Oklahoma Sooners: Stevie Clark

YUKON, Okla. -- The priorities are simple for the Clark brothers at Oklahoma City Douglass. The player-coach relationship means more than anything else.

It’s the reason Oklahoma State was able to nab ESPN 100 point guard Stevie Clark for its 2013 class, as OSU coach Travis Ford and the Clark family have developed that tight bond.


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Round one goes to Oklahoma. With the commitment of 2014 ESPN Watch List running back Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) to OU on Saturday night, the Sooners have struck the first blow in potential Bedlam recruiting battles of in-state prospects for the 2014 class.

Who will be round two? Which school will win round two? Here is a look at five more potential in-state prospects that OU and OSU could target in the Class of 2014:

LB Gyasi Akem (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow, 6-2, 210)

[+] EnlargeDeondre Clark
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comClass of 2014 defensive end Deondre Clark was offered by both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this summer.
Akem doesn’t have an offer from either Bedlam school but that will likely change when his junior film is released. Akem missed his entire sophomore season because of a torn ACL but was dynamic and explosive throughout this season.

Texas A&M has shown a strong interest in Akem, and he made an unofficial visit to College Station a few weeks ago.

Akem is friends with Thomas so he could be swayed by playing with a teammate if the Sooners start showing more interest. But he has also made it clear he grew up an OSU fan so if the Cowboys come in strong, they will be in great position.

ESPN Watch List DE Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass, 6-4, 235)

By July, Clark had an offer from both the Sooners and Cowboys. He dominated at OU’s camp in June to earn an offer, while OSU had already liked what it had seen before its summer camp.

Clark’s childhood connection is with the Sooners because his cousin is former OU great Gerald McCoy. But his recent connection could be with OSU because of his brother.

Clark’s older brother, Stevie, is an ESPN 100 point guard prospect for 2013. OSU is considered the favorite to land Stevie Clark, who is tentatively set to sign in the spring.

If Stevie lands in Stillwater, it's not a stretch to see Deondre follow his brother. LSU is also going to be in the mix for the ESPN Watch List defensive end.

QB David Cornwell (Jones, Okla./Jones, 6-5, 215)

Cornwell was known by absolutely nobody coming into this season. That’s not the case anymore as he has developed a relationship with OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel and OSU quarterbacks coach Todd Monken.

He has already seen OSU in person this season and is hopeful he can attend Saturday’s Bedlam contest at OU.

Cornwell has offers from Auburn and Indiana, has visited Michigan and Alabama and is receiving numerous letters from LSU and Alabama. When it comes to Cornwell, it might not just be a Bedlam battle.

RB Lawrence Evitt (Wagoner, Okla./Wagoner, 5-8, 165)

Another prospect that has emerged this season is Evitt. An admitted huge OSU fan, it was OU and running backs coach Cale Gundy that made the first move.


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Oklahoma was never in a really good position to land 2013 point guard Stevie Clark. But with the news Saturday of Clark transferring from Oklahoma City Douglass to Quest Prep Academy in Las Vegas, that will close the door on the Sooners and Clark.

Things between the Clark family and the OU coaching staff were going well in the winter and into the spring. Stevie was offered by the Sooners in February and attended several of OU’s final home games.

[+] EnlargeStevie Clark
Courtesy of Robert CrawfordStevie Clark is ranked No. 63 overall in the 2013 class and No. 1 overall from Oklahoma.
But when the summer came around, OU and Clark slowly started to go their separate ways. Clark’s mother, Dorshell, said there were other programs showing more interest and that the No. 1 factor in their decision is going to be the relationship with the coaching staff.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. Former Oklahoma broadcaster Bob Barry Sr., who passed away in October of last year, is being posthumously honored by the National Football Foundation for his distinguished career. For more on the the Chris Schenkel Award, go here.

2. Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass), the top in-state basketball player for the class of 2013, might be moving out of Oklahoma. Clark's mother, Dorshell, told SoonerNation on Thursday night that the family is looking into prep schools for the upcoming season. Clark helped lead Douglass to three consecutive Class 4A state championships.

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It’s just another week for the Clark family of Oklahoma City.

Guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) is in Washington D.C. for the Nike Global Challenge. Clark, who is 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, is ranked No. 63 in the ESPN 100 and is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state for 2013.

His younger brother, Deondre, is a football star in the making. Deondre Clark is the younger brother but certainly not the little brother coming in at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. Deondre, who could be the state’s top football prospect for 2014, will be making an unofficial visit to LSU this weekend and has been a fan of the Tigers for a long time.

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Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every week. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

There's a different style to this week’s mailbag. We're going to focus on two major issues in Oklahoma recruiting with the 2013 guard debate between in-state stars Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) and Edmond (Okla.) Memorial’s Jordan Woodard, and the decision of three-star defensive tackle Hardreck Walker (Houston, Westfield).

I asked the SoonerNation members if OU could only have one between Clark and Woodard, who would it be? Clark dominated the poll to the tune of a 27-6 advantage. But I also asked ESPN basketball recruiting gurus Dave Telep and Paul Biancardi to weigh in.

[+] EnlargeJordan Woodard
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comJordan Woodward has offers from OU and Memphis, but also has interest in Stanford.
Dave Telep: Stevie Clark shoots the ball at an uncommon rate. He's trying to transition from being a volume shooter/scorer to a more traditional lead guard. Because of his accuracy, Clark is tough to pass up.

Paul Biancardi: Also going with Clark. The range and accuracy from deep is hard to guard and pass on. Can open up or make a comeback in any game with his talent to make consecutive 3's in every contest.

Watched him at the Chris Paul camp and he is a major threat in the pick-and-roll game because of his ability to shoot behind the screen or attack the big man with speed and quickness to turn a corner.

What makes him special to me is his unwavering confidence in himself to make the next shot regardless of the last possession. Reminds me of former NBA player Dana Barros, who played his college basketball at Boston College.

Brandon Chatmon: I like Stevie Clark and Jordan Woodard a lot and believe they each will have solid collegiate careers, but I think Woodard is a better fit at Oklahoma.

The Edmond Memorial point guard has a good feel for running a team and could match up better with Lon Kruger's vision for the program. Woodard is strong, a solid defender and is more athletic than people think.

While I give Woodard the nod, make no mistake, I'd take either point guard in a heartbeat.

Bob Przybylo: Does the obvious need to be pointed out? OK, fine. There is no wrong answer here and either would be a huge addition to the Sooners.

But if there is only one spot, I’m going with Jordan Woodard. Sunday’s camp sold me if I had any worries. It’s the way the whole team relaxed when they realized Woodard was actually going to play despite coming straight from the airport.

He is that kind of leader, and he has that type of respect from his peers. Woodard doesn’t have the range of Clark (who does?), but there aren’t too many forwards, yet alone guards, that have the strength of Woodard. Pound-for-pound is a boxing term, but I’d make the argument Woodard is the toughest player pound-for-pound in the state.

Clark is incredible, and as he matures more into a natural point guard he is going to become even scarier.

Take away the scenario, and let’s have the other obvious be said. OU would be absolutely foolish to not pursue both. It locks up the top two in-state products and shows Kruger’s commitment to that line of thinking.

And though both will probably play point guard, they bring so many different dynamics to the table that you’re not getting the same player and makes going after two smaller guards worth it.


From a thread on our forum: What is the deal with Hardreck Walker?

Bob Przybylo: If you would have asked me last week, I would have said I thought he was a pretty good lean toward the Sooners.


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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. In late-February, there were rumors three-star defensive tackle Hardreck Walker (Houston/Westfield) had an OU scholarship offer. He didn’t at the time. But it's nearly four months later and Walker now has his offer from the Sooners. And he is very fired up about this one. Walker has been a favorite of defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp for a while, and I think that’s why Walker never officially closed the door on OU. Once Shipp got the approval from defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, everything finally came together between Walker and the Sooners.

