Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Oklahoma instant impact recruits
By Brandon Chatmon
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma will have plenty of holes to fill after the 2013 season with several standouts -- including running back Damien Williams and Aaron Colvin -- set to complete their eligibility this fall.
OU is in the process of trying to replace playmakers like Williams and Colvin while also improving several positions on both sides of the ball with talented recruits who are either already committed to OU or are showing strong interest in wearing crimson and cream during their college careers. Here's a look at the top 10 potential impact recruits -- commits and targets -- for the Sooners, ranked in the order of likelihood to make the biggest impact in 2014.
1. S Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) 6-foot-2, 175 pounds ESPN 300 rank: No. 233
ESPN 300 athlete Michiah Quick could play cornerback or wide receiver in college. The Sooners are recruiting him to play defense.
The Sooners have to like their chances with Parker, an in-state safety whom Mike Stoops offered early in the recruiting process. His combination of athleticism, competitiveness and maturity should help him earn an immediate role on the field wherever he goes. His ability to play the safety spot with a lot of range yet be comfortable in man-to-man coverage against slot receivers would help him make an immediate impact in the Sooners’ secondary.
The question with the ultra-talented Quick is not if he can have an immediate impact with the Sooners but more if OU can continue the pipeline to Central East that landed them Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore in the Class of 2013. Quick could be an impact player at several spots as a true freshman. The Sooners just want to make sure he does it wearing crimson and cream.
Cannon is an elite receiver prospect who could make a major impact with the Sooners as a slot receiver after Jalen Saunders leaves. His ability to create yards after the catch and his sheer production in high school make it easy to think he could be extremely productive pass catcher in the mold of Saunders or Ryan Broyles with the Sooners. OU isn’t the favorite to land him but remains solidly in the mix.
Perine, who has already committed to OU, will bring power and speed to the table when he arrives in Norman. The battle for carries in the Sooners' backfield should be wide open in 2014 with three seniors set to leave after the coming season, so expect Perine to insert himself right into the mix to earn carries as a freshman.
Meier has pledged to the Sooners and should be a terrific addition at a tight end spot that has been a need position for the past few recruiting cycles. He needs to gain some bulk to handle the Big 12, but he has the ability to be a pass receiving threat with good ball skills who can also hold his own in the running game. Add in the fact he plays at Union, one of Oklahoma’s top prep programs, and Meier could be ready to make an immediate impact in 2014.
6. S John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) 6-foot, 182 pounds ESPN 300 rank: NR
Bonney is a talented safety who is versatile and athletic. He has the ability to immediately help the Sooners in the secondary and on special teams. Several other schools including LSU, Texas and Florida State have offered Bonney, so landing the playmaker is easier said than done. Nevertheless, he has shown strong interest in OU and could team with Parker to give the Sooners a terrific pair of college-ready safeties.
The Sooners saw something special in Windham and offered him after evaluating him this spring, and he committed shortly thereafter. It’s impossible to have too many talented cornerbacks in the Big 12, and OU clearly believes Windham could make an impact in Norman. If Windham shows he can cover, he should play immediately.
8. DE Justin Hollins (Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep) 6-foot-5, 207 pounds ESPN 300 rank: NR
Much like cover men, there’s no such thing as too many pass rushers in the Big 12. And Hollins has unique speed and quickness that could make him a pass rushing terror even though he’s undersized. Those traits could help him make an immediate impact if he decides to become a Sooner over offers from Oregon, Oklahoma State and others.
Even though there’s a decent chance the Sooners will be in terrific shape at the receiver position, Todd has the size and talent to carve himself an immediate role. The Sooners’ commitment has the ability to create mismatches with smaller defensive backs or slower linebackers and safeties, which could allow him to become a rotation player as a true freshman.
The Sooners are badly in need of linebackers, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Evans land on OU’s commit list before the summer comes to an end, as he has been candid about his desire to play at OU. He has played defensive end in high school, but his athleticism translates to linebacker in college. The Sooners will need depth at the position, and/or on special teams, and Evans could fit the bill perfectly.