Oklahoma Sooners: Marquise Overton

Below is the latest in recruiting around the Big 12:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 8
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Bears have gotten off to an awesome start offensively, but they would love to keep safety Kahlil Haughton home. Haughton has numerous offers, including LSU and Oklahoma as well as Big Ten powers Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Mark Mangino helped change Kansas' fortune by unearthing gem QB Todd Reesing, who eventually took the Jayhawks to the Orange Bowl. The Cyclones have extended an offer to dual-threat QB Joe Burrow, who had a phenomenal junior season with 53 total TDs and just six picks. With offers beginning to pour in, Iowa State will have to fight to get him, but Burrow would be a huge pickup for Mangino's first offensive recruiting class.

KANSAS
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks finally picked up their first commitment over the weekend, but it was a big one. Ryan Willis is the No. 26 pocket-passing QB in the country, and was being pursued by Kansas State and Illinois. His dad went to Kansas State, but Willis was drawn to new coordinator John Reagan’s offense. Willis went to the same high school as Kansas’ current starting QB Montell Cozart, and could be Cozart’s successor down the line.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcats also have only one commit so far in three-star QB Alex Delton, but it too was a key pickup. Delton reportedly put on a show during the Dallas Elite 11 QB camp over the weekend. With starter Jake Waters a senior next season, the K-State QB position could be up for grabs in 2015.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 3
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Sooners are looking to beef up their offensive and defensive lines in this class, and are in on several big-time prospects. Oklahoma already owns commitments from DT Marquise Overton and OT Bobby Evans, and will be angling to keep the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard Jalin Barnett in state.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 4
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Cowboys already have landed ESPN 300 QB John Kolar and ESPN 300 RB Ronald Jones II. Oklahoma State is in strong position to land an ESPN 300 receiver, too, with Tyron Johnson, Kemah Siverand, Carlos Strickland and K.J. Hill all reciprocating interest.

TCU
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: With ESPN 300 QB Zach Gentry narrowing his list to Alabama, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Texas, TCU has refocused its QB search. Nearby Bo Schneider might be a possibility.

TEXAS
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: Only two of the nine verbal commitments Mack Brown landed for 2015 are still on the commit list, as new coach Charlie Strong has completely revamped the Longhorns’ recruiting game plan. Texas, however, still doesn’t have a top-10 in-state player on board. That could change emphatically if the Longhorns could snag the state’s No. 5 player -- outside linebacker Malik Jefferson, who will announce his college plans after the upcoming football season.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 6
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: Thanks to his efforts over the weekend in the Dallas Elite 11 QB camp, Texas Tech commitment Jarrett Stidham earned the eighth invite to the prestigious Elite 11 finals.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: With a host of skill players already on board, snagging players in the trenches will be the focus. West Virginia got in early on three-star guard George Asafo-Adjei, who received an offer from Florida over the weekend.
Today is a minor holiday for recruitniks: The newest edition of the ESPN 300 recruiting rankings have been released, along with a slew of other grades and evaluations.

It's always a big-time endeavor for the ESPN crew of scouts, so be sure to click HERE for the ESPN 300 rankings.

Several of today's updates to the ESPN 300 affect the Big 12. Here's a closer look at what you should take away from the rankings:
  • Oklahoma State quarterback commit John Kolar enjoyed an incredible jump, going from unranked to the nation's No. 3 pocket passer. He's now ranked No. 82 overall in the ESPN 300. The Norman (Okla.) North senior-to-be impressed filling in for injured Alabama signee David Cornwell last year, and he has wowed our scouts as well.
  • What a killer start for Baylor. The Bears have verbal commitments from six high school prospects, and all six made the ESPN 300. The highest ranked of the bunch is WR John Humphrey Jr., who announced his commitment last night. He's one of three ESPN 300 receivers in the class, joining Devontre Stricklin and Chad President. The Bears signed four ESPN 300 recruits in last year's class, and three the previous year, so this is quite the jump. With Baylor high on the list of several other ESPN 300 prospects, including WR DaMarkus Lodge (No. 63 in ESPN 300) and DE James Lockhart (No. 113), there's a good chance this class ends up being the best in the Big 12 when it's all said and done.
  • Texas now has verbal commitments from five ESPN 300 recruits: S DeShon Elliott (No. 94), OT Toby Weathersby (No. 138), OG Patrick Vahe (No. 171), new RB commit Tristian Houston (No. 208) and RB Jordan Stevenson (No. 296). The Longhorns are in the mix for more than 30 ESPN 300 prospects and have offered several more elite out-of-state recruits. Texas has some real momentum under new coach Charlie Strong at the moment, and it's possible more than 10 uncommitted ESPN 300 prospects visits Austin this week for the spring game.
  • The state of Oklahoma has five prospects in the ESPN 300, and nearly all of them could end up being Sooners. OU already has verbal pledges from DT Marquise Overton (No. 150) and OG Joshua Wariboko (No. 190) and is among the leaders for OG Jalin Barnett (No. 36) and S Will Sunderland Jr. (No. 212). And then there's Kolar, who the Sooners could still make a push for over time. Four of Oklahoma's five current pledges are in the ESPN 300.
  • Texas Tech already has two top-50 recruits in QB Jarrett Stidham and DT Breiden Fehoko, and they'll be the lead recruiters of this Red Raiders class. Stidham checks in at No. 37 in the new ESPN 300, which puts him No. 4 among all prospects in Texas, and Fehoko is the nation's No. 7 defensive tackle.
  • It's a great year to find a running back in the state of Texas. Ten of them made the newest ESPN 300, and six have already committed to schools. The top-rated member of the group is Oklahoma State commit Ronald Jones II, the nation's No. 3 running back. Texas already has Houston and Stevenson, Baylor has Ja'Mycal Hasty (No. 274) and Texas A&M has pledges from Rodney Anderson (No. 263) and Jay Bradford (No. 277).
  • West Virginia is off to a great start with the 2015 class thanks to its dedication to recruiting Florida. Two of its verbal commits made the ESPN 300 in WR Jovon Durante (No. 120) and S Kendrell McFadden (No. 153), and half of its 10 pledges come from the Sunshine State. WVU is one of only seven program in the country with double-digit commitments at this point.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

