Oklahoma Sooners: Michael Onuoha

The injury bug has hit Norman, Okla. this spring.

Oklahoma will be without several players during its spring game on Saturday but none of the injuries are major.

Nickelback Julian Wilson, defensive lineman Rashod Favors, defensive tackle Quincy Russell, receiver Sterling Shepard, receiver Durron Neal, tight end Blake Bell, guard Adam Shead, tackle Tyrus Thompson, guard Nila Kasitati and guard Tyler Evans will miss the action due to various injuries but none of them require surgery and head coach Bob Stoops said he expects all of them to return after a short hiatus.

Those injuries have opened the door for several young players on the roster.

“They’re getting more snaps and having to step up,” Stoops said.

Here’s a closer look at how those injuries could open up spring game opportunities for several players on the roster.

[+] EnlargeEric Striker
Robin Alam/Icon SMIOLB Eric Striker has been taking some reps at nickelback this spring.
Wilson: The senior has missed the spring anyway, allowing Ahmad Thomas, Eric Striker and others to get the reps at nickelback. Thomas is showing great versatility and carving himself a role on the defense. Striker, a returning All-Big 12 second teamer, will be on the field regardless, it’s just a matter of where. Both guys get the chance to prove they can fill a variety of roles on Saturday.

Favors: Several young defensive ends including Mike Onuoha are showing good upside this spring and Favors' injury gives them more chances to impress in the spring game. Onuoha was right alongside returning Big 12 first teamer Charles Tapper as the future at the position before a shoulder injury forced him to miss his sophomore season while Tapper starred. He could be hungry to prove he could have made a similar impact. Matt Dimon and D.J. Ward are other young defensive ends who could end up providing quality depth this fall.

Russell: This injury hurts Russell in the race to earn playing time in 2014 and opens up additional opportunities for redshirt freshman Charles Walker to show he’s ready to make an impact in the fall. It also gives the opportunity for another redshirt freshman, Matt Romar, to show Walker isn’t the only youngster looking to force his way into the lineup along a veteran defensive line.

Bell: More than anything Bell’s injury robs us of the opportunity to see the Belldozer play tight end before the fall. And, quite frankly, that’s all anyone is going to think about when it comes to Bell’s absence on Saturday. The overriding question about Bell is not if he can win the starting tight end job, it's can he prove to be one of the best 11 players on offense? That answer will define his playing time and it won't come until the fall.

Shepard and Neal: Redshirt freshman Jordan Smallwood, K.J. Young and Dannon Cavil could have lost all right to complain about a lack of opportunities with these injuries. Don’t be surprised if Smallwood is one of the stars of the spring game, Young is silky smooth and Cavil brings a unique size and athleticism to the receiving corps. Sophomores Derrick Woods and Austin Bennett will also get the chance to shine after limited duty as freshmen in 2013.

Offensive line: Injuries have hammered the offensive line throughout the spring, so being thrown into duty in the spring game will be nothing new for guys like tackle Sam Grant, tackle Christian Daimler and guard Kyle Marrs. They’ll get the chance to get a bunch of reps against a deep defensive line and potentially secure a reputation for themselves before a talented group of offensive line signees arrive in the summer looking to rise past them on the Sooners' depth chart.
Spring football has begun in Norman, Okla.

Several playmakers return, but some unknown players could make names for themselves during March and April. Here are five to keep an eye on:

Defensive tackle Charles Walker: Unlike a year ago, the Sooners aren’t searching for experienced playmakers on the defensive line. OU returns six defensive linemen who started a game in 2013, yet few people around the program would be surprised if Walker earns playing time as a redshirt freshman this fall.

“Charles has really been impressive,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “He had a great fall. He’s a guy that’s up to about 300 pounds now, light on his feet, ran really well when we timed. I want to say he ran in the 4.7s, so he really has a bright future. [He] works hard. Charles is going to be a big factor in that defensive line.”

[+] EnlargeDerrick Woods
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsDerrick Woods made a big catch in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.
Receiver Derrick Woods: It’s taken a while for Woods to get comfortable as a receiver after stepping on campus as a multi-dimensional athlete who played several positions in high school. But his special-teams role as a freshman affirmed his place as one of the better athletes on the team, and his 20-yard catch in the Sugar Bowl could be a sign he’s ready to make an impact at receiver.

