to rank them No. 1-10, Manning would probably be No. 1 in the eyes of most OU supporters.
Defensive tackle is a huge position of need for the class and Manning has expressed his love of the Sooners in the past. And obviously, the family connection with his older brother DeMarcus Granger, who was a defensive tackle for OU.
• No. 136 Torii Hunter Jr. (Prosper, Texas/Prosper, WR): Hunter wasn’t on the radar of many schools three months ago. Following an impressive showing at Nike football events in Dallas in March, his stock soared.
Hunter is the son of MLB nine-time all-star centerfielder Torii Hunter. And like his father, Torii Jr. is an accomplished high school baseball player.
• No. 150 Sebastian Larue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica, WR): The Sooners stole one from California last year with Derrick Woods (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood).
Will history repeat itself? Not hurting the cause is the friendship between Larue and Woods.
• No. 168 Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, Ga./Peach County, WR): Can the Sooners realistically take a player out of Georgia? The chances are a lot better than they were last month.
Tom Hauck for ESPN.com
Senior defensive end Jordan Sherit has praised OU assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright in the past.
Robinson said last week the Sooners are in his top five. The key will be to get Robinson on campus.
• No. 189 Adrian Baker (Hallandale, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna, ATH): The Sooners invasion of Florida has continued in 2013.
OU nabbed four signees from the Sunshine State and already has two commits for the 2013 class. Baker has already stated he is making an official visit to OU for the Notre Dame weekend.
• No. 196 Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit, LB): A popular choice by our SoonerNation readers as the next possible commit for the Sooners.
Mastrogiovanni has grown up a huge OU fan and was offered last month. Things could change in the next 72 hours as he is expected to visit OU this weekend.
• No. 240 Jordan Sherit (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough): OU defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright has made a strong impression on Sherit, who has the Sooners in his top five.
Don’t expect an early commitment at all. Sherit has repeatedly said he needs to visit the campuses of all the schools he is considering.
If OU could steal Sherit from Florida, it would mean all three of the Sooners’ defensive end commits would be in the ESPN 300 (No. 90 D.J. Ward, No. 275 Matt Dimon).