2. It’s only been a week since the debut of the defensive recruit tracker, but there have been so many changes. Most notably at linebacker. It seemed like one linebacker would commit each day after the debut of the Tracker. At this point, it's about time for Tim Kish to start making more offers after more evaluation. Other uncommitted linebackers are out there, but they don’t hold the Sooners in such high regard at this juncture.

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Defensive end Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) didn’t need a reminder about how special an offer from Oklahoma was. It’s a school he has been eyeing for a long time and a school he wanted to hear from. But it’s also a school that has been reluctant to pull the trigger on offers for in-state recruits.

The Sooners have offered just three in-state prospects for the 2013 class. Coincidentally, all three have committed to OU.

Clark became the third in-state 2014 recruit to be offered by OU as he was offered Sunday afternoon during OU’s camp. The other in-state offers for 2014 are running back Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) and athlete Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks).

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. The chase for championships is heating up for several Sooners teams. OU baseball advanced in the Big 12 tournament with its 1-0 win over Oklahoma State in the first round; OU women’s golf enters today’s action in 15th place at the NCAA golf championships and women’s tennis doubles team Whitney Ritchie and Marie-Pier Huet start their quest for a title today in Atlanta. The Sooners baseball squad will battle Baylor today at 4 p.m.

2. As the spring evaluation period winds down, Sooners fans have to be pleased with OU’s current group of commitments. Quarterback Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) is one of the headline commitments and has major upside. And the risk of professional baseball taking Thomas away from the program is much smaller than initially believed. He told SoonerNation’s Bob Przybylo of his strong desire to play football and baseball at OU, and his love for the Sooners. It would take a major development for Thomas to bypass the chance to quarterback the Sooners for pro baseball.

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You see it all the time at the college level. Head coaches leave and the recruits or players on campus start to explore other options. But you don’t see it too often at the high school level. And you normally don’t see a top prospect considering such a game-changing move this late in the recruiting season.

However, that is exactly what point guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) is considering following the departure of Oklahoma City Douglass coach Terry Long.

Clark, who is 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, is a four-star prospect ranked No. 57 in the ESPN 60 for 2013. But he is contemplating graduating early from high school and enrolling in college in the fall. The news was first reported by NewsOK.com.

Stevie Clark
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comPoint guard Stevie Clark is the top junior basketball player in the state, but he might reclassify and enroll in college in the fall.
The junior was offered by Oklahoma in February, and the Sooners are one of his more than 20 offers at this point.

Clark’s mother, Dorshell Clark, said the family has checked with Oklahoma City Douglass to make sure he has all of the necessary credits to graduate early. Clark has a 4.0 GPA. She has been on top of making sure her son is eligible with NCAA Clearinghouse guidelines for a long time. Clark has been a prospect to watch since his freshman year when he received his first offer. He is the No. 1 in-state prospect in the class.

“Right now it’s a real possibility,” Dorshell Clark said. “It was a shock to me as well, but I will support my son with whatever he chooses to do.”

With his academics in order, the next question becomes athletics. Do any of Clark’s top schools have room to add him to their 2012 class?

The Sooners do not have an open scholarship for Clark and have already signed three guards for their incoming class: Je'lon Hornbeak (Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep), Buddy Hield (Bel Aire, Kan./Sunrise Christian) and Isaiah Cousins (Mount Vernon , N.Y./Mount Vernon).

Some of the other schools on Clark’s list are in the same position. Dorshell Clark has reached out to some of the schools and the answer seems to be consistent. No school has said no at this point, but it might be tough to make the pieces fit.

“I called Coach [Lon] Kruger, and he was out of the country,” Dorshell Clark said. “I should be talking to him soon.”