“[Woods] has really come on,” Stoops said. “Derrick Woods made a huge play in the Sugar Bowl when we had to have it on a third-and-12 or whatever it was -- a competitive play.”

Defensive end Mike Onuoha: The sophomore was mentioned along with Charles Tapper as the future of the Sooners defensive line after both youngsters played themselves out of a redshirt season in 2012. Last season, Tapper fulfilled his upside, earning All-Big 12 honors; Onuoha watched from the sideline after shoulder surgery. This spring is Onuoha’s chance to make his mark. He brings unique size and athleticism at 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds.

“Michael Onuoha really is a guy ready to make a big move in that defensive line,” Stoops said.

Receiver Jordan Smallwood: As soon as Smallwood stepped on campus last summer, he began impressing teammates with his physical nature and receiving skills. A foot injury took away his freshman season, but he returned to practice during Sugar Bowl preparations and drew praise from the coaches. This spring is his chance to show he can be a big part of OU’s offense in 2014.

“They finally turned him loose to practice in the bowl practices,” Stoops said. “[He] really was impressive.”

Linebacker Devante Bond: Much like Walker, OU doesn’t need Bond to make an impact with playmaking veterans returning at linebacker. However, if he shows the pass-rushing prowess he displayed in junior college, he could become a key component of the Sooners’ defense in pass situations, joining Eric Striker to create havoc in opponent’s backfields.

“Devonte Bond has really looked impressive in our workouts and weights,” Stoops said. “In long yardage he will put his hand down and let him go or stand him up and let him go.”
Oklahoma begins its spring football drills on Saturday.

An exceptional Sugar Bowl performance, a young and talented defense and renewed confidence in quarterback Trevor Knight has the Sooners eyeing a national title run in 2014. Yet that won’t happen without growth at several key positions, starting this spring. This week we’ll make five spring predictions, continuing with No. 3:

[+] EnlargeAmari Cooper
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesCharles Tapper's strength, speed and desire make him a potential All-America candidate at defensive end for Oklahoma next season.
No. 3: The defensive line shows it can be one of the deepest and best since Bob Stoops took over in 1999.

Why it matters: Games are won in the trenches; just ask Alabama. At this time last year, questions about OU’s defensive line sat atop the list of concerns heading into spring. Now the Sooners return a defensive line full of playmakers, including All-Big 12 defensive end Charles Tapper. How well that group continues to develop will have a major impact on OU’s national title hopes.

What it would mean: If the Sooners defensive front takes another step forward, it could become the foundation of a national title run. Tapper has NFL talent and a hunger to be great, Geneo Grissom played one of the best games of his career in the Sugar Bowl, and the two Jordans (Jordan Phillips and Jordan Wade) are a terrific potential duo in the defensive interior. Add in Chuka Ndulue and OU has all the making for an exceptional defensive line.

Yet how well the depth behind that group develops could be the key. Charles Walker's name repeatedly came up as a stellar scout teamer during his redshirting freshman season and could earn himself some playing time this spring. At defensive end, Matt Dimon, Mike Onuoha and D.J. Ward could show they are ready to play as well, which would make the Sooners three-deep at all three positions on the front.

It’s a talent-laden group that returns playmaking starters while still featuring several youngsters with terrific upside. If the competition for playing time raises the overall level of play of the entire group, they should provide nightmares for Big 12 offensive coordinators this fall while becoming one of the best defensive line groups in Stoops' tenure.

Edmond school becoming OU pipeline 

May, 15, 2013
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EDMOND, Okla. -- It’s not that Edmond Santa Fe had never sent a recruit to a top school before, but it has never been done on such a consistent basis as it is right now.

The Wolves have had top prospects before. Defensive back Reggie Smith was about as elite as they come before signing with Oklahoma in 2005 and making his way to the NFL. Quarterback Brandon Weeden got his start at Edmond Santa Fe, played at Oklahoma State and was a first-round pick in the NFL.

Coaches' corner: DE Matt Dimon

February, 25, 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.

