The Sooners scored two big verbal commitments in recent weeks, one at the vital position of defensive tackle and the other continuing OU’s surge in the Tulsa area.
DT Brandon Glenn was off the radar until a great camp workout at the Sooner summer camp where he battled future offensive line targets and dominated with speed and power. Glenn plays 3-4 DE for his high school, but OU views him as a future DT. His HUDL highlights are private right now, but Rivals has footage of him. In those highlights, he’s playing 3-4 DE but shows a lot of potential at DT. He shows excellent mobility, athleticism and motor. He’s chasing and catching much smaller players in the backfield. It’s easy to see how defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery projects him at DT, with his frame easily capable of carrying 290-300 range while keeping his speed. He’s not a finished product at DT, but the potential is obvious.
The second verbal is Jeff Mead of Tulsa Union. If you watch the NFL draft, you will notice how many of the top draft picks are often former basketball players. Mead fits that model perfectly.
He was mainly known for hoops prior to last year, when his junior year film at receiver became available and colleges around the country started offering. On film, Mead shows awesome hands – some legit "how did he catch that?" catches – excellent body control in the air (catching passes at the peak) and excellent downfield speed.
He’s not near the level that A.J. Green showed in HS, but his frame, skills and ceiling are that high. He’s not going to be a Calvin Johnson-type guy at 6-5, 235. But you can easily see him at 6-5, 200 range guy with excellent speed. A.J. Green in HS was 6-4, 184. Mead had offers from LSU, Texas A&M and Clemson before choosing OU. (Before you ignore Clemson, remember the Tigers have/had DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins at WR.) He’s probably going to focus only on football at OU, which will help his development. Add Mead to Dallis Todd, and OU has an excellent pair of big outside WRs for this class.
2014 Verbal Commitments: 10
(Class size: 25-27)
Dallis Todd, WR
(6-5, 210, 4.5)
Vontre McQuinnie, DB
(6-1, 200, 4.6)
Samaje Perine, RB
(5-11, 225. 4.45)
Justice Hansen, QB
(6-4, 200, 4.6)
Carson Meier, TE
(6-7, 220, 4.7)
Marcus Green, DB
(6-1, 175, 4.6)
Tito Windham, DB
Alex Dalton, OL
Brandon Glenn, DT
(6-4, 269, 4.8)
Jeffrey Mead, WR
The horrible weather in late spring and early summer played havoc with OU’s summer camp plans. The Norman sessions almost got cancelled, but managed to go ahead. However, a bunch of Texas prospects did not make it to Norman as intended. Then, the Houston satellite camp was cancelled due to bad weather, robbing OU of a big opportunity to work out a number of prospects. Again, the bad weather scared off countless other kids.
OU is still offering 2015 kids at breakneck pace nationally, in Oklahoma and in Texas.
2014 offers have slowed a bit, save for a frenzy of new offers at linebacker, which will be detailed in that section.
OU’s at 10 verbals right now, and the class seems to be somewhere in the 25 to 27 range.
Recruiting Baker’s Dozen
1. Solomon Thomas – Top DL target.
2. Garrett Myles – After Thomas, perhaps the top DE prospect in Texas.
3. Michiah Quick – Best cornerback target for OU.
4. Ty Barrett – Big offensive tackle whose rankings are about to explode.
5. Garrard McDowell – Might be the highest-rated DT on the OU board. LSU offer is a huge concern.
6. Jovan Pruitt – Other big Dallas-area OT.
7. Steven Parker – Elite defensive back out of Jenks.
8. Joe Mixon – RB is not really a huge need, but Mixon is that highly rated.
9. Dwight Williams – Arguably the best LB on the board for OU.
10. D.J. Williams – OU’s best bet at DT.
11. Ismael Murphy-Richardson – Awesome-looking OLB with speed and range from Arizona.
12. Greg MicLisse – Might be the best MIKE LB prospect talking about visiting OU.
13. Christian Sam – OU’s top LB target in Texas at this point.
Done with the pledge from Hansen.
Running Back: 2
OU has one RB in the fold and will likely take the next big-time RB and call it a day.
