Oklahoma had a big recruiting weekend around the annual spring game, with over a dozen visitors from 2014/2015 prospects and nearly a dozen 2013 signees. Add in a crowd of around 29,000 and a QB battle being aired for the first time this spring, and the event had a lot buzz.
Hours before OU’s current trio of QBs went to battle for the starting spot, Justice Hansen verbaled to the Sooners, becoming the key QB recruit in the 2014 class. Hansen was the only QB offer and had decided that he would verbal at the spring game of either OU or Texas A&M, which were going on at the same time last weekend.
Hansen is a big-time pickup for the Sooners. He’s been to OU summer camps the last two summers. As a quarterback, he has excellent mobility to go with a great arm and accuracy. He put up over 3,000 yards passing and 700 yards rushing last year. Hansen is playing in the Under Armour All-American Game and will be a top 150-type prospect.
Hansen also is now going to be recruiting for OU with other prospects, too, which helped lead to the newest addition to the class, talented wide receiver Dallis Todd. Todd (6-5, 210) is an elite prospect with ideal size, but what really separates him from other big WR prospects is his speed and acceleration. He plays almost like a smaller slot – he has that kind of agility and quickness.
Todd had a huge junior year with more than 70 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards. I expect that he could blow up in the recruiting rankings.
On the disappointing side, wandering WR verbal Armanti Foreman went ahead and decommitted from OU. Armanti is looking for an opportunity to play with his twin brother, D'onta. Right now, D'onta projects at positions where OU has higher rated kids, and I don’t see Armanti re-committing to OU.
2014 Verbal Commitments: 4
(Class size: 22-24)
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)
While the verbal commitments from Hansen and Todd highlighted the spring game, OU had a number of big-time visitors in town, including:
*Ty Barrett – 2014 OT target.
*Corey Holmes – 2014 WR target who flew in from Florida, and according to Twitter had a great weekend visiting OU, even meeting Barry Switzer.
*Steven Parker – 2014 DB target from Jenks.
*Jalin Barnett – 2015 OL target from Lawton who just received an OU offer.
*Samaje Perrine – 2014 RB verbal. (Instagram photo of Perrine with 2013 RB signee Keith Ford.)
*Vontre McQuinnie – 2014 DB verbal. (Photo of McQuinnie with 2013 DB signees L.J. Moore and Dakota Austin.)
*Zach Rogers – 2015 OL target who allegedly has an OU offer.
Before the spring game, OU also received a visit from 2015 TE Jordan Davis (6-4, 245, 4.6), who is verbaled to Florida State but seems very high on OU after visiting and officially receiving an offer. Davis could be an elite TE prospect for 2015.
As you can see, the 2015 offers continue to go out in a more aggressive manner than before; “Total Recruiting” is on.
With spring football over on Tuesday, expect the coaches to hit the road and make even more offers, especially at defensive tackle. Also, Tim Kish should be fine tuning and extending his LB offer list, moving on from some national prospects who have not shown interest in OU.
Recruiting Baker’s Dozen
1. Nathan Starks – Top RB target.
2. Solomon Thomas – Top DL target.
3. Michiah Quick – Best cornerback target for OU.
4. Tyler Whiley – Mike Stoops' top big CB target.
5. Ty Barrett – Big offensive tackle whose rankings are about to explode.
6. Jovan Pruitt – Other big Dallas-area OT.
7. Orlando Brown – Is the Atlanta native Bill Bedenbaugh’s top national target at OT?
8. Steven Parker – Elite defensive back out of Jenks.
9. Tyler Latua – Todd’s teammate and an awesome TE prospect. This is a stretch, because his interest in OU is unknown.
10. Dwight Williams – Arguably the best LB on the board for OU.
11. Natrell Curtis – Might be a top five national guard, and OU needs OLs in the worst way.
12. Jamal Adams – Best safety on the board for OU.
13. James David – Recovering from a knee injury or he would be on a lot of national lists. His brother Derek was an awesome prospect before off the field issues derailed his career.