January, 6, 2014
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Oklahoma was the big recruiting winner of the Big 12 this past week. The Sooners helped their program with big-time commitments in the 2014 and 2015 classes. Additionally, the Big 12 welcomed a new head coach in Texas’ Charlie Strong, which could result in major recruiting news as national signing day rapidly approaches.

Here are some of last week’s highlights:

Biggest commitments: Oklahoma was pleased to receive news that ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Marquise Overton (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) verbally committed on Friday. Things got even better for the Sooners when ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) verbally committed during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Mixon, No. 72 in the ESPN 300 and the nation’s ninth-ranked running back, chose Oklahoma over UCLA, Wisconsin and Cal. Overton chose the Sooners over Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Baylor, Ole Miss and several other programs. He is ranked No. 96 in the ESPN Junior 300.

Let’s not assume that Marquise Overton’s (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) love for Oklahoma was heightened by Thursday night’s outstanding Allstate Sugar Bowl win against Alabama. That admiration and respect has always been there.


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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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Recruits watching: Oklahoma at Baylor 

November, 7, 2013
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Thursday night may not be the best nights for hosting players, but it definitely makes for great nights to see two top-ranked teams go at it in a nationally televised showdown. No. 6 Baylor hosts No. 10 Oklahoma in what may be the most anticipated Big 12 matchup of the year not called the Red River Rivalry.

From a recruiting standpoint, Thursday’s game may have more importance to Oklahoma than Baylor. The Bears are sitting comfortably with 23 commits, including ESPN 300 players in athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau), inside linebacker James David (Rockdale, Texas/Rockdale) and receivers K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and Ishmael Zamora (Houston/Alief Elsik). The Sooners are looking to bulk up its recruiting class. Oklahoma has 15 committed, the latest on Wednesday being three-star athlete Dimitri Flowers (San Antonio/Churchill).

Along with the aforementioned, here are seven 2014 and 2015 prospects, in alphabetical order, who will be paying attention to what happens on Thursday:

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Texas Tech has been one of the new darlings of college football through the two few months of the season. At 7-0 the Red Raiders sit tied atop the Big 12 and are No. 10 in the BCS standings.

The country is anxious to see how they’ll handle the meat of their conference schedule, which begins with a road test at Oklahoma on Saturday.

The Sooners are expected to have several top targets on hand, including two prospects committed elsewhere. Oklahoma is also expected to have one of the top players in the country for 2015 in attendance ... again.

Here’s a look at some of the top targets who will be in attendance in Norman, Okla., plus a recruit who will be keeping a close eye on the game:

2014 DT Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview)
6-foot-1, 281 pounds
This is a huge opportunity for the Sooners to impress one of their top remaining targets. Henderson, a former TCU commit, seems to be down to Texas and OU, though, Ole Miss might have something to say about that. The Sooners have to blow him away on this visit considering the good things he had to say during and after Texas’ victory over Oklahoma a few weeks ago. OU really needs help on its defensive front with only one commitment in 2014 (three-star DT Brandon Glenn).


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2015 ESPN 300 targets: Oklahoma 

July, 16, 2013
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Most of the time when discussing Oklahoma and underclassmen recruiting, it’s a pretty nonexistent topic. Not the case for the Class of 2015 as the Sooners have already netted two ESPN 300 commitments.

