NCF On The Trail: Isaac Ijalana

Top overall position classes in 2014 

February, 21, 2014

With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at which programs compiled the nation's best overall position classes in 2014. For the full top position classes series, click here.

Quarterbacks: Florida
The Florida Gators had a major need at quarterback in the Class of 2014, and Will Muschamp and staff more than filled it, signing two of the nation’s top signal-callers. Third-ranked dual-threat prospect Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day School) is already on campus and preparing for spring practice, while No. 7 dual-threat prospect Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) was a huge signing-day flip from Florida State. Both prospects are great athletes who are accustomed to operating up-tempo offenses. This should also help newly hired offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who will install a similar scheme in Gainesville.

Top position classes: TEs 

February, 13, 2014

With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and Big 12)
Oklahoma addressed many needs with its top-15 recruiting class, and that certainly includes the tight end position. Coach Bob Stoops and his staff signed a trio of tight ends, including ESPN 300s No. 277 Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and No. 295 Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), as well as three-star junior college prospect Isaac Ijalana (Mount Holly, N.J./Pierce College). All three players have terrific size of at least 6-foot-5, and Meier and Andrews possess the frame to add mass and strength. Meier has good initial burst and above-average ball skills, while Andrews has excellent hand-eye coordination and the ability to beat linebackers and safeties with regularity.

The Sooners had the nation’s best tight end class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

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Recruit and return: Oklahoma Sooners 

January, 3, 2014
Oklahoma did what many thought couldn’t be done -- it shocked two-time defending BCS champion Alabama and ended its 2013 season with a 45-31 victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Sooners, a two-touchdown underdog entering the game, finished the year with an 11-2 record and left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

Recruiting season has now hit Norman, and the Sooners hope to build off this win to find stars in the 2014 class. There are a couple of voids to fill from this year’s squad.

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Midyear signings: Oklahoma

December, 20, 2013
According to, the following players have signed with Oklahoma:

Isaac Ijalana, TE-Y, Mount Holly, N.J./Pierce College
HT: 6-5 WT: 255
Positional Rank: #1 TE-Y Juco
Stars: 3
ESPN JC50 (#46)

Devante Bond, OLB, Roseville, Calif./Sierra College
HT: 6-3 WT: 240
Positional Rank: #9 OLB Juco
Stars: 3

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

December, 16, 2013

If all eyes weren’t on the Heisman Trophy race Saturday, then they were on Mack Brown's impending resignation as head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Add that in with the multiple junior college pledges to Big 12 programs, and you have a pretty solid weekend of recruiting as we approach the middle of the month.

Official visits and in-home visits were major topics of discussion last week. Here are some of the top storylines over the weekend:

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Big 12 top juco targets 

December, 3, 2013

Several programs in the Big 12 have long searched the junior college ranks for quick fixes for their football program. Others are just warming up the idea. Here is a look at the top five junior college players in the ESPN JC 50 that Big 12 programs are going after for 2014:

Tyreek Hill
Jeremy Crabtree/ESPNTyreek Hill, who came to Oklahoma State from Garden City (Kan.) CC, might be a track star, but he'll admit football is his first love.
ATH Tyreek Hill (Garden City Community College): Oklahoma State’s future at running back is set with the commitment of Hill, who gave his verbal pledge to the Cowboys on Sept. 30. Mike Gundy and his coaching staff have to feel really good about landing Hill, as they fended off several top programs, including Alabama, Florida State, Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and USC. Hill was a Georgia high school sprinting champion, who, as a senior at Coffee High School in Douglas, Ga., won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Georgia 5A state meet.

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Oklahoma loses TE pledge 

December, 3, 2013
Oklahoma lost a commitment Monday night in junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College). The 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end tweeted the announcement and then confirmed it via text message.

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Big 12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013

The beginning of the month didn't start out so hot for Oklahoma, who was routed in a highly-anticipated game at Baylor on Nov. 7. But the Sooners have rebounded well on the recruiting trail with a handful of commitments since the calendar turned.

We'll take a look at who exactly those recruits are as well as talk about the big weekend ahead in Stillwater in this week's edition of Big 12 recruiting storylines.

OU on a roll

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

November, 18, 2013

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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Sooners get need, want in commits

November, 17, 2013
In college football recruiting, there are necessities and there are luxuries. Oklahoma picked up one of each Sunday.

The Sooners first addressed a need by getting a commitment from defensive end Dwayne Orso Jr. (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood). Orso, a 6-foot-5, 251-pound end, flipped his commitment to Oklahoma after pledging to Western Kentucky in September.

Orso, recruited to Oklahoma by defensive lineman coach Jerry Montgomery, also had offers from UAB, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee. Orso’s commitment is huge for Oklahoma, as he is the first defensive end commit and only the second defensive lineman commit for the Sooners’ 2014 class.

While Oklahoma is looking for more defensive linemen, it has done a solid job in recruiting tight ends. The Sooners managed to add depth to the position by picking up junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College). A 6-5, 255-pound blocking tight end, Ijalana chose the Sooners over offers from Illinois, Bowling Green and other schools.

Ijalana was recruited to Oklahoma by tight ends coach Jay Boulware. Ijalana is the younger brother of Ben Ijalana, a left tackle for the New York Jets.

Oklahoma already had two ESPN 300 tight ends committed in blocker Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and flex Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), as well as three-star athlete Dimitri Flowers (San Antonio/Churchill), who could be used similarly to how multipurpose standout Trey Millard was used prior to a season-ending knee injury.

Oklahoma also has juco tight end Jean Sifrin (Torrance, Calif./El Camino College), who has formally committed but is awaiting academic clearance to enroll, according to ESPN’s Blair Angulo. Coach Bob Stoops will have a myriad of options at the position next season and should benefit with a good number of returning offensive starters back from this year.

With the two new pledges, Oklahoma is now at 18 commitments for the 2014 class.