The remaining RB spot got very interesting the last four weeks. Nathan Starks got expelled from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, and he’s trying to play his senior year at a Denver HS. He’s appealing an initial ineligibility ruling. Right now, he still has an OU offer.
Joe Mixon is tearing it up at camp events and is a five-star lock for most services.
Running backs coach Cale Gundy probably has three or four other big-time RBs on speed dial if both of these kids end up elsewhere, but, right now, these are the kids to track.
If I was Starks, with the off-the-field issues going on, I’d leap on that OU offer right now.
Nathan Starks (6-0, 210, 4.45) – It’s about time that OU signed a great RB from Bishop Gorman again. Starks is that RB. He has been very clear that OU is one of his favorites and that Murray is one of his favorite RBs. A very possible five-star RB.
Joe Mixon (6-1, 190, 4.45) – Any RB who wears 28 and wants folks to call him "the next Adrian Peterson" is probably interested in hearing from OU. Mixon has an OU offer and is excellent RB with home run speed. Like Starks, he has a number of big-time offers. OU should get a visit as Mixon will be a late decision closer to signing day.
Wide Receiver: 3?
Two big WRs have verbaled. One slot WR spot is open. Does that leave one more opening for a WR? One more slot for a WR that could play inside or outside?
Norvell almost has an embarrassment of riches at his recruiting position. Keenan Brown is making noise about committing as soon as he can visit Norman. OU does not have to take a slot WR after taking two slot kids last year (Bennett, and Young). But if K.D. Cannon wanted to be a Sooner? I’m guessing OU would make it work somehow.
K.D. Cannon (6-0, 170, 4.4) – Best WR in Texas? Cannon is a legit contender for that crown. Extremely fast and elusive, Cannon would make an awesome slot WR for the Sooners.
Keenen Brown (6-3, 185, 4.5) – Right behind Cannon/Foreman in terms of Texas WR rankings. He has the flexibility to play inside or outside for OU. A very polished WR prospect.
Mark Andrews (6-7, 226, 4.6) – Huge WR/TE who has been very public about his interest in OU. Andrews on film looks like an excellent big WR, but you have to wonder if a natural move to TE is in his future.
Corey Holmes (6-3, 180, 4.4) - This Florida receiver just received his OU offer and again seems very interested in OU. Montgomery looks like the coach who pushed the OU offer to Holmes. Holmes has a nice blend of agility, top-end speed and height. He just had a great visit to Norman, and a verbal is not out of the question.
Offensive Line: 5 (at least)
Bedenbaugh is hitting the ground running big time, including scholarship offers in Texas and nationally. Offers have gone out to top JUCO OTs, indicating how high a priority OU is making OL this year. JUCO offers in February provide yet another example of “Total Recruiting.”
Bedenbaugh is aggressively recruiting OL at a pace not seen in Norman in a long time. OU badly needs linemen, so the usual first-year break-in period for new assistants cannot be afforded.
OU appears to be leading on Barrett, and maybe Pruitt. OU might land JUCO OG Frank Kee as well. So OU could easily be at four verbals by the end of summer. The wildcards in OL recruiting are Braden Smith, Natrell Curtis and Roderick Johnson. Any of those kids would seriously add to the quality of the OL recruiting class.
Ty Barrett (6-5, 295, 5.2) – Athletic tackle prospect from Dallas Skyline. OU has numerous players from Skyline. Just visited for junior day and has an OU offer. His profile is on the rise and Bedenbaugh has made him a priority.
Braden Smith (6-6, 275, 5.0) – Nationally ranked OL prospect who starred last summer at the OU summer camp where he was probably the top prospect. OU will be in the hunt, but all the big powers have offered Smith. His recruiting is dead quiet.
Jovan Pruitt (6-6, 290, 5.2) – Recently offered by OU and Notre Dame. Huge-framed kid looks a little stiff in his stance, but he shows some power on film. Like Barrett, Bedenbaugh has quickly made Pruitt a recruiting priority.
Denzel Ward (6-9, 290, 5.2) – Has verbaled to Purdue, but somehow I don’t see that commitment stopping him from visiting Norman.
Natrell Curtis (6-3, 285) – Teammate of UCLA signee Kenny Lacy. OU has offered along with host of Pac-12 schools. Just excelled at a recent all star camp. Might be the best OG prospect on the board.
