A quick update as OU heads into the home stretch of the 2016 recruiting cycle after the all-star games and before official visits start again.
Overall, OU’s class is poised for a great ending. Once it hits 20-22 verbal commitments, it will be ranked somewhere in the top 15-20 range. Half of the OU verbals are ranked four-stars by at least one service.
OU has significant recruiting momentum since the Big 12 title win and selection for the College Football Playoff. The Clemson loss stings, but I don’t think it will hurt OU's recruiting momentum since OU is poised for a big year on the field in 2016.
Right now, OU has 14 verbals with a projected class size of around 20 to 22.
Austin Kendall, QB – 6-2, 210, 4.8 (North Carolina)
Four stars. Had a tough senior season with injuries and newcomers in his supporting cast, but played great in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Game. Also had a great week of practice at the Semper Fi All-Star Game. He’s looking every bit the top 10 nationally rated passer he was in the preseason.
Abdul Adams, RB – 5-11, 200, 4.45 (Maryland)
Four stars. Had a great senior year with excellent straight speed and cut speed. Looks a lot like Demarco Murray coming of high school. OU beat out Alabama and Ohio State for his services.
Ryan Parker, WR – 6-2, 185, 4.45 (Texas, JUCO)
Four stars. Great sophomore campaign in which he was named the top JUCO WR by one service and a top 20 JUCO player by almost every service. The only downside is that his enrollment at OU is going to be delayed until June. He won’t be on campus for spring practice.
Adrian Hardy, WR – 6-3, 185, 4.5 (Houston)
Three stars. Seems solid with OU, but rumors of a visit to Texas A&M won’t go away. Played QB in high school, but projects at WR.
Ashton Julious, OL – 6-6, 340, 5.4 (Pennsylvania, JUCO)
Three stars. He’s already signed and should be on campus in January. Julious could play right tackle or right guard. He will definitely compete for a starting spot.
Ben Powers, OL – 6-5, 310, 5.2 (Kansas, JUCO)
Three stars. Powers is the second JUCO mid-term signee on the OL. Powers had an awesome year at JUCO and comes to OU with three years to play. He projects at either guard or center.
Logan Roberson, OL – 6-4, 330, 5.4 (Oklahoma)
Two stars. The only in-state OL OU offered. Roberson starred at OU’s summer camp sessions and received his offer right afterwards. He has signed grant-in-aid paperwork already and should be on campus in January.
Chris Daniels, DT – 6-4, 300, 4.9 (Texas)
Four stars. OU’s highest-ranked verbal commitment. Visited for the TCU game and committed during a ceremony at his high school right before Christmas. UT is going to try and coax Daniels into a visit. Defensive line coach Dirion Reynolds did a great job landing this commitment.
Jon-Michael Terry, LB – 6-3, 235, 4.6 (Oklahoma)
Three stars. Had a great senior year at Victory Christian Academy in Tulsa. Terry played both LB and TE, with great stats at both spots. He’s an LB for OU and just had a great week at the Semper Fi practices and during the game. He might be the steal of the class.
Bryce Youngquist, LB – 6-2, 220, 4.55 (California)
Four stars. Big-time OLB from California, Youngquist is the ideal LB to counter the speed of Big 12 play, but he's also physical enough to handle other styles of football. A Sooner comparison might be Rufus Alexander.
Jordan Parker, CB – 5-11, 190, 4.5 (California)
Four stars. Might be the best CB from the state of California. Dominated blue-chip WRs from Cali at summer camps. Parker could star for OU in a role similar to Will Johnson at NB or move directly into the rotation at CB.
Parrish Cobb, CB – 6-0, 175, 4.45 (Texas)
Four stars. OU grabbed Cobb before a lot of the big-time recruiting powers really paid attention. All Cobb did as a senior was dominate on his state title-winning team on defense, offense and special teams. Cobb is probably the best CB in the state of Texas this year, and OU is going to have to fight to hold on to his verbal.
Parnell Motley, CB/WR – 6-1, 185, 4.45 (Maryland)
Three stars. A Maryland verbal commitment until their staff was dismissed, Motley’s offer list is elite, with interest from Michigan State, 'Bama, and Ohio St. Everyone tried to get back on his visit list when he reopened recruiting. His senior year film is excellent, showing big-time progress. He will probably play CB for OU, but there’s a chance he could be moved to WR, where he had over 1,000 yards receiving as a senior.
Chanse Sylvie, S – 6-0, 185, 4.5 (Louisiana)
Three stars. Early OU verbal and a huge asset to the recruiting class with his constant work on social media connecting with OU targets and verbals. Sylvie is enrolling early. If you’re looking for an OU comparison, how about the late Brandon Everage?
2016 Remaining Targets
At least one more, maybe two, spots.
If there’s one position struggling a bit in recruiting, it’s WR. New position coaches Cale Gundy and Dennis Simmons have had some tough sledding. OU is probably down to one JUCO target and two prep targets. Don’t be surprised if OU looks into a senior graduate transfer. Other names might reappear on this list, but I think it’s really just these three targets.
Velus Jones – 6-0, 185, 4.4 (Alabama)
Decommitted from USC. OU seemed poised to get his verbal before Christmas. New timeframe is unknown. USC and Tennessee involved?
Quantney Davis – 6-2, 185, 4.4 (Texas)
Decommitted from A&M. Might be leaning to OSU, but OU is going to get a visit.
Javon Mims – 6-4, 210, 4.5 (Mississippi, JUCO)
Verbal to Georgia, but it looks like OU will get a visit. Not a mid-term signee.
Looks like OU is taking a pass here, but might get back Dalton Wood in January.