One of the most intriguing signees for the Sooners is defensive end Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy). A high-motor defender who matches his energy with production, Dimon could force his way into the lineup as a true freshman. Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright is hopeful Dimon steps right in alongside sophomores Charles Tapper and Mike Onuoha to provide OU quality, yet youthful depth at defensive end.

"[He's] a quick-twitch guy off the edge, good run stopper, good pass rusher," Wright said. "Hopefully he’s a guy who can come in and give us immediate help at defensive end. And we’ll give him the opportunity to do that."

At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Dimon brings excellent size to the defensive end spot and could, in the long term, bring some swing versatility similar to David King, who played defensive end and defensive tackle as a senior.

"He’s kind of an old school-type guy," linebackers coach Tim Kish said. "He’ll bring great energy to the program."

Could OU's DL woes change in 2013? 

January, 9, 2013
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Chuka NdulueMatthew EmmonsChuka Ndulue will be Oklahoma's lone returning starter on the defensive line from a group that underachieved statistically in the 2012 season.
As critics took aim at Oklahoma’s defensive line this season, head coach Bob Stoops was unyielding in his defense of his players, often pointing to the experience that five senior rotation players bring to the table. Stoops said on more than one occasion that his defensive line was playing well.

The numbers beg to differ.


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State of the position: Defensive end 

December, 20, 2012
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After grading the performance of Oklahoma’s defensive ends in 2012, it is the perfect time to take a closer look at the defensive ends on the roster or the commitment list as SoonerNation evaluates the future at the position for Oklahoma. Here’s a look at one player who could be next in line to make a major impact, one player to keep an eye on and one current commitment who could be the future at defensive end.

Next in line: Geneo Grissom. The sophomore’s raw athletic ability and physical gifts were never in question heading into the 2012 season. After injury-filled first two seasons in Norman, Grissom started the season at tight end before moving to defensive end in the middle of the year. He immediately began earning playing time and saw significant action in November. He appears poised to be a core member of OU’s defensive end rotation in 2013.

Keep an eye on: Charles Tapper. His combination of strength and athleticism has impressed teammates since he stepped on campus last summer. The former standout basketball player has just scratched the surface of his upside on the gridiron and will have plenty of opportunities to become a key part of OU’s defense as a sophomore. His development could be a key to the overall production and depth at the position.

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Sooner Snapshot: DE Jordan Evans 

December, 4, 2012
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, SoonerNation's Brandon Chatmon is breaking down every commitment in the Sooners' 2013 recruiting class. View the full archive here.


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Roundtable: Can season be a success? 

November, 1, 2012
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Every Thursday during the season, the SoonerNation staff will answer a roundtable question about OU football. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: With two losses already, how can the Sooners make this a successful season?

• Depends on your definition of a successful season. In August, I think most people would say, including the players, that a season that didn't include a Big 12 championship and run at the national championship would not be successful. But the Sooners can still have a good season. A 10-2 record and a BCS bowl trip to, say, the Rose Bowl, would be a nice, solid season.
-- Jake Trotter


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Postgame wrap: Oklahoma 24, UTEP 7 

September, 2, 2012
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Analyzing the finer points of Oklahoma’s 24-7 win Saturday at UTEP:

• I had high hopes for OU’s special teams. But this was the most disastrous special teams performance in a long time. The Sooners had a punt blocked for a touchdown, a field goal blocked and repeatedly turned Michael Edwards loose trying to cover punts. Had UTEP’s field-goal kicking not been even worse, the Sooners might have lost. It’s too soon to write off OU’s special teams. Michael Hunnicutt did nail a 38-yarder, and Tress Way otherwise had a strong night punting, pinning UTEP inside the 20 three times. But let’s not act like OU’s special teams issues have been solved either. Special teams didn’t get OU beat Saturday. But they almost certainly will down the line if they don’t improve.

[+] EnlargeNathan Jeffery
Jim Cowsert/US PresswireUTEP running back Nathan Jeffery killed the Sooners on the ground, but was dinged up late in the game.
• Had OU’s offense been much crisper, we’d probably be harping more on how improved Landry Jones’ footwork is. Jones’ work with QB tutor George Whitfield this offseason has really paid off. Jones would not have been able to deliver the 68-yard bomb he threw across his body to Kenny Stills along the opposite sideline last season. “After that TD, I told Landry, ‘You look great,’” Stills said. “He worked really hard in the offseason, and he looks great and has a lot of confidence.” Jones got outside the pocket more times in one game than he did all of last season. On one play in the second quarter, Jones sidestepped the blitz, then delivered an off-balance strike to Dominique Whaley. Had Whaley not dropped the pass, he might have scored.

