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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Sooners Recruiting Update: 2013 class drawing to a close

Dannon Cail
Mystery recruit Dannon Cavil was ready to get started Sooner than later.

Oklahoma is still ranked in the top 20 by Rivals and ESPN. The Rivals rankings will only go up once K.J. Young and Charles Walker get their new evaluations (probably 3 stars).

OU has 20 commitments and four early enrollees in Dannon Cavil, Ahmad Thomas, D.J. Ward and Jed Barnett. (Sounds like Quincy Russell will need one more semester in junior college and will enroll in June instead.) OU’s class in theory could be as large as 29 recruits. I fully expect some more attrition between now and signing day, so OU going for a full 29 would not be a big surprise if the right prospects decide to become Sooners.

OU usually falls a little short. Still, it’s going to be a mad dash to signing day. I fully expect new names to appear and old names to resurface. The recent trend has been OU loses one long-time commit – let’s hope it’s over with the loss of Jordan Mastrogiovanni – and steals someone late.

OU needs to close with at least one DB now that Tee Shepard is going to enroll at JUCO due to the eligibility mess created by his early enrollment at ND being disqualified. L.J. Moore is probably the leading candidate for that one DB spot, with Adrian Baker trailing as a second possibility. Tahaan Goodman just visited OU but he’s probably following Priest Willis to either UCLA, LSU or maybe USC. It's unclear where OU stands with Lamar Robbins right now.

At OL, OU needs at least two more high school players. Aaron Cochran has been the only consistent name on the OL list, as it has seen changes left and right the last six weeks, testing the patience of Sooner fans. New names Rami Hammad and Dwayne Johnson are both excellent-looking prospects from Texas with senior film far superior to their junior film. However, both players are starting to rack up other big time offers, so OU will have to close quickly.

In addition, OU offered former target Dan Skipper based on his senior year film. Unfortunately, that offer is probably about four weeks too late, and the delay has been driving the Sooner Internet fan base crazy. At this point, Skipper’s visit list is full, so it does not look like OU will get a visit from him.

SEC territory offensive lineman Josh Outlaw appears to have an OU visit scheduled. He’s a combo OL who could play inside or outside.

Beyond those needs, OU ideally would land one more HS linebacker and one true tight end. Right now there are only two names: One is a complete longshot (Danny Mattingly, who might visit after Oregon lost Chip Kelly) and an in-state legacy (Jackson Dillon, son of former OU LB Richard Dillon).

Verbal Update: Add three, lose one

*The loss of Mastrogiovanni was a tough blow to OU’s recruiting efforts. The fact that he chose Texas A&M after the Sooners’ third quarter meltdown in JerryWorld doubled the blow. Of the three Sooner verbals at LB, Mastro was the one mostly likely to help next year and represented the bigger every-down LB that the OU defense needs for the future. Also, his senior year film was impressive, and there’s no HS LB anywhere on OU’s offer list of equivalent skill/ability.

OU may have to wait until 2014 to address the LB gap.

*OU badly needs to replenish the DT ranks, and Charles Walker is the second HS DT to verbal to OU. Walker has awesome film from his senior year (Rivals 100-type film). It’s the best film of any DT in Texas, including Justin Manning and A’Shawn Robinson. If he can stay healthy, Walker could be an impact DT after a redshirt year.

It’s hard to overstate how important his verbal was. There’s not another DT on the previous offer list who is still considering OU. It was Walker or bust.

*The next two verbals were pretty surprising, since they are listed at wide receiver – I’ve been saying for months that WR was Laquon Treadwell or nothing. That was apparently off target.

K.J. Young appeared from out of nowhere with the claim in his local newspaper of an OU offer. Apparently, linebackers coach Tim Kish has a long-time connection with Young’s HS coach, who tipped off Kish that no one was really offering his best player. Kish got hold of Young’s senior year film, and within days, he had an OU offer.

Young somehow was ignored despite posting nearly 1,600 yards receiving with 18 touchdowns. He had nearly 800 of those yards in four big playoff games against best competition. On video, he’s a big time play maker with elite hands and excellent speed. The only thing missing is a lack of elite, top-end speed. It’s almost impossible to argue with the offer. His film is that good.

The most recent commitment came from way out of left field. Back in the spring, I listed Dannon Cavil as a potential target. (Related to Ben Cavil, an OU player in the 1990s, and Kwame Cavil, Texas' top WR for Major Applewhite.) Cavil is a legit 6-5, 205 WR with excellent speed and agility. He could be an excellent complement to the slot WRs (Sterling Shepard, Jalen Saunders, Austin Bennett) and the bigger flankers (Trey Metoyer, Derrick Woods, Durron Neal, Jordan Smallwood, LaColton Bester) in the program.

Cavil gets to go through spring drills and provides a different WR piece for the future. His junior film is limited due to an injury, but his senior film is excellent. His HS is a big-time running offense, so Cavil didn’t see the ball a lot. However, his average yards per reception (33 catches for 720 yards with 8 TDs) shows his big-play threat potential.

