Oklahoma Sooners: LSU Tigers
Take for example the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp in Allen, Texas, on April 7 when he set the tone in 1-on-1 drills by shoving a wide receiver three yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball.
Adams, the No. 23 player overall and No. 3 safety, isn’t naming any favorites. But we caught up with him to get a sense for where he stands with a few of the programs generally thought to be in the mix.
The Sooners recently offered 2013 defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, an Oklahoma State commitment and 2014 cornerback Chris Hardeman, who is committed to LSU.
Okoronkwo, known around Taylor as "Ogbo," committed to Oklahoma State in June. He said he was happy to receive the Oklahoma offer, but that it doesn't really affect his commitment status to Oklahoma State at the moment.
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Here's how they did it:
Our methodology was simple: We re-tallied the scores following signing day and ranked the schools based on total number of ESPNU 150 recruits (there have been 900) hauled in over the last six years. Of course, like success on the field, recruiting is cyclical -- and fans of programs both on and off this list might look back on Feb. 1, 2012 as the day their team began its rise (or fall) on the trail.
Here's the top-10:
5. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
T-10. Ohio State
Here's what it says about Oklahoma:
Top states: Texas (14), Oklahoma (seven)
Surprise state: California (three)
Oklahoma continues to reel in the relatively small amount of ESPNU 150 talent produced in the Sooner State, signing its top two 2012 recruits: WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City) and RB Alex Ross (Jenks). That puts the Sooners at 7-for-13 since 2007. Bob Stoops also went into Florida (No. 2 OC Ty Darlington of Apopka) and Missouri (WR Durron Neal of St. Louis) for the first time in the past six years.
Junior running back Greg Bryant rushed for 243 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. American Heritage head coach Doug Socha summed up running back Greg Bryant’s performance.
“He’s awesome, it starts up front with our offensive line," Socha said, "but Greg is very special, obviously.”
Exhausted from his 39-carry performance, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound bruising running back talked about the win after the game.
“It feels real good, I’m about to go celebrate with my team,” Bryant said. "Once I get in a rhythm I just keep going. All that hard work paid off in the end.”
With early scholarship offers from LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida, Bryant is expected to be one of the top running backs not only in the state but the country next season.
Bryant, who said distance will not be a factor in his recruitment, talked about Oklahoma, the most recent school to offer him.
“I like Oklahoma, they run the ball a lot,” he said. “They do a lot with the running backs and they have a good running back history. I like them a lot. I’d like to get out to Oklahoma and visit there soon.”
Florida was the first team to offer Bryant and he said he likes the pro-style system that Florida has implemented since Will Muschamp took over.
“Florida is starting to run the ball a little bit more,” Bryant said. "Coach Aubrey [Hill] said they will be in the pro-style, so I like that, too.”
With Charlie Weis having left Florida to take the head coaching job at Kansas, Bryant said the departure won’t change how he feels about the Gators.
“It won’t affect me,” Bryant said. “It’s just the way they run their program -- I like their program. One person can’t change it.”
Bryant said he talks to Oklahoma and LSU the most and is intrigued by the thought of playing for the Tigers.
“LSU, I mean they are in the national championship game, so I like that,” Bryant said. “They throw the ball, they have a good defense. I just like the program.”
Bryant, who said he won’t decide what school he will attend until sometime next year, said his decision will come down to where he feels the most comfortable.
“Be comfortable where I’m at, somewhere where I can play as soon as I get there," he said. "I want to have a good relationship with the coaches. I just want it to feel like family.”
Bryant, along with Adam Lane (5-7/206, Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven), Kelvin Taylor (5-11/205, Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day), Ryan Green (5-11/190, St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Pete Catholic) and Georgia commit Derrick Henry (6-3/231, Yulee, Fla./Yulee), is among the top running backs in the state for 2013.
“I wasn’t much for lobbying the last time we were in that situation,” Stoops said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “And it worked out pretty good.”
That year, OU edged Texas in the BCS to break a three-way tie for the Big 12 South, propelling the Sooners to the national championship game.
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Oklahoma's national title hopes got two big breaks Saturday.
Boise State and Stanford both broke down and lost on their home fields — just like the Sooners did last month.
So here Oklahoma sits at a tidy No. 5 in the latest BCS standings, with a date against No. 2 Oklahoma State coming into focus.
The biggest problem?
The two teams ahead of the Sooners have only one blemish: A loss to the nation's No. 1 team, LSU.
Would a victory over Oklahoma State on Dec. 3 in the de facto Big 12 title game slingshot the Sooners into the national championship game?
Ultimately, it's going to depend on voters, who make up two-thirds of the BCS standings. The Sooners are strong in the computers — they're in the top five in five of the six computer rankings (and sixth in the other) and below both Alabama and Oregon in just three. Oklahoma State is No. 1 in three of the computer rankings.
Oklahoma's best hope? A voter mutiny against a rematch between LSU and Oregon (LSU won 40-27 in Dallas on Sept. 3) or Alabama and LSU (LSU won in overtime in Tuscaloosa, 9-6) and an impressive closing stanza for voters to remember the Sooners before coaches cast their ballots in the USA Today poll and before Harris poll voters send their ballots in.
Oklahoma, if it wins out, would have an impressive five victories over top-25 teams. Oregon would have two. Alabama would have four.
The Sooners, though, will have difficulty outrunning that Texas Tech loss, which gets worse and worse by the week. The Red Raiders have lost five of six games, and have been outscored 159-33 in losses to Iowa State, Texas and Oklahoma State.
Call it a fluke if you want, but championship teams don't have fluke losses. It could cost Oklahoma a shot at the title.
That is, unless the Sooners win out and voters say Alabama and Oregon don't deserve another chance to knock off Les Miles' team.