Dave Telep Stevie is one of the top deep-shooters in the country. His range and consistency are high level. The biggest adjustment from high school to college will be the advancement of his passing game and development of a secondary offensive weapon like a floater. He's talented enough to make the move early but would be best served playing in a multi-guard front to ease the transition.

-- ESPN.com senior basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep on Stevie Clark.
Long’s departure is a huge blow, but it wasn’t necessarily a huge shock. Long accepted a head coaching job at Mustang, Okla., last week. Oklahoma City Douglass is a Class 4A school, while Mustang is 6A, the largest classification in the state. Long had already tried to leave Oklahoma City Douglass earlier in the spring. He was a finalist for the job at Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe, one of the premier basketball programs in the state.

Even before Long officially left, it has been a tough situation for Stevie Clark and the Clark family to do deal with because they are such good friends with Long and his family.

“He’s got to do his thing. I understand that, but he means a lot to me,” Clark said two weeks ago at the OKHoops.com Invitational in Oklahoma City. “He has been a lot more than just a coach for me.”

Clark averaged 25 points and 11 assists per game in helping lead Oklahoma City Douglass to its third consecutive state championship.

It wasn’t until February that Clark and the Sooners got on the same page. Miscommunication had each side believing there was not mutual interest. Once that got cleared up, though, Clark and OU have quickly developed a strong bond. He attended several of OU’s final home games and Kruger visited Clark at Oklahoma City Douglass to watch him play. Clark said he likes the direction Kruger is taking the program.

He also has offers from Florida State, Oklahoma State and Connecticut, among numerous others.
Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper released his Big Board this week as he listed the top 25 draft prospects, including underclassmen, for the 2013 NFL Draft. Surprisingly, one local name was missing: Landry Jones. The Oklahoma quarterback, who likely spurned the opportunity to be a first-round pick to return to Norman, was left off a list which included three quarterbacks. USC’s Matt Barkley (No. 1), Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas (No. 4) and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson (No. 13) are rated ahead of Jones.

2. After winning the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship, the Sooners women tee off in the NCAA West Regional in Erie, Colo., today. The No. 9 seed in the West, OU will have to finish among the top eight teams at the regional to earn its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2000.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. OU quarterback target Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) has couple of important days this weekend. Scott left for Atlanta on Thursday and will participate in the Elite 11 QB regional event, followed by the NIKE Football Training Camp event Saturday. He realizes this is his chance to shine and said he is hoping to get an invitation to the Elite 11 finals to The Opening. Scott will be evaluated in person by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel next Friday.

2. He didn’t make the ESPN 150, but OU fans have to be happy with the evaluation of defensive end commit Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy). Not much was made nationally when Dimon committed to the Sooners, but he was given a four-star rating and is ranked No. 17 at defensive end by the ESPN scouts. OU has two of the top three running backs and two of the top 17 defensive ends -- not a bad start to the 2013 class.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. It could be an eventful weekend regarding Oklahoma recruiting despite the fact not many known visitors are expected to be on campus. Saturday is LSU’s second junior day and features a lot of familiar prospects. OU offers defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) and Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) and potential OU offers wide receiver Eldridge Massington (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) and safety Kameron Miles (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) are among some of the recruits expected to be in attendance. LSU’s first junior day was the same date (Feb. 4) as OU’s so it’s possible even more OU junior day attendees end up in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday.

2. OU continues to slow play some of the top in-state prospects, but the interest is picking up for the state’s best elsewhere across the country. OU junior day attendees defensive back Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) and defensive end Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union) both picked up offers from top schools this week. Taylor from Kansas State and Texas Tech, while Rodriguez earned an Oregon State offer. 2014 quarterback prospect Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) also earned an Arkansas offer this week. The Sooners approach has irked some but don’t expect a change anytime soon.

