Oklahoma Sooners: Kerrick Huggins

There are some positions where Oklahoma doesn’t need any help with in its Class of 2014. But then there are others where OU’s targets should be dead-set on trying to improve.

Here are the top five positions of need for OU’s recruiting for the 2014 crop:


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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:

  • Why judgment day looms for the Sooners' top target.
  • A Florida receiver is excited about visiting the Sooners this weekend.
  • An OU signee talks about his first trip to Norman.
  • One of the Sooners' top offensive line targets is making a return trip this spring.
  • Is OU back in the picture for in-state DE Clark?
  • An Ohio target has built a solid relationship with the OU staff.
  • Could another running back be in play for the Sooners?
  • A 2015 tight end committed to another school wants to visit OU again.
  • A 2015 lineman talks about recently adding a Sooners offer.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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NORMAN, Okla. -- OK, Jerry Montgomery, this is a big reason you were brought to Oklahoma. Defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren) unexpectedly committing to Texas on Saturday night is another example of the Sooners falling short at defensive tackle.

And an example of the work ahead for Montgomery.

For OU’s 2012 class, the Sooners had a plan to not lobby too hard for a defensive tackle. They didn’t attack any high school or junior college prospects and were content with who was on campus.


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Coaches' corner: DT Kerrick Huggins

February, 27, 2013
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

Kerrick Huggins
Damon Sayles/ESPNDefensive tackle Kerrick Huggins has the talent to play right away for the Sooners.
The Sooners looked to beef up along their defensive interior with four signees at defensive tackle. Dallas Skyline defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins is one of the prep interior players the Sooners hope emerge as difference-makers during their college careers. OU coach Bob Stoops is high on Huggins' combination of size, strength and quickness.

“[He's a] really a big, strong player, with excellent feet and quickness," Stoops said. "He's 6-3 to 6-4, 285 to 290 [pounds]. Excellent quickness, though. That’s the biggest thing as you watch him, the ability to change direction and move his feet. Really a strong player.”

Huggins' quickness could help him become a terror inside, but don't expect him to make a permanent move to the outside, where his size and quickness combination could be wasted with him lining up further from the ball.

“He’s a tackle if he is already 290 pounds and he is not even out of high school," Stoops said. "He’s going to be 300 to 310. He’s the guy that has the kind of quickness to be out there, but that’s the kind of quickness you want inside from a big guy.”

Editor's note: Huggins was one of the last Sooners to sign and the majority of the defensive staff couldn't comment on him until he officially faxed his letter of intent. Coach Bob Stoops, who talked about him during his afternoon press conference, was the lone coach who talked about Huggins on signing day.

Position breakdown: Defensive tackle 

February, 25, 2013
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NORMAN, Okla. -- Michigan defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery will become Oklahoma's defensive tackles coach. And he faces a tall task in Norman.

No position on Oklahoma’s roster has more questions marks than defensive tackle.


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Simon, Anderson no longer on OU team

February, 17, 2013
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UPDATE: An OU spokesperson confirms junior defensive tackle Damon Williams is no longer on the team, as well.

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma will be transitioning to three new assistant coaches this spring. The Sooners will also have to make do with just four scholarship cornerbacks and possibly as few as three scholarship defensive tackles during the spring, as well.

An OU spokesperson confirmed Sunday night that cornerback Gary Simon and defensive tackle Marquis Anderson are no longer with the squad.

That leaves the Sooners with only returning starter Aaron Colvin, Cortez Johnson and Zack Sanchez and Kass Everett at cornerback; and just Jordan Phillips, Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson at defensive tackle.

OU was hoping to add junior-college tackle Quincy Russell in January. Russell, however, still has academic work to complete before he can enroll. Of OU’s three returning defensive tackles, only Phillips saw even spot duty last season.

The Sooners signed three high school defensive tackles earlier this month, as well. But one of those, Kerrick Huggins, has yet to qualify and doubled-signed with Trinity Valley Community College in case he doesn’t make it Norman.

Coach Bob Stoops showed he hasn’t been happy lately with OU’s production or recruiting at defensive tackle, and fired his longtime defensive tackles coach, Jackie Shipp, last week. Last season, the Sooners ranked 94th in run defense and 108th in tackles for loss.

OU also lost its top three defensive tackles -- Casey Walker, Jamarkus McFarland and Stacy McGee -- to graduation.