Here is a look at eight other notable 2015 OU targets to go with the Sooners' two early pledges:


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One day can change a recruit’s life forever. For wide receiver Jordan Smallwood, it was the camp at Oklahoma last June.

He entered the day with Wyoming as his only notable offer. Four days later, he was committed to the Sooners.

Smallwood carried that chip on his shoulder into his senior season, helping Jenks (Okla.) High win a state championship.

Prior to his arrival on campus, Smallwood talked to SoonerNation one more time about what he expects at OU.

Jordan Smallwood
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comOklahoma signee Jordan Smallwood said he wants to become one of the Sooners' best ever wideouts.
SoonerNation: Who is your roommate going to be?

Jordan Smallwood: Quarterback Cody Thomas.

SN: Wait, what? I had never heard of you and Cody as being buddy-buddy. How did this all happen?

Smallwood: It just sort of happened that way. Coach [Josh] Heupel got us talking. I didn’t have a roommate. He didn’t have a roommate. Last time I talked to him was the spring game. I know he’s ready to play at OU as much as I am.

SN: What have the coaches told you about what your potential role could be this season?

Smallwood: To come down there and compete. If I can learn the system, I can get on the field. If nothing else, I’ll definitely play some special teams this year.

SN: When did you know in your heart OU was the place for you?

Smallwood: After the very first game I went to. After seeing them play, even though it was the Notre Dame loss, I knew. Watching them play and perform and compete, I knew that was the place for me. It was home.

SN: What do you expect for your first year at OU?

Smallwood: To learn a lot of new things. A lot of things. Coming from Jenks, it’s a great school, but it’s a big step going from high school to OU.

SN: Who is going to help you out with that transition?

Smallwood: Jalen Saunders. We’ve been talking, and he said he would definitely look out for me. Of course there’s Alex [Ross], too. I’m not worried.

SN: What do you want your legacy to be when you leave OU?

Smallwood: That I gave it everything I got 100 percent of the time. I want to go down as one of the best wide receivers to go through OU.

SN: I know when you committed to OU, you had that chip on your shoulder about the lack of big-time offers. At this point, though, is it all water under the bridge?

Smallwood: It was God’s plan. I can’t really complain about it. You’re right, it’s not really a chip on my shoulder anymore. This is my assignment now. Now it’s up to me for what happens.

SN: The Jenks pipeline is strong with Alex Ross, yourself, and of course OU is looking at four-star safety Steven Parker for 2014 and defensive tackle Marquise Overton for 2015. What are your thoughts on recruiting kids from your high school?

Smallwood: Que [Overton] keeps saying he’s going to meet me there at OU so nothing really needs to be said. Steven is different, though. I’ve been leaving him alone and letting him do his own thing. I know he’ll make the right choice for himself. I hope it’s OU.

SN: Let’s look way into the future. Whenever I would talk with your father, he would talk about you and your younger brother, Julian. He’s going into the ninth grade this fall. Is he going to be better than you?

Smallwood: Julian is going to be better than me.

SN: Wait, you admit it?

Smallwood: Yeah, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s crazy how big he is already. I know he’s already talking about going to camps this summer. I’m glad I could open the door for him, and I’m excited to see what he does.
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:

  • A recent defensive offer will be at the Sooners' summer camp.
  • A Houston wideout has Oklahoma on top of his list.
  • One Arizona ESPN 150 cornerback is planning to take an official visit to OU.
  • ESPN 150 athlete and his coach will be in Norman for OU's camp.
  • More on the Sooners' sleeper commit, cornerback Tito Windham.
  • Was OU's offensive line commit always destined to be a Sooner?
  • An in-state defensive tackle could be offered soon.
  • Why OU hasn't made up ground with four-star defensive end Deondre Clark.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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Oklahoma coaches have gone just about everywhere during the spring evaluation period. From the east coast to the west coast, the OU coaches have hit the recruiting trail hard.

The majority of the last two weeks have been spent in Texas, but now it’s time to hit the home base. Oklahoma high school spring football starts across the state for most schools on Monday. OU coaches will be out in full force, and so is the SoonerNation staff.

A list of places we’ll be and who we’re going to see that's generating OU and national recruiting interest:


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Q&A: 2015 DT Marquise Overton 

March, 13, 2013
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SoonerNation concluded the OKPreps 14 for ’14 last week, looking at the top in-state prospect for a loaded Class of 2014. But it’s never too early to start talking the Class of 2015.

And while the depth isn’t there just year for the in-state group, there definitely looks to be a few big-time talents.

One of them poised to break out is defensive tackle Marquise Overton (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). At 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds, Overton is already starting to receive interest from several colleges.

And being able to contribute at Jenks as a sophomore is usually a good indicator of somebody who is going to be a quality name to watch going forward.


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