Roderick Johnson (6-7, 300, 5.2) – If not for Andy Bauer (Ole Miss commit), Johnson would be getting more publicity as the best OL in Missouri.
Dontavius Blair (6-8, 300, 5.2) – Kansas JUCO already visited OU during a spring tour of schools. OU has already offered, and he looks like he will graduate by December.
Patrick Au (6-10, 360, 5.5) – Utah Juco. Massive athlete who is starting to receive some attention. Needs to drop some bad weight but the potential is there.
Frank Kee (6-4, 335, 5.3) – Texas JUCO. Kee, along with Dionte Savage from last year, would provide some serious size and depth inside at OG with Tyler Evans and Bronson Irwin being seniors. Kee is a mid-term graduate and is very interested in OU.
Tight End: 2?
OU struck out at TE in 2013, but the Sooners now have Meier. Getting him in the fold allows Boulware to be aggressive with other prospects. Koda Martin seems to have accepted his OT destiny by choosing A&M. Mavin Saunders has chosen FSU for now, but I think he might take some more visits this fall. Adding an impact JUCO probably allows OU to stay at only 2 TEs for this class.
Tyler Luatua (6-4, 230, 4.6) – Lautua could be used as an H-back in the OU scheme. Physical blocker, but also an excellent pass receiver. The entire nation is after Luatua, but maybe OU’s new verbal and teammate of Lautua can help OU get a visit.
Deandre Goolsby (6-5, 230, 4.7) – I think OU has been late offering Goolsby due to his KSU connections. OU has now offered, and he seems very interested, but you have to wonder if the KSU legacy can be overcome. Looks like a very athletic pass-catching TE prospect.
Trevor Wood (6-6, 235, 4.7) – Very physical TE who also plays DE. Great frame and excellent athleticism.
Jean Sifrin (6-7, 250, 4.6) – A new name out of nowhere, but his HUDL footage is very good in both blocking and receiving. Yet another former hoops guy realizing his pro career is at football. Might have an OU visit set up for game one. (Highlights are from 2011 season.)
Dalton Schultz (6-5, 225, 4.7) – Big-time pass-receiving TE who is gaining all kinds of national offers and attention.
Defensive Tackle: 2
The Sooners are not quite in the desperate place for DTs that they were in with the 2013 class. Still, you’d like to see OU sign a top DT every year. No prospects in Oklahoma right now, and Texas does not look to have a deep pool of candidates.
OU lost out on Jaycoven Henderson to TCU with the DT coaching position change, as well as Trey Lealaimatafao and Courtney Garnett.
Montgomery got his first target in Brandon Glenn, and ideally would like to add at least one more in D.J. Williams.
Travonte Valentine (6-3, 285, 4.9) – Valentine has verbaled to Louisville and now Florida, but he has an OU offer as well.
D.J. Williams (6-2, 290, 4.9) – Recent OU offer at DT. He’s right now still working on his technique at DT, but might be a better athlete than some of the other Texas DTs verbaled elsewhere.
Garrald McDowell (6-3, 265, 4.8) – McDowell seems very interested in OU and a summer visits could happen. McDowell is a little light for DT right now, but has a nice frame and is very explosive on video.
Armon Watts (6-5, 275, 4.8) – This new name is floating around. I’m not sure he has an OU offer. But with so few names at DT, I thought that I would list him. His film is very intriguing.
Defensive End: 2
OU signed an excellent three-player DE class in 2013, but I’m guessing Montgomery still has the green light to add two top-flight DEs if he can find them. OU has offers out to national targets like DaShawn Hand, but I don’t see it going anywhere. Deondre Clark’s desire to go out of state will probably mean that OU loses out on the best in-state DE. Montgomery seems to have OU firmly in the hunt for both Thomas and Garrett, but he has found two other top targets in Blankenship and Hollins. Blankenship, in particular, seems close to committing to OU.
Solomon Thomas (6-3, 260, 4.8) – Probably the top overall DL prospect in Texas. Thomas could be a 3-4 DE or possibly grow into a DT. OU has offered, and he just visited for junior day. He has now visited two times in the last month. Very impressive film.
