2016 OK Preps Offensive Linemen Feature

If you weren’t already aware, there are quite a few talented OL prospects in this 2016 OK Preps class. And seeing as it’s one of the things we do around here, I wanted to take some time to feature three in particular who have stood out to me thus far.

– Luther Harris: 6’6″ 361-pounds, plays right tackle for Heritage Hall in OKC. Much quicker than you’d expect for a guy his size. In my opinion he’s a guard at the next level, although he could probably play on the right side at tackle in certain schemes. Very similar to a Dionte Savage type of player that is big, quick & aggressive. He plays very hard but could stand to drop around 20-30 pounds which would help him be more effective.  Very simply put he’s a drive-blocking steamroller that could flourish in the right scheme. Seems to be a hard working kid that goes all out on every play.

Recruiting – After a great showing at the recent ESPN camp in Dallas, Harris is beginning to pick up some interest. In fact last, Brandon reported last night that Harris just picked up an Ohio offer. Harris also holds an offer from Tulsa.

– Rowdy Frederick: 6’6″ 320-pounds, plays guard and tackle at Broken Arrow. Simply put, this is the kind of kid you want on your team. He plays hard on every snap and gives you a guy who is versatile enough to play virtually any position up front. Reminds me a lot of Bronson Irwin, who you’ll recall bumped out and played right tackle for OU in the Sugar Bowl a couple of years ago.  Frederick has good size and anchors very, very well in pass protection. He very rarely, if ever, gets knocked backwards, which is a good sign of his power.

One play from his film in particular comes to mind down by the goal line where he’s at guard and pulling on a power play. He’s two steps into his shuffle, when a backer is filling hard and is on top of him very quickly. However due to his technique and staying square to the line of scrimmage, he took the best hit the backer had without even flinching and was able to recover quickly enough to drive the player into the end zone while his RB scored on the play. Frederick isn’t going to enamor you with being a dancing bear type, but he’s a nice combination of athleticism, toughness, power & grit.

Recruiting – Frederick held a lone offer from Tulsa, but after winning the MVP award at a recent Rivals camp shortly thereafter Texas Tech also offered.

– TJ Fiailoa: Huge kid at 6’4″ 340-pounds playing guard and tackle for MacArthur (Lawton, OK), but with his frame it definitely doesn’t look like he’s carrying 340. Very athletic and aggressive, always looking for the kill shot on defenders, which I love. He’s very thick in the lower body but could stand to gain some good strength in his upper body. At this point, he shoves and pushes more than he locks onto people. If he figures out how to use his hands and upper body more effectively, he could develop into a devastating player.

In my opinion he’s a guard at the next level, but one who will be athletic enough to bump out and play tackle in a pinch. A former teammate of mine has a son who plays with Fiailoa at Mac and says TJ is a great who plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He’s a little raw at this point, but displays all the potential to turn into something special in the years to come.

Recruiting – We haven’t had a chance to catch up with Fiailoa yet, but various recruiting services show he holds a Utah State offer.

– Coach JY’s Board: When looking at various recruits, a program prioritizes their recruiting targets and creates a board with a list of those targets. So while I like all three prospects, I’m going to offer up some thoughts on what my board would like as I watch film on all three of these players:

Luther Harris would likely be at the top of my board. While all three are power five conference level players, I’d set my board as Harris, Fiailoa and Frederick in that order. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that their games and skill sets are very different, and coaches are going to want different things to fit their preferred style of scheme. I project all three as future guards but, for example, Frederick has the most versatility in my opinion.

So to that point, some coaches may have him rated higher the other guys if they have a need for guy capable of potentially playing multiple positions. From an athleticism standpoint, I think that Fiailoa takes the honor there. He is very natural, but raw player at the moment. While he has the feet to play tackle, he needs to work on his hands a little more. Once he he’s able to show that he locks people out consistently, he could become special. Finally, Harris is probably the most powerful out of all three. At least in the old scheme, he’s probably the kind of player that Bill Bedenbaugh would love.

  • lulzer

    JY – would you offer all three if you recruited for OU?