Verbal Commitments: 20
(Class size: 24 to 26)

D.J. Ward, DE
(6-4, 235, 4.6)

Hatari Byrd, DB
(6-2, 195, 4.55)

Matt Dimon, DE
(6-3, 255, 4.8)

Stanvon Taylor, DB
(5-11, 175, 4.4)

Cody Thomas, QB
(6-5, 220, 4.6)

Ahmad Thomas, DB
(6-0, 200, 4.5)

Charles Walker, DT
(6-4, 280, 4.8)

K.J. Young, WR
(6-1,180, 4.5)

Dannon Cavil, WR
(6-5, 205, 4.5)

Quincy Russell, DT
(6-4, 315)

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB
(6-3, 220, 4.6)

Kerrick Hughes, DT
(6-4, 285, 4.9)

Jordan Smallwood, WR
(6-2, 195, 4.55)

Jordan Evans, LB/DE
(6-3, 210, 4.55)

Jed Barnett, P
(6-2, 210)

Christian Daimler, OL
(6-6, 280, 5.1)

Josiah St. John, OL
(6-6, 310, 5.2)

Dominique Alexander, LB/S
(6-2, 195, 4.5)

Austin Bennett, WR
(6-0, 170, 4.45)

Keith Ford, RB
(5-11, 200, 4.5)

Final Class Prediction

QB: Cody Thomas

RB: Keith Ford

WR: Jordan Smallwood, Austin Bennett, KY Young, Dannon Cavil

TE:

OL: Aaron Cochran, Christian Daimler, Dwayne Johnson, Rami Hammad, Josiah St. John

DT: Quincy Russell, Kerrick Huggins, Charles Walker

DE: D.J. Ward, Matt Dimon, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

LB: Jordan Evans, Dominique Alexander

DB: Stanvon Taylor, Hatari Byrd, Ahmad Thomas, L.J. Moore, Adrian Baker

Who is left in play?

Offensive line

Christian Morris (6-6, 295, 5.1) – Another UCLA verbal that has blown up in recruiting. OU has offered and will try and get him on campus. He’s a big athlete who again looks like he could be a great LT/RT.

Rami Hammad (6-5, 320) – Former OSU/Baylor commit who has just blown up since a dominating performance at the recent Semper Fi game. He looks a little like Trent Williams on film. UT looks like the favorite.

Josh Outlaw (6-4, 290, 4.9) – Recent Florida decommit. Powerful mobile combo OL prospect. Several out-of-area schools, including OU and TCU, are offering Outlaw.

Maurice Porter (6-6, 285, 5.2) – A Texas Tech verbal who as reappeared on the radar. Played OG his junior year, but played mostly tackle his senior year. Film is much improved.

Dwayne Johnson (6-6, 275) – A Purdue commit who is racking up offers based on excellent senior year film.  Excellent athleticism and mobility and his frame could easily carry 300-plus.

Aaron Cochran (6-7,330, 5.3) – A big RT prospect from California who is still on the OU radar.  He visited for the Baylor game, and Cal, where his brother plays, may not be the leader everyone thinks. Jeff Tedford is gone. But Sonny Dykes is now hired. Will that help OU?

Defensive tackle

Matt Romar (6-3, 265, 4.8) – The latest new name to appear at DT, Romar played DE most of his junior year, but moved inside to DT his senior year. He looks like he could be an excellent three-technique penetrating DT in the OU system. His frame looks like he could easily carry in the range of 285 pounds while keeping that explosive burst that OU needs out of that position. As a senior, Romar had 48 tackles with 5 sacks from the interior tackle spot. He was named All-State 5-A at DT.

Linebacker and tight end

Jackson Dillon (6-6, 215, 4.7) – An OU legacy who plays both LB/DE and TE, Dillon looks better at TE than LB. He definitely has potential.

Danny Mattingly (6-5 225, 4.6) – OU target from this spring. De-committed from ND recently. Probably heading to Oregon. I have no info that he is even going to schedule an OU visit or if OU is even interested, but he would make a great option at TE.

Defensive back

Lamar Robbins (6-3, 185, 4.45) – One of the top big CBs in Florida, Robbins is very similar to current OU CB Gary Simon. Robbins visited for the OSU game, and OU appeared to be leading. Right now, either Robbins is more focused on closer schools or OU is more focused on other targets. Robbins could also end up being a safety in the OU defense.

Adrian Baker (6-1, 170, 4.4) – A big-time cover CB from Florida. Baker verbaled to Florida State, but with Mark Stoops leaving FSU along with his recruiting coach, Baker has de-committed. He’s already visited Clemson and OU and now appears ready to choose between those two teams on signing day.

L.J. Moore (6-1, 185, 4.45) – OU is now back in the hunt for Moore. Moore is an ideal hybrid between CB and safety that would fit the OU defense perfectly. Hatari Byrd has been talking up the Sooners.

Damarious Randall (6-0, 185) – A late JUCO offer at DB. Not sure that OU will get a visit, but Randall could fit in several places in the Sooner secondary – CB, nickelback, or dimeback.

Tahaan Goodman (6-2, 185, 4.5) – One of the best safeties prospects in the country. His interest level in OU has been up and down. He had a good visit to OU, but some hosts issues stopped it from being a grand slam. Will probably end up elsewhere.