OU is looking for one or two more high school OLs after signing two mid-term JUCOs. OU seems to be targeting several big-time OT prospects – Hail Mary attempts perhaps.
Tramonda Moore – 6-6, 320, 5.2 (Oklahoma City)
Four stars. Visited Norman in December, and OU and OSU are battling for his pledge.
Jauan Williams – 6-6, 300. 5.2 (Washington, D.C.)
Four stars, top 200 player nationally. Maryland and FSU are battling for Williams, but it looks as though OU is going to get a visit and get involved in the final decision.
E.J. Price – 6-6, 300, 5.2 (Georgia)
Four stars. OU has been involved all fall and finally is in line to get a visit. Pulling Price away from UGA will be very difficult.
Greg Little – 6-6, 310, 5.1 (Texas)
Five stars. Committed to Ole Miss, but talking about visiting OU after his former high school QB Kyler Murray joined the Sooners from A&M. Probably a super longshot.
OU needs two players at defensive end to go along with top-rated DT Chris Daniels. Diron Reynolds is poised to go three for three and add some big talent to the Sooners' DL.
Amani Bledsoe – 6-5, 270, 4.7 (Kansas)
Four stars. Visited for the Texas Tech game. He’s super quiet on the recruiting trail, but OU is in the top five and maybe the frontrunner. Another Sooner target/verbal who had a great week of practice at the Semper Fi game.
Marcel Southall – 6-3, 275, 4.75 (Texas)
Three stars. Visited OU for the TCU game and is still talking about more visits in January. Will OU still have a spot?
Stephon Taylor – 6-5, 295, 5.0 (Louisiana)
Three stars. Visited Norman back in October. LSU, TCU and Texas all involved.
Keanu Saleapaga – 6-6, 270, 4.8 (California)
Three stars. Just decommitted from USC. OU and a host of other schools are trying to get him in for a January visit. His upside and fit for OU’s 3-4 defense are ideal.
OU is at two verbals and badly needs to sign a five-player class with the early departure of Dom Alexander to the NFL and graduation of four LBs. OU has two excellent commits so far. However, OU needs more impact players from this position to really run a true 3-4 or 3-3-5.
John Jones – 6-2, 225, 4.55 (Florida)
Four stars. A new name appearing on the Sooners' radar. His highlight package shows excellent coverage skills as well as explosive, physical run defense. OU will likely bring him in for a visit, depending on numbers.
Kapri Doucet – 6-3, 230, 4.6 (Pennsylvania, JUCO)
Two stars. A likely offer due to Alexander's departure. Doucet was committed to Arizona; Doucet opened up his recruitment after the Wildcats fired their defensive coordinator and received an OU offer. His highlight reel shows an explosive, rangy athlete who excels at pass coverage, run defense and rushing the passer. I’m guessing that OU gets a visit.
Caleb Kelly – 6-3, 220, 4.55 (Callifornia)
Five stars. OU has been recruiting Kelly since he starred as sophomore at an OU camp. He's the elite every-down OLB OU needs. Going to have to wait until signing day and some inevitable twists and turns.
Elysee Mbem-Bosse – 6-3, 230, 4.6 (Georgia)
Four stars. Another SEC-area recruit who seemed poised to verbal to OU. He has delayed his decision. Looks like Florida will be OU’s biggest opponent.
Aaron Hansford – 6-2, 215, 4.6 (D.C. area)
Four stars. An OLB and a similar athlete to Kelly. OU is recruiting him for a January visit. Another attacking player in space who would help in Big 12 play.
Erick Fowler – 6-2,230, 4.6 (Texas)
Four stars. Verbal to LSU who might be looking to take visits in January. Would be a good fit for OU’s rush OLB spot.
Mark Jackson – 6-4, 220, 4.5 (Texas)
Four stars. OLB committed to ATM who's looking to make some January visits. OU should get a visit. Jackson would be an ideal fit for an OLB/rush DE spot for the Sooners.
Done with three CBs and one safety? The only real question is how OU uses Zack Sanchez’s newly open scholarship.
OU is off to a great start to next year with four big time verbals – top 250-range players. The Sooners have more recruiting momentum than at any recent time, and the new staff has now been in place for a second recruiting cycle, so they're not playing catch-up in the relationship-building process.
Chris Robison, QB – 6-2, 190. 4.7 (Texas)
Cedarian Lamb, WR – 6-3, 180, 4.4 (Texas)
Robert Barnes, DB – 6-3, 195, 4.55 (Texas)
Levi Draper, LB – 6-3, 230, 4.6 (Oklahoma)
2017 Names to Watch
J.K. Dobbins, RB – 5-10, 195, 4.4 (Texas)
Best RB in Texas for 2017; Rivals top 100.
Jeff Okudah, DB – 6-1, 200, 4.5 (Texas)
Five-star DB. OU is in his top 10.
Marvin Wilson, DT – 6-4, 310, 4.9 (Texas)
Five-star DT. Reynolds right now has OU very much in play.
Anthony Hines, LB – 6-3, 220, 4.6 (Texas)
No. 2 LB in Texas. OU has been recruiting him since his sophomore year.
Omar Manning, WR – 6-3, 200, 4.5 (Texas)
Rivals top 250 with great film.
Charleston Rambo, WR – 6-2, 175, 4.5 (Texas)
Rivals top 250. Yet another top WR from Texas – great class there in 2017.
Jake Lawler, DE/OLB – 6-3,225, 4.6 (North Carolina)
Jalean Phillips, DE – 6-5, 230, 4.6 (California)
Has a host of offers, including OU.
Haskell Garrett, DL – 6-1, 290, 4.8 (Las Vegas)
Big target at OU’s old recruiting grounds of Bishop Gorman High School.