• Considering he’s been one of OU’s most consistent playmakers over the last two seasons, it’s crazy to think that Roy Finch didn’t get a single offensive snap Saturday. Not one. The Sooners had designed a package for Finch in the slot full of screens and reverses, but didn’t go to it once. They didn’t give him a look in the backfield, either. I asked co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell why Finch was relegated to the sidelines once again, especially on a night in which the offense struggled to make plays. “We have a lot of playmakers that can do a lot with the ball,” Norvell said. “Roy is going to have to work harder to where he gets himself in the mix.” Evidently, Finch is still not getting it done in practice. Until he does, the Sooners are not going to play him. No matter how many plays he’s made in the past.

• Whaley returned from last year’s broken ankle to mixed results. He ran for 54 yards on 11 carries, but didn’t display the same elusiveness and power that made him one of college football’s best stories in 2011. “I felt great ankle-wise, conditioning-wise,” he said. “But my performance could have been a lot better.” It might take a couple of games for Whaley to find his footing. He started to run harder as the game wore on. That was a positive sign.

• More positive was the play of Whaley’s backup, junior-college transfer Damien Williams, who was OU’s best back on this night. Williams ran for 104 yards on nine carries, including a 65-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Williams broke tackles, and showed plenty of elusiveness in the open field. “We’re excited to complement Dom with Damien,” Bob Stoops said.

• The Sooners brought back the “Diamond” formation after a one-year hiatus. The formation, which was so effective late in 2010, was shelved last season. But offensive coordinator Josh Heupel reintroduced the package, this time using fullbacks Trey Millard and Jaydan Bird and either Whaley or Damien Williams. The Sooners caught UTEP off-guard on playaction off the package, as Jones hit Stills on a post pattern inside the Miners 5. Whaley, however, was flagged with a chopblock, wiping out the play. “I saw a defender who outweighed me,” Whaley said, “so I decided to go for the chop.” Guard Adam Shead was still engaged with the defender, though, resulted in the penalty. It will be interesting to see how much the Sooners use the Diamond going forward. But if it can augment what was an inconsistent running game Saturday, it should become a mainstay.

• Three times when the game was still in doubt, the Sooners turned to Belldozer on third-and-short. Three times, the Sooners got first downs. Bob Stoops said he would have liked to use the Belldozer more, but because of the inconsistency of the offense, OU rarely was in third-and-short. More times, the Sooners were in third-and-long. For the Belldozer to be utilized, OU has to do more on first and second down.

• OU was awful early on in its perimeter blocking on the bubble screens. For those plays to work, Justin Brown and Trey Metoyer can’t whiff on cornerbacks. A couple of times, that got Whaley clocked. Eventually, that will lead to turnovers and injuries.

• The Sooners added a new wrinkle to the offensive play-calling: placards. Unlike Oregon, which is quite creative in its placards to signal in plays, OU’s were quite ordinary, using only numbers and colors. I’m not sure if the placards slowed down OU’s offensive tempo. But if they did, they need to be revisited. When the Sooners were going fast, they moved the ball. When they weren’t, they didn’t.

• UTEP’s Nathan Jeffery nearly became the first back to rush for more than 200 yards against OU since Missouri’s Brad Smith in 2002. Jeffery, who also returned the blocked punt for a TD in the first quarter, was sensational, finishing with 177 yards on 21 carries. "I'm disappointed we didn't play the run game better," said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. "We bent a little, but we didn't give up any points. It's good to be tested. We don't have to hear everybody telling us how good we are." Otherwise, though, the defense was pretty stout. The secondary, which was spectacular, didn’t give up any big pass plays, and outside Jeffery's 71-yard run, the defense made UTEP earn its way down the field. Welcome back, Mike Stoops.