3. If you want to track the top 2013 Oklahoma basketball prospects, you might as well just follow the Athletes First AAU team. The squad, as of now, will feature OU offers point guards Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) and Jordan Woodard (Edmond, Okla./Memorial). Potential OU offer power forward Shaquille Morris (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and 2014 prospect guard Omega Harris (Oklahoma City/Putnam City West) said Thursday he’ll be on the team this summer. 2015 prospect Allonzo Trier is also on the club.

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With Oklahoma’s second junior day in the books, things are starting to become more clear in regards to how OU is approaching its 2013 class. Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every Monday. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Jeff in San Antonio asks: Junior day was progress with defensive tackle Justin Manning. But is he a big of a lock as people think?

Bob Przybylo: That’s a question that has been on the minds of a lot of people in the last week. OU wanted to make the offer special with defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) by doing it in person, but the relationship before then wasn’t that strong.

Manning was a little confused by the lack of OU interest during the last couple of months. He is very happy about getting the offer and feels things are great between him and OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp. In taking so long, however, the OU coaches are in a real race to gain his commitment. He is not a slam dunk for the Sooners as OU will have to pursue him hard. If the Sooners had jumped out ahead early, maybe that wouldn’t be the case. But OU waited and will have to impress Manning.


Tim in Tulsa, Okla., asks: That’s the first time I’ve seen Stevie Clark play. That kid can shoot. Does OU have a shot at him?

Stevie Clark
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comJunior in-state point guard Stevie Clark already has several offers.
Bob Przybylo: The most common email/tweet that I've received in the last 24 hours has been about 2013 point guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass). Clark, ranked No. 58 in the ESPNU Super 60, has 15 offers at this point and is wide open.

Clark was special all season for Douglass but saved his best games for the biggest stage, scoring 40 points in both the semifinal and championship games over the weekend.

Clark has gone from a pure shooter to an all-around point guard. His academics are in order, and OU coach Lon Kruger has done all the right things regarding Clark in the last month. Clark is in no rush at this point.

For people that only saw him for the first time this weekend, it is obvious Clark can shoot. However, what helped Clark make that leap has been his court vision and passing ability. He wouldn’t have made some of those passes Saturday when he was younger.


Charles in Austin, Texas, asks: Is there a real OU-Texas battle that we can possibly win in this class?

Bob Przybylo: If it’s strictly OU and Texas, the best scenario is defensive end D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton). Ward is becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with the OU program.

But if you’re looking at Texas products, keep an eye on two defensive backs in Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) and Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop).

Smith said last week that he was close to committing to OU on junior day. More teams are coming after Smith each day, but right now it looks like it’s the Sooners and Longhorns and everybody else.

Davis has expressed interest in seeing the OU campus and hopes to make a visit for either a spring practice or the Red-White game April 14.


Fred in Clinton, Okla., asks: With the injury to Daniel Brooks, do you think that makes it more probable for OU to take two running backs in this class?


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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. Don’t expect the dominoes to fall in terms of commitments for the Sooners. It’s possible Oklahoma will get one more commit here in the next week or so, but anybody looking for a Texas-like week where four or five recruits pledge in a span of days will be sorely mistaken. Running back Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch) is a good way to start the 2013 class, regardless of what happens next.

2. Good to have football back, right? Everybody has their own personal preference about what the No. 1 storyline to watch for should be. I’m looking at tight ends and really want to see what Brannon “Moose” Green and Taylor McNamara bring to the table. They’ve certainly developed a bond and are both confident players. This next month will give us a small glimpse about whether or not these are names we’ll need to get familiar with in a hurry.

3. This is the final week of Oklahoma high school basketball playoffs, and there are a number of OU prospects still alive in the quest for a state championship. If you want to stay in the Oklahoma City area, walk-on C.J. Cole (Sperry, Okla./Sperry) and 2013 star Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) will be playing in separate games. And up in the Tulsa area 2013 prospects Jordan Woodard (Edmond, Okla./Memorial) and Shaquille Morris (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) will be involved in games of their own. Champions will be crowned Saturday night. Woodard and Clark are the two favorites in terms of their teams coming out on top.

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