NCF On The Trail: Charles Walker

Recruiting season is about to kick into high gear. As soon as Bedlam is over on Dec. 7, Oklahoma will hit the recruiting trails hard looking to secure the future.

[+] EnlargeDominique Alexander
William Purnell/Icon SMIOU didn't offer Dominique Alexander a scholarship until last October. Now he's a starting linebacker.
OU has been superb at finding late hidden gems in recent seasons, with cornerback Zack Sanchez, a redshirt freshman from the Class of 2012, and linebacker Dominique Alexander, a true freshman from the Class of 2013, already making an impact on the program after getting relatively late offers from the Sooners.

Here are some priority spots for the Sooners to address in their 2014 class during the final two months of this recruiting cycle. Keep in mind, this list has everything to do with the young players on campus at each position, not necessarily the guys who are playing at that position each Saturday in 2013.

Offensive tackle: Derek Farniok and Christian Daimler are the lone underclassmen at offensive tackle. OU badly needs depth at the position and should be aiming to land at least two offensive tackle prospects in this class. If redshirt freshman tight end Sam Grant ends up at tackle, that would help the cause and lessen the urgency, but its a high priority position in this year's class. Worse yet, there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope at the position with top prospects mentioning OU on their lists. Finding a hidden gem in December could be the top priority for offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

Defensive tackle: This position looks a lot better right now than it did a year ago with the early play of Jordan Phillips, a sophomore, and the emergence of Jordan Wade, a redshirt freshman. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as too many quality defensive tackles. The Sooners have one commit in Irving (Texas) Ranchview's Brandon Glenn, but that's not enough. OU needs to secure at least one more defensive tackle prospect to join Glenn and redshirting freshmen Matthew Romar and Charles Walker as the future at the position.

Linebacker: OU rallied to bring in two quality linebackers late in last year’s recruiting cycle with Alexander and Jordan Evans. Each committed to OU late in the process and became impact freshmen this fall. The Sooners need to supplement that duo with a least one more playmaker to join Allen (Texas) linebacker Tay Evans and Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta linebacker Curtis Bolton on their commit list. Several linebackers could be in play and keep in mind the Sooners did secure Alexander and Evans late in the process.

Running back: You can never have too many running backs. And OU loses three quality ball carriers in Brennan Clay, Roy Finch and the recently dismissed Damien Williams. Redshirt freshman Alex Ross has a good size/speed ratio, true freshman Keith Ford has terrific upside, and commitment Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) is a member of the ESPN 300. But the Sooners need to add another quality runner into the mix. Oakley (Calif.) Freedom running back Joe Mixon, No. 72 in the ESPN300, would be an outstanding addition to this class.

Receiver: Even though the Sooners seem to have some solid youngsters already on campus, they don't have a proven game-breaking receiver outside of Sterling Shepard returning in 2014. But, and this is critical, they can't just use a scholarship to bring in another guy. With Tulsa (Okla.) Union receiver Jeffery Mead and La Mirada (Calif.) receiver Dallis Todd already committed, receivers coach Jay Norvell should think elite receiver or bust. Norvell should join Mike Stoops in doing whatever it takes to land Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif/Central East), then fight for him to end up on the offensive side of the ball.

DT Matthew Romar is OU commit No. 21

January, 30, 2013
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Two weeks ago it looked like Oklahoma was done looking for defensive tackles for its 2013 class. Assistant coach Jackie Shipp had put in major work and landed three quality commitments.

But Shipp wasn’t done. He went to Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial last weekend and offered three-star prospect Matthew Romar.

Romar saw OU’s campus for the first time this weekend and took some time to think it over before committing to the Sooners, Port Arthur Memorial coach Kenny Harrison confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

Romar, who is 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, also had offers from Tulsa and Baylor, among others. Once the Sooners fully entered the race, though, it became clear it was up to OU to simply close the deal.

He played a little bit of running back in high school so there was some speculation about his size. Harrison said once Shipp saw Romar in person two weeks ago, all the doubts vanished.

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Weekly Commitment Roundup 

January, 18, 2013
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ACC
Georgia Tech
Ricky Jeune WR Montvale, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional
HT: 6-2 WT: 205
Position Rank: #74 WR
During December, there was no bigger position of need for Oklahoma than defensive tackle. In the span of 31 days, OU has gone from having zero commits with panic engulfing Sooner fans to having three and looking pretty.

The latest came Saturday night, as three-star tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) confirmed he has committed to the Sooners.

Walker, who is 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, is ranked No. 40 in the nation at defensive tackle. Injuries hampered him during his sophomore and junior seasons, but he was healthy and effective this season.

And OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp noticed that. North Texas and Houston were other schools looking at Walker, but Shipp saw something in Walker that no other big-time BCS-school universities saw.

Walker was offered by OU last month and admitted he wanted to commit right there on the spot. But he held off, saying he wanted to see the campus.

That was taken care of this weekend as Walker was one of eight official visitors for the Sooners. Baylor started talking to Walker earlier this week, but OU had already put in the work to secure his commitment.

Walker tore his labrum in the summer but played his senior season anyway. He underwent successful surgery last month and said he should be good to go by March.

He saw OU practice at the Cotton Bowl two weeks ago and all it did was fire him up more about his trip to Norman. Safe to say the trip lived up to his expectations.

Walker is ranked No. 40, one spot below fellow OU commit Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline). Huggins, who flipped from Texas A&M to OU on Dec. 14, is ranked No. 39 and was OU’s first commit at the position.

The Sooners will also get some immediate help at tackle as three-star ESPN JC 100 prospect Quincy Russell (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley) signed with OU on Dec. 19.

UNT on top for DT Charles Walker 

December, 3, 2012
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After a weekend trip to North Texas, defensive tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) has an early favorite.

Walker took his first official visit to Denton, Texas, and took in the North Texas campus over the weekend. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle liked the trip so much that he put the Mean Green atop his recruiting list.

“I enjoyed it and everybody there,” Walker said. “It just felt right to be there, and I’m really thinking strongly about going there.”

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Defensive lineman Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) has his options, but when it comes to his recruiting process, he’s all about taking some official visits before making a decision.

Walker, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive tackle who also can play defensive end, claims offers from Oklahoma, Iowa, North Texas, Houston and Colorado. Before he makes a decision, Walker said he would like to make some stops after the season. South Garland currently is in the second round of the Texas Class 5A playoffs.

“I’m going to make some visits in December,” Walker said. “I’ll probably do a couple in January, too. Right now, I’m just trying to see from now until January if I get anything new.”

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Defensive tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) is one of the many college football recruiting prospects making the trip to the Cotton Bowl for Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma showdown.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle claims an offer from Oklahoma and has received some interest from Texas. Like most of the uncommitted players there, he’s hoping for Saturday to offer an idea of what he wants in a winning program.

“I’m ready to see them get after it,” Walker said. “I want to see how the offenses execute and if the defenses can be on lockdown.”

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