• The unsung play of the game? Caleb Gastelum’s tackle on UTEP’s fake punt in the fourth quarter. That all but sealed OU’s win.

• Despite the hype of this freshmen class, very few made it onto the field. CB Gary Simon, LB Eric Striker and DE Michael Onuoha all watched this game from the sidelines. Defensive end Charles Tapper didn’t get in until late in the game. Running back Alex Ross made the trip, but didn’t play either. He’s a strong redshirt candidate. The three freshmen who did play – WRs Trey Metoyer, Durron Neal and Sterling Shepard -- made little impact. Neither Neal nor Shepard recorded a catch in limited action. Despite his sterling spring, Metoyer struggled to assimilate into the offense. He finished with four catches for 21 yards. Metoyer did make a circus catch along the sideline that would have resulted in a TD, but he couldn’t get the first foot in bounce. “The timing was bad,” he said. “We just weren’t connecting.” Honestly, this should have been expected. Jones’ rapport with his freshmen and Penn State transfer Justin Brown will improve. Developing chemistry only comes through playing games together.

• Speaking of Brown, while he didn’t very involved in the offense (4 catches, 32 yards) he flashed off his potential as a punt returner. Breaking tackle after tackle, Brown weaved his way through the UTEP coverage for a 26-yard punt return. Brown has the potential to go the distance at any time. The Sooners have needed more breakaway threats on special teams. Brown appears to be just that.

• You have to admire how hard David King played in his first start at defensive tackle. With Casey Walker and Stacy McGee both in Norman, King carried the line by disrupting UTEP’s pass protection with his quickness. Play after play, Miners QB Nick Lamaison had to back peddle then throw the ball away because King and others were in his face. Despite never coming off the field, King played a spirited game all night, finishing with three tackles, including one for loss that forced UTEP to settle for a field goal attempt on its first drive. King also had a game-high two QB hurries. UTEP had success running Jeffrey up the middle, but a lot of that transpired because OU’s ends and linebackers didn’t close on the bend-back run quickly enough. OU’s d-line is hurting for depth. Think about where they’d be without King, and his ability to swing to tackle in a pinch.


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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. Monday night was a tough one for OU fans as Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage-Boca Delray running back Greg Bryant decommitted from the Sooners. It’s a major blow even though OU does have the commitment of the third-ranked RB in the nation in Cypress (Texas) Ranch back Keith Ford. Where might OU turn? Two names stick out in Adam Taylor (Katy, Texas/Katy) and Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage). And one incredibly dark horse name to keep tabs on is in-state back Diquon Woodhouse (Altus, Okla./Altus), who fared well at OU’s camp in June. With no favorites, the search is back on for Cale Gundy.

2. With USC taking the commitment of ESPN 300 defensive end Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) on Sunday, the Trojans are officially out of scholarships. The Trojans have used up their 18 scholarships and 16 of their 18 commits have OU offers. The good news for OU is with USC out of the way, there are a lot of west coast products that have the Sooners on their short list. And OU can no longer be beaten in a head-to-head battle with USC.

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In 2011, the Sooners defense leaned on one of the better defensive end combos in school history: Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis. The two combined for 14 sacks. Alexander earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Lewis became a fourth-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions.

[+] EnlargeChuka Ndulue
Ty Russell/University of OklahomaSophomore Chuka Ndulue will be the Sooners' third defensive end in 2012.
Replacing their production won’t be easy, but Bob Stoops is confident in veterans R.J. Washington and David King. Both will be full-time starters for the first time in their careers as seniors, but Washington and King were critical pieces of OU’s “Endy” package – four defensive ends on the field at once – that was highly disruptive last season. Desping coming off the bench, Washington finished with five sacks and King recorded 31 tackles.

“They've played a lot of football for us,” Stoops said.

The Sooners will also lean on Chuka Ndulue, who emerged as the third defensive end in the spring over junior-college transfer Chaz Nelson and Geneo Grissom, who has since moved to tight end.

“We've got some young guys coming up,” Stoops said. “Chuka is doing an excellent job, and then even Michael Onuoha and Charles Tapper, two young freshmen that we're really excited about that we hope can jump in there help us some.”