Myles Garrett (6-4, 230, 4.7) – After Thomas, Garrett is getting a lot of attention as the next best DE.
Andrew Williams (6-4, 245, 4.6) – Your usual elite SEC type DE prospect. Williams has made a real connection with Montgomery. OU looks likely to receive a visit.
Justin Hollins (6-5, 210, 4.55) – New name that is starting to get a lot of new offers. Has tremendous frame and athleticism to play 3-4 OLB/4-3 DE.
Grant Blankenship (6-5, 230, 4.7) – Another physical DE prospect on film. Shows a nice burst off the line. OU just recently offered. Does a nice job handling the run on video as well as pass rushing.
Linebacker: At least 3
Last year it was DTs. This year’s desperate recruiting position that has the message boards worried a year before signing day is LB. Tim Kish has already been labeled by some as a disaster.
Other than Sam, I’m not sure who OU leads on at LB. Kish appears to be concerned about his prospects at LB, because OU sent out four new LB offers recently. Based on their film, it’s not a desperation move as any of the LBs easily could be/are four-star kids.
Christian Sam (6-2, 205, 4.5) – Just visited for OU’s first junior day. No offer yet, but his film is excellent.
Dwight Williams (6-3, 215, 4.55) – Might be the best OLB in California. Shows excellent power, burst, and pursuit. Seems interested in his OU offer.
Tay Evans (6-3, 210, 4.55) – Teammate of Sam and son of former OU hoops player Bobby Joe Evans. Evans is recovering from an shoulder injury but on film with his frame might have a higher upside than Sam.
Ishmael Murphy-Richardson (6-4,210, 4.5) – An explosive elite athlete at OLB. He shows great range and power at OLB. It’s pretty easy to see why OU offered.
Greg MicLisse (6-1, 235, 4.6) – A bigger MIKE LB prospect who shows nice power and speed in highlights. Some grade concerns around him.
Marquis Ware (6-2, 215, 4.6) – His junior year footage is more at a stand-up DE and TE, so the projection at OLB is more of a guess. He shows excellent athleticism and speed in his film, though. Teammate of more highly regarded Jamadre Cobbs.
Tegray Scales (6-1,214,4.55) – Scales shows good run-stopping ability on film and also shows some nice coverage skills against some spread offenses. Does a nice job against some pistol offense attacks as well.
Jamardre Cobb (6-2, 225, 4.6) – Been resisting listing him because of uncertainty about OU’s chances. But OU’s now offered his teammate Ware as well so perhaps a package combo will improve OU’s chances. Cobb’s physicality and explosiveness is just so apparent on film. He would be a big time prospect at LB.
Dakota Allen (6-1, 225, 4.6) – The newest LB offer from Texas. Allen looks like a very good Mike LB prospect. Physical in the run game and looks good in coverage. Based on his film, he’s been flying under the radar a little bit.
Defensive Back: 5-6
This might be the best and deepest talent pool of DBs from Texas in forever. In addition, OU has targets in the SEC, Arizona and California. Quick, Whiley, Watkins and Parker are the top four targets at this point. Mike Stoops would top last year’s great DB class if he got those four kids.
Nick Watkins (6-1, 185, 4.5) – Best big CB in Texas? His offer list (OU included) sure lends credence to that statement.
Steven Parker (6-2, 185, 4.5) – Best DB prospect in Oklahoma. Has an OU offer and was a star at the OU summer camp.
Michiah Quick (6-0, 175, 4.4) – Despite his HS having three big-time DBs just sign LOIs, Quick might be the best one overall. After signing Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore, OU will be all over this California offer.
John Bonney (6-0, 185, 4.5) – OU offer out of the Houston area. He has not visited yet for a junior day.
Tyler Whiley (6-1, 190, 4.5) – Big CB prospect that seems very interested in OU. Would be a huge pickup for Kish/Mike from their former recruiting territory.
Courtland Sutton (6-3, 200, 4.5) – Looks like he could be an elite center field free safety or bulk up to play OLB. His film is very good.
Payton Hendrix (6-3, 190, 4.5) – Teammate of Watkins. Hendrix probably would make an ideal safety with excellent speed and range for the OU defense. Moved to Bishop Dunne his senior year.