The Sooners face transition in the secondary, as well. Three of five starters are gone, and Simon was expected to challenge Johnson for the starting job at corner opposite Colvin.
Every Friday (starting this week), 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:

  • Two California prospects might be visiting Oklahoma in the summer
  • More on where one in-state tight end stands with the Sooners
  • One OU signee is working hard to make sure he ends up a Sooner
  • Is another running back emerging for 2014?
  • San Antonio defensive back enjoys OU junior day
  • A 2014 receiver has the Sooners on top
  • One in-state wideout is receiving more interest
  • The Sooners' second junior day is set

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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Shipp's departure stuns OU recruits 

February, 13, 2013
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Another day, another Oklahoma assistant coach shown the door. This one, though, has sent shock waves through OU recruiting circles.


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Video: DT Kerrick Huggins signs with OU

February, 8, 2013
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Skyline (Dallas) defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins sent his National Letter of Intent to Oklahoma on signing day. Williams discusses his future in Norman.

Photo: Kerrick Huggins signs with OU

February, 6, 2013
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Kerrick HugginsDamon Sayles/ESPNThree-star defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins could compete for early playing time at Oklahoma.

SoonerNation signing day live blog

February, 6, 2013
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Dakota AustinDamon Sayles/ESPNCornerback Dakota Austin committed to the Sooners over the weekend and signed on Wednesday.
Welcome to SoonerNation's live coverage of national signing day for the Oklahoma Sooners. We'll be with you throughout the day providing up-to-the minute updates on OU's class of 2013.

Watch live coverage on ESPNU | Talk signing day on our SoonerNation forum Insider | OU class

Follow the live blog after the jump.

(Read full post)

Gerald McCoy and Tommie Harris are players who immediately come to mind when Oklahoma fans think of the tradition at defensive tackle. Both All-Americans were highly recruited high school prospects who stepped on campus with high expectations then fulfilled them.

But McCoy and Harris are the exception, not the norm.


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DT Matthew Romar is OU commit No. 21

January, 30, 2013
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Two weeks ago it looked like Oklahoma was done looking for defensive tackles for its 2013 class. Assistant coach Jackie Shipp had put in major work and landed three quality commitments.

But Shipp wasn’t done. He went to Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial last weekend and offered three-star prospect Matthew Romar.

Romar saw OU’s campus for the first time this weekend and took some time to think it over before committing to the Sooners, Port Arthur Memorial coach Kenny Harrison confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

Romar, who is 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, also had offers from Tulsa and Baylor, among others. Once the Sooners fully entered the race, though, it became clear it was up to OU to simply close the deal.

He played a little bit of running back in high school so there was some speculation about his size. Harrison said once Shipp saw Romar in person two weeks ago, all the doubts vanished.

(Read full post)

Oklahoma continues to add bodies at the defensive tackle position.


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During December, there was no bigger position of need for Oklahoma than defensive tackle. In the span of 31 days, OU has gone from having zero commits with panic engulfing Sooner fans to having three and looking pretty.

The latest came Saturday night, as three-star tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) confirmed he has committed to the Sooners.

Walker, who is 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, is ranked No. 40 in the nation at defensive tackle. Injuries hampered him during his sophomore and junior seasons, but he was healthy and effective this season.

And OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp noticed that. North Texas and Houston were other schools looking at Walker, but Shipp saw something in Walker that no other big-time BCS-school universities saw.

Walker was offered by OU last month and admitted he wanted to commit right there on the spot. But he held off, saying he wanted to see the campus.

That was taken care of this weekend as Walker was one of eight official visitors for the Sooners. Baylor started talking to Walker earlier this week, but OU had already put in the work to secure his commitment.

Walker tore his labrum in the summer but played his senior season anyway. He underwent successful surgery last month and said he should be good to go by March.

He saw OU practice at the Cotton Bowl two weeks ago and all it did was fire him up more about his trip to Norman. Safe to say the trip lived up to his expectations.

Walker is ranked No. 40, one spot below fellow OU commit Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline). Huggins, who flipped from Texas A&M to OU on Dec. 14, is ranked No. 39 and was OU’s first commit at the position.

The Sooners will also get some immediate help at tackle as three-star ESPN JC 100 prospect Quincy Russell (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley) signed with OU on Dec. 19.

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