Oklahoma Sooners: Dwayne Orso Jr.

In the next few weeks leading into signing day it’s a great time to take a position-by-position glance at Oklahoma’s returning roster. This series, called State of the Position, will look at the playmakers, up-and-comers and current commitments or targets at each position for the Sooners as recruiting really heats up during these final weeks before signing day on Feb. 5. On Thursday, we take a closer look at the defensive end position.

Starter/contributors: Charles Tapper (Jr.), Geneo Grissom (Sr.), P.L. Lindley (Jr.), Matt Dimon (So.)

[+] EnlargeAmari Cooper
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesCharles Tapper's blend of size, strength and speed -- and yeah, just ask Bama WR Amari Cooper about his speed -- makes him nearly unstoppable.
Tapper is no longer a future star, the "future" no longer applies. He earned All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore and will be a core contributor on OU’s defense in 2014. The Baltimore native brings a combination of size, strength and speed that is tough to match. Watching him chase down Alabama receiver Amari Cooper in the Sugar Bowl should tell you all you need to know about the Sooners’ defensive end.

Grissom was the Trevor Knight of the defense in the Sugar Bowl, taking his game to another level against the Crimson Tide. He’s another guy who went from potential to production in 2013. If he gets even better in 2014, OU’s defensive line could be devastating.

Lindley brings good depth, size and strength to the defensive end spot. His ability to slide into OU’s defense against certain offenses makes him a valuable asset.

Dimon provides quality young depth as a player who earned himself a role in the defense immediately. He played in his first-ever game and carved out a special teams role during his first year on campus. He’s one reason OU should be excited about the future in 2014 and beyond.

On the cusp: Mike Onuoha (So.), D.J. Ward (redshirt freshman)

Onuoha redshirted as a sophomore but he brings a skill set that nobody else along the defensive line possesses with his length and athleticism. That unique ability leaves his chances of making an impact in 2014 within his hands more than anyone else's.

One of OU’s top signees in 2013, Ward redshirted last fall. He is talented but there’s so much talent ahead of him it would be a slight surprise for him to rise into the defensive line rotation immediately.

On the recruiting trail: Dwayne Orso Jr. (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood)

Orso is a solid prospect in the mold of former Sooner Frank Alexander. He should bring versatility and upside to an already stacked defensive end group.

Overall Grade: A+

What more do you want?

Big 12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013
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The beginning of the month didn't start out so hot for Oklahoma, who was routed in a highly-anticipated game at Baylor on Nov. 7. But the Sooners have rebounded well on the recruiting trail with a handful of commitments since the calendar turned.

We'll take a look at who exactly those recruits are as well as talk about the big weekend ahead in Stillwater in this week's edition of Big 12 recruiting storylines.

OU on a roll

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

November, 18, 2013
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While Kansas broke its recruiting slump, Oklahoma managed to pick up two players on Sunday. One of them filled a huge need.

There were several other updates involving Big 12 targets from this weekend, including one four-star athlete announcing when he will make his final decision. That player said he most likely will end up in the Big 12.

Here are some of last week’s highlights:


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Sooners get need, want in commits

November, 17, 2013
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In college football recruiting, there are necessities and there are luxuries. Oklahoma picked up one of each Sunday.

The Sooners first addressed a need by getting a commitment from defensive end Dwayne Orso Jr. (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood). Orso, a 6-foot-5, 251-pound end, flipped his commitment to Oklahoma after pledging to Western Kentucky in September.


Orso, recruited to Oklahoma by defensive lineman coach Jerry Montgomery, also had offers from UAB, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee. Orso’s commitment is huge for Oklahoma, as he is the first defensive end commit and only the second defensive lineman commit for the Sooners’ 2014 class.

While Oklahoma is looking for more defensive linemen, it has done a solid job in recruiting tight ends. The Sooners managed to add depth to the position by picking up junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College). A 6-5, 255-pound blocking tight end, Ijalana chose the Sooners over offers from Illinois, Bowling Green and other schools.

Ijalana was recruited to Oklahoma by tight ends coach Jay Boulware. Ijalana is the younger brother of Ben Ijalana, a left tackle for the New York Jets.

Oklahoma already had two ESPN 300 tight ends committed in blocker Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and flex Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), as well as three-star athlete Dimitri Flowers (San Antonio/Churchill), who could be used similarly to how multipurpose standout Trey Millard was used prior to a season-ending knee injury.

Oklahoma also has juco tight end Jean Sifrin (Torrance, Calif./El Camino College), who has formally committed but is awaiting academic clearance to enroll, according to ESPN’s Blair Angulo. Coach Bob Stoops will have a myriad of options at the position next season and should benefit with a good number of returning offensive starters back from this year.

With the two new pledges, Oklahoma is now at 18 commitments for the 2014 class.

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