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. Starks or Mixon in addition to Perine would give OU probably the top RB class in the country.
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.
Wide Receiver: 3?
One outside WR has verbaled. One slot WR spot is open with the loss of Foreman. That leaves one more slot for a WR.
Does OU take Andrews and worry about his position later? Todd could be the WR that plays inside or outside. Mead is a pure outside receiver. There are a lot of directions that OU could go with these last two scholarships. Basically, Norvell has WR recruiting rolling again.
Jeffrey Mead (6-7, 170, 4.6) – Is Mead a basketball player or a football player? His junior year showed a tall WR with great hands and excellent speed who was a consistent mismatch against smaller DBs. Seems like Mead is more interested in basketball, but offers from OU and OSU for football might make this more of a choice.
Nick Alexander (6-3, 195, 4.5) – A superstar at the OU summer camp of 2012, Alexander had an uneven junior year from all reports.
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. Can OU sign both Armanti and KD with such similar receiving games?
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 looking WR prospect.
Dorian Leonard (6-5, 190, 4.5) – Malcolm Kelly redux? Leonard looks great on film. He's a big, fluid athlete making those big down field catches that Kelly did so well in 2006/2007. Has an OU offer.
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.
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.
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.
Alex Dalton (6-4, 285, 5.0) – OG prospect who Bedenbaugh was recruiting at West Virginia. Excellent interior OL prospect. He visited OU already, and the Sooners are in his top three.
Blake Blackmar (6-5, 300) – Blackmar has some flexibility by playing center in HS, so he could play anywhere on the OL. Blake has expressed interest in OU previously.
Jacob Bragg (6-3, 290,5.2) – If OU wants to recruit a pure center, Bragg would be a great target. Bragg has previously expressed interest in OU and looks like an excellent center prospect.
Orlando Brown (6-7, 340, 5.4) – Might be a top five national OT after his camp performances. Huge frame and now that he has lost some bad weight his mobility is impressive. Bedenbaugh has OU in the top seven, and a visit is very likely.
Denzel Ward (6-9, 290, 5.2) – Has already committed to visiting Norman this fall. Huge frame with incredible agility. Has a sky high ceiiing.
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.
Jermaine Eluemenor (6-5, 300, 5.1) – Penn JUCO might be the best JUCO OT prospect for 2014. Very athletic and powerful frame. Originally from England and is still learning football. OU has offered along with Ohio State and Florida State.
Tight End: 2
OU struck out at TE in 2013, so two tight ends would make a lot of sense for 2014. OU really needs to use the TE more in their offense. Hopefully, Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant return the TE position to relevance this fall.
New TE coach Jay Boulware is starting to get revved up with new offers going out last week to Milan Richard/Ian Bunting. I’m listing Tyler Lautua more out of hope than some info that OU is in a final five. He’s a perfect fit for the OU offense. Ideally, OU grabs Martin and one pure receiving TE prospect.
Koda Martin (6-6, 250, 4.8) – Looking for a big prototype blocking TE? Martin is it. Last year he started showing some receiving skills as well. The only question is: Like Eric Winston, does he grow into an elite mobile OT or stay at TE?
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.
Ian Bunting (6-6, 215, 4.6) – Former WR who has accepted the move to TE for his senior year and college career. His highlight reel is all as a flexed out WR. OU offer, and he seems pretty interested in OU.
Milan Richard (6-5, 230, 4.6) – Another big WR who will be a TE in college. An impact elite receiver on film.
Mavin Saunders (6-5, 225. 4.6) – Big WR who projects at TE in college. Huge frame and excellent speed. Very underrated based on his footage. Only started playing football last year.
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.
The DT list is short, but expect major action from Jerry Montgomery now that spring is over. Maybe OU really goes after Valentine now that Florida has lost DT coach Bryant Young. I kind of expect a JUCO DT name to surface soon.
Peyton Newell (6-3, 275, 4.7) – Like Solomon Thomas, another big body that could be a 3-4 DE or bulk up to be a 4-3 DT. He’s received his OU offer, and OU visit is very likely.