Q&A: DB Khari Harding open to Sooners 

March, 21, 2012
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Most of the attention for Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe surrounds 2014 quarterback Justice Hansen. Already with offers from Arkansas and Missouri, the sophomore Hansen is expected to be one of the top signal-callers of his class.

But the talent doesn’t end with Hansen. Oklahoma was able to get a good luck at some of the school's talent as it pursued 2012 signee defensive end Michael Onuoha.

Sandwiched in between those two classes are several quality 2013 recruits, including linebacker/safety Khari Harding.

Harding, 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, has picked up offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State and Kansas State in the last month.


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Przybylo's Mailbag: All eyes on Thomas 

February, 6, 2012
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National signing day is in the books, but that doesn’t mean Oklahoma is done with its 2012 class. But it does mean we’re allowed to start looking ahead to 2013 and 2014. Bob Przybylo answers all your recruiting questions. Have a question? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com

Ron in Tulsa, Okla., asks: I saw sophomore running back Devon Thomas was at junior day this weekend. What do you make of that?

Bob Przybylo: I saw that as a case of OU recognizing some home-grown talent and taking the early steps to make sure he doesn’t get away.

Not sure it would be accurate, but it wouldn’t be crazy to suggest that Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) will be the state’s best running back in 2013 as just a junior. At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, he has the size of an elite runner. And if you’ve seen him in the open field, then you know he has the speed of a top back.

I believe OU will try to stay at home for 2014 at quarterback and running back as I could see Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) as the Sooners' likely quarterback option. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hansen was invited to junior day on March 3.


Will in Edmond, Okla., asks: I don’t want to assume, but Bob Stoops saying they might not be done has to be alluding to Davonte Neal, right?

[+] EnlargeDavonte Neal
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comDavonte Neal could take an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend.
Bob Przybylo: Yes, assume away on this one as I don’t see who else he could possibly be talking about than Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral).

A couple of positive notes for Oklahoma came last week in which the Neal family denied Arizona was its final official visit here coming up. It doesn’t mean OU will be the final visit when it’s all said and done, but it’s a start.

Another good sign was Ohio State essentially dropping out of the Neal race. And all these visits Neal has taken (OSU, Notre Dame, Arkansas, North Carolina), the fact he doesn’t seem enamored by any of them is also good for the Sooners.

OU is holding a scholarship for the eighth-ranked player in the nation and already has sent him a letter of intent, like a few other schools. Now he just has to sign one of them.


Jason in Oklahoma City asks: Why do you think the Sooners were able to close as strong as they did with the 2012 class?

Bob Przybylo: Besides the fact that it seemed a lot of the seven commits OU picked up last week wanted to be Sooners, I attribute a lot of the success to the “Cali trio” of Brennan Clay, Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson.

Those three bring a different dynamic to the campus that hasn’t been seen before. They host most of the recruits, and the hosted recruits normally bring up some story regarding one of the trio as a highlight of the trip.

That goes along with the atmosphere as it feels like the tone on campus is a lot different than what it was in December. The in-house cleaning has been done, the coaching situation is now stable and everybody appears to be on the right page again.

With all that said, that final weekend of going four-for-four will be remembered for a while with defensive end Michael Onuoha (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe), offensive tackle Will Latu (St. Petersburg, Fla./College of the Canyons), defensive back Zack Sanchez (Keller, Texas/Central) and wide receiver Courtney Gardner (Reno, Nev./Sierra College).


Charles in Shawnee, Okla., asks: Was there any recruit that OU had a realistic shot at but just messed it up for this class?


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Defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright weighs in on Oklahoma’s defensive end signing class:

Charles Tapper: “He’s a heck of an athlete. He’s a big guy, very athletic, really good basketball player. He averages about three dunks a game for his high school team. Has got great speed, good explosion and a really good pass rusher.”

Michael Onuoha: “He’s a really interesting guy. Very athletic, came on kind of late, we got on him late, but were fortunate to get him to be a Sooner. Explosive guy, very athletic, a lot of speed. Very raw talent, has a lot of learning to do, lot of technique to learn. He has a lot of upside. Long and lean and very quick.”

Chaz Nelson: “Really good player, explosive guy. Brings a little more speed to our defensive end unit than maybe we’ve had in the past. Think he’s got a great chance to be very, very productive here.”

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