NCF On The Trail: Josiah St. John

New interest for OU juco commit St. John 

January, 23, 2013
ESPN Junior College 100 offensive tackle Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley Community College) committed to Oklahoma on Dec. 19 and is expected to sign with the Sooners next month. In the meantime, schools are still trying relentlessly to sway him -- and rightfully so.

St. John, the No. 6 junior college prospect in the country, said the newest school to show interest has been Florida State. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle said the Seminoles would offer him if he were interested in flipping his commitment, but he doesn’t see that happening.

“I would love to go to school in Florida,” St. John said, “but I like what I’m getting at OU.”

Signing day primer: Oklahoma 

January, 23, 2013
Team needs: For the first time in a long time, the quarterback position is up for debate in 2013. With Landry Jones graduating, there isn’t a clear-cut favorite, although it appears Blake Bell has been pegged as the guy. As for the rest of the offense, the Sooners are in pretty good shape. If you’re looking for OU’s real issues, though, it’s on defense. OU knew it was losing cornerback Demontre Hurst and safety Javon Harris, but with safety Tony Jefferson opting to not come back for his senior season, OU doesn’t have either of its safeties returning for 2013. Linebacker became a sore spot for the program during the latter half of 2012, culminating in linebacker Tom Wort declaring for the NFL draft because the scheme isn’t really tailored for him.

Help is on the way: OU fans can debate whether Josh Heupel is the guy to run OU’s offense, but you cannot question his ability to recruit. Heupel has landed yet another top quarterback in ESPN 300 prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage, ranked No. 178). OU needs help in the secondary, and Mike Stoops attacked the position hard during the spring. Three-star safety Ahmad Thomas (Miami/Central) is enrolling early, and ESPN 300 safety Hatari Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central East) said he is ready to replace Jefferson. Corner shouldn’t be hurting either with the pledge of ESPN 300 athlete Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central).

Other key commits: Cannot talk OU’s 2013 class without mentioning running back Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch). Ranked No. 27 in the ESPN 150, Ford is the top-ranked recruit for OU’s class. OU is also getting help from the juco ranks with the commitment of four-star ESPN JC 100 offensive tackle Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley). Defensive end was locked up in April with two ESPN 300 commits in D.J. Ward (Moore, Okla./Southmoore) and Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy).

Other key targets: OU is still seeking help in the secondary and is looking at ESPN 300 athlete Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) and four-star cornerback L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East). The Sooners are still keeping tabs on several offensive tackles after four-star tackle Aaron Cochran (Atwater, Calif./Buhach) committed to Cal earlier this week.

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Weekly Commitment Roundup 

December, 21, 2012
Demarcus Robinson WR Fort Valley, Ga./Peach County
HT: 6-2 WT: 200
Position Rank: #14 WR

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Oklahoma has been in search for offensive tackles all fall, and the Sooners finally got one. Four-star junior college offensive tackle Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley) committed to OU on Wednesday, he announced on his Twitter page.

St. John, who was also considering Kansas, is ranked No. 6 in the ESPN JC 100 and is the No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation. St. John has pledged to OU, but he cannot sign with the Sooners until February. He will not be enrolling at OU in January, said Trinity Valley recruiting coordinator Will Reed.

He initially wasn't going to be doing anything Wednesday, but he tweeted in the morning he would make his commitment annoncement at night and came through on his promise.

OU made the offer to St. John in August even if he didn’t find out about it until October. He took an official visit to OU for the Notre Dame game in October, but the Jayhawks made a late push to try to sway him to Lawrence, Kan.

St. John made an official visit to KU two weeks ago, but OU coaches Bob Stoops and Bruce Kittle did what they could to make sure St. John would be a Sooner.

There has been a sense of panic among some OU fans with the Sooners have no pledges at the position. This single signing won’t erase all fears, but it’s a step in the right direction.

OU has hoping to land three offensive tackle commits for the class. Oddly enough, the Sooners had two commits at one point but lost four-star prospect Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) to an injury and three-star tackle Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union) flipped to Tulsa last week.

The Sooners are still in the running for three-star tackle Sean Dowling (Fallbrook, Calif./Union) and four-star prospect Aaron Cochran (Atwater, Calif./Buhach). But the Sooners can relax if they cannot land both of them. Getting St. John is the first step in what OU hopes is a strong close at the position.

St. John is OU's 17th commitment for the 2013 class and third juco player. He'll be joined by teammate defensive tackle Quincy Russell, who signed with OU on Wednesday.