NCF On The Trail: Kerrick Huggins

DT Matthew Romar is OU commit No. 21

January, 30, 2013
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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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.

Weekly Commitment Roundup 

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

Russell makes choice, signs with Sooners

December, 19, 2012
(Update: Russell has now signed his letter of intent to play at Oklahoma.)

Last week Oklahoma was in dire need of defensive tackles. Today, the Sooners got stronger up front.

Three-star junior college prospect Quincy Russell (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley) signed with Oklahoma on Wednesday, choosing the Sooners over Nebraska.

For the last month or so, it looked like the Cornhuskers were the leader for Russell, who is 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds. But OU coaches Bob Stoops and Jackie Shipp went to work on the defensive tackle, visiting him at Trinity Valley and taking in-home visits with Russell’s parents in San Antonio.

Russell, who is ranked No. 51 in the ESPN Junior College 100, made an official visit to OU for Bedlam and is now going to be on the other side of the Red River Rivalry. Russell was initially a four-star prospect signed for Texas’ 2011 class, but he failed to academically qualify.

Now Russell hopes to be a part of a couple of OU teams that take care of the Longhorns in October in Dallas.

Russell is the second defensive tackle pickup for OU in the last week. The Sooners flipped the commitment of three-star tackle Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline) from Texas A&M last Friday.

OU is gunning for three defensive tackle commits for the class. And that sense of desperation some fans had seven days ago is long gone at the position.
Three-star defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline) has flipped his commitment from the Aggies to the Sooners, according to a Dallas Skyline coach.

Huggins, who is 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, decommitted from Texas A&M and committed to OU on Thursday, according to Dallas Skyline recruiting coordinator Jason R. Garrett.

The change in commitment is a major boost to OU, which has been desperate to find a defensive tackle for its 2013 class.

The Sooners and Aggies have battled it out four times for defensive tackles in this class, and the scoreboard read 4-0 for the Aggies in terms of recruits that had offers from both schools.

The biggest blow was last week when ESPN 150 tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) picked A&M over OU despite all of his OU connections and the fact his older brother, DeMarcus Granger, played defensive tackle for the Sooners.

Huggins was among Texas A&M’s first commits for the class, pledging to the Aggies in February. Since then, A&M has racked up three more tackle commits and had five commits at the position coming into the week.

OU, which is hoping to have three commits at the position, had zero entering the week. It has come close with several top prospects but has not been able to seal the deal. Until now.

OU didn’t initially offer Huggins. It wasn’t until September that the Sooners extended that honor. Huggins said then he was flattered by the offer, but he was solid with A&M.

The Sooners didn’t stop, though, continuing to recruit him even if it didn’t look like it was going to pay off.

The persistence did pay off. Huggins is OU’s 15th commit and second of the week, joining three-star defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Houston/Alief Taylor). Like Huggins, Okornkwo was a flipped commitment, too, going from Bedlam rival Oklahoma State to OU on Wednesday.

Scouts: Aggies fill DT need with Manning 

December, 6, 2012
Defensive tackle was an area of need for Texas A&M in its 2013 class, but the Aggies now have verbals from a handful of prospects at the position.

Earlier in the process, Texas A&M did a nice job of addressing the spot with pick-ups like the promising Isaiah Golden (Carthage, Texas/Carthage) and Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline), but Thursday the Aggies made arguably their biggest pick-up at the position.

In what can be considered a bit of an upset, the Aggies landed a verbal from in-state D-Tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball), and he really strengthens what was already a pretty good haul.

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Skyline players to attend Texas-OU game 

October, 11, 2012
Three-star defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline) said he will attend Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma battle at the Cotton Bowl. Three-star wide receiver and Skyline teammate Ra’Shaad Samples is expected to join him.

While both athletes are expected to be in attendance, neither one is going with the intent to shake things up in the recruiting world. Huggins, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound tackle, is still a solid commit to Texas A&M. Samples, a 5-11, 170-pound receiver, is still solid with his commitment to Oklahoma State.

“We’re going to see old Skyline players going against each other,” said Huggins, who then followed up with, “Ain’t no switching Gig’Em.”

Huggins and Samples -- and potentially several other current Skyline players -- will be at the Cotton Bowl cheering on Texas receiver Mike Davis and linebacker Peter Jinkens and Oklahoma defensive back Joe Powell and linebackers Corey Nelson and Frank Shannon.

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Kerrick Huggins talks TAMU commitment 

February, 11, 2012
It was only a matter of time when Dallas Skyline would get on the board with a commitment from the 2013 class. ESPNU Watch List defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins became Skyline’s first 2013 commit Saturday afternoon.

Huggins committed to Texas A&M and became the Aggies’ seventh commit of the 2013 class. Of those seven commits, four are defensive players, and he became the third defensive lineman to commit to the Aggies.

For Huggins, the decision was somewhat simple. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound junior wanted to play college ball either in the SEC or the Big 12.

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