Khairi Clark (6-3, 310, 5.0) – The entire world is recruiting Clark. His film is elite – massive frame, explosive burst, playmaking ability on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
Travonte Valentine (6-3, 285, 4.9) – Valentine has verbaled to Louisville and now Florida, but he has an OU offer as well.
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.
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. Very impressive film.
Josh Malin (6-5, 260, 4.75) – Probably the top big DE after Solomon Thomas. Like Thomas, Malin could grow into an athletic DT.
Sione Teuhema (6-5, 215, 4.6) – Recent OU offer, and he looks great at DE. Very physical with great speed and range. In addition, Tehauna’s younger brother (Maea 6-5, 330) is a top-rated OT for 2015.
Myles Garrett (6-4, 230, 4.7) – After Thomas, Garrett is getting a lot of attention as the next best DE.
Deondre Clark (6-4, 240, 4.8) – After Justice Hansen, Clark is probably the top prospect in OK. Unfortunately, he has a brother at OSU playing basketball and seems very interested in LSU. OU is recruiting him and has offered, but he seems focused elsewhere.
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.
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.
Right now, LB recruiting really needs to get going. Otaro Alaka was lost to Texas. I’d feel a lot better if James David or Akem were in the OU camp right now.
James David (6-3, 226, 4.6) – Might be the best MLB in Texas. David tore his ACL last year, so there’s some question about when he will be back on the field. His junior year film is great. James is the younger brother of Derek David, whose career has been derailed by off-the-field legal issues.
Gyasi Akem (6-2, 215, 4.6) – Best-looking OLB prospect in state of OK. Very physical and excellent speed. Probably is leaning to OSU and will join his Broken Arrow teammate Devon Thomas.
Cameron Hampton (6-2, 210, 4.6) – Another great-looking OLB prospect.
Josh Mabin (6-2, 225) – With David hurt, Mabin might be the best MLB prospect in Texas. Very physical, does a great job in coverage and stopping the run with some power inside.
Niles Morgan (6-2, 215 4.5) – OU has already offered this speedy physical OLB. OU has a connection back to David Smith, so a visit is not out of the question. Has a lot of big-time offers.
Christian Sam (6-2, 205, 4.5) – Just visited for OU’s first junior day. No offer yet, but his film is excellent.
Clifton Garrett (6-2, 225, 4.6) – If Morgan is the speed LB from Illinois, then Garrett is the power LB. The entire Big Ten has offered him. OU has offered, and a visit would not be a surprise.
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.
Defensive Back: 5-6
This might be the best and deepest talent pool of DBs from Texas in forever. There are legitimately 15 or 16 four-star-type DBs in the state. It’s going to be nearly impossible to really rank the guys – the talent level is that high. The top 50 in Texas could easily be populated with 20 DBs.
Still, despite the Texas talent, Mike Stoops' top three targets at DB are Parker, Quick and Whiley, so OU just really needs two or three more DBs from Texas.
Darrion Johnson (5-10, 185, 4.5) – OU offer. Visited for the junior day. Very physical CB with excellent cover and open-field tackling skills.
Arrion Spring (5-11, 190, 4.5) – OU offer. Visited for junior day. Safety prospect who is excellent in coverage and very physical in run support. Excellent tackler.
Edwin Freeman (6-2, 190, 4.5) – OU offer at safety. Huge frame with excellent speed and range.
Nick Watkins (6-1, 185, 4.5) – Best big CB in Texas? His offer list (OU included) sure lends credence to that statement.
Nick Harvey (5-11, 180, 4.5) – Might be the best CB in Texas. Verbaled to Texas A&M. OU will try to get him on campus for a junior day.
Tony Brown (6-1, 180, 4.5) – Okay, Brown might be the best DB in Texas. OU offer, but he is rumored to be a lean to LSU.
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.
Jamal Adams (6-1, 190, 4.5) – Both OU and UT are after this big, talented safety. Might be the best safety in Texas.
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.