    • Super K

      Not JY but I think they are guys you definately recruit and see what happens with your out of state targets. I’m a huge OK Preps fan and I think oklahoma kids can rival other states on terms of quality of athlete but the thing we consistently see is a little less development. So IMO these questions are always difficult because guys like luther may have as good or better upside than many kids in Texas but you also know that there is a good chance you’re gonna have to wait longer for the pay off because he may need more time to develop technically. This is the great conundrum in my my mind. That’s why I think oklahoma is a perfect state for developing programs to recruit. You’ll get some of the best athletes and you can rely on your ability to develop. The problem with schools like Minnesota or Iowa isn’t development, it’s they aren’t necessarily going to find a luther harris up there…they are going to find a kid like kyle mayberry up there. But if they can get kids like that out of places like oklahoma and Arkansas for example and develop them…they’ll have some studs down the road. Boise state made a living that way

      • lulzer

        Thank you for the reply, Sir.

      • hOUligan

        Interesting you mention Mayberry, CB Tulsa Booker T. Care to weigh in on his strengths/upside? as he had some great numbers at the Dallas camp: 5’11 165 4.5 laser 4.32 shuttle. The Hudl film shows more of him as a WR.

    • JY

      I couldn’t say. I haven’t seen all of the film of the kids we’re in on. I tend to be more conservative than most people, so I would have to have a feel for those relationships. Ultimately as a coach you have an idea of who you may have a legit shot with. I know that Bedenbaugh loves tough gritty kids he can develop, but the cupboard isn’t exactly bare either. You’ve got some young studs in the program like Cody Ford, Joseph Paul etc. It may give us the luxury to be more choosy, but for sure these guys can play.

      • Sooner 76

        JY, I haven’t seen anything written about Joseph Paul, nor have I seen him on any of the spring film or pictures. Is he playing guard or tackle? Where is he on the depth chart, as he doesn’t appear to be 1st or 2nd team.

        • JY

          They have him listed as a tackle right now. It’s his first spring. Give em time.

          • Sooner 76

            I will and I saw that he is still listed as a tackle. He came in the class last year with Frison and Brown, so I wondered how he was progressing.

            Interestingly, they have Samia listed as a guard. Still early days, but I found it interesting.

  • Chris White

    My boy big Luther!! Let’s get this

  • rphokc

    thxs for the report…………….will there be one for dlinemen at some point

  • Defend Colfax

    There kids are monsters, when I was in school our biggest lineman was like 6’3 280. The starting center and guard didn’t hit 360lbs together.

  • Mike Reed

    As I’ve said a few times already, I work with Rowdy’s Aunt. According to her, if OU offers, he’ll commit. He’s a born/bred Sooner.

    • ccmosaic

      I do not understand why we haven’t offered him yet. The kid can play and would give us good depth for a while at guard. JY, any idea why OU is playing this one slow?

      • JY

        I couldn’t say. You just never know how coaches have their boards set up.

        • Stats

          Does anyone maintain a list of the offers we already have out?

      • BoomerDave

        Perhaps for the same reason everyone else in the country is slow playing him.

      • D Hunter Sanchez

        Aren’t we looking for starters first? Seems we have enough Derek F on the roster. We should only offer the top guys or the ones we think will be potential starters. It’s too early to offer these guys that lesser schools are jumping all over.

    • Crimsonborn

      He would have at one time but no longer. TU has done a fabulous job of recruiting him. If Arkansas offers soon he may actually be a Hawg. I took him for an unofficial visit during spring break and he loved it. Ask Renee.

  • Tony B

    That pancake section of TJ’s tape is awesome. He looks like a kid that not only makes his initial block but also gets downfield and takes out another would be tackler. A little of a mean streak in him. They all look great though. OU would be hurting themselves if they don’t at least show some interest in all 3 of these in state kids.

  • Robertson / Robertson 2016

    Finally! Thank you, JY. Thank you, TFB. Thank you, Mama.

    And thank you, Americans who so many years ago said, “You know what? There are too many skinnies in rugby. Let’s allow blocking for once and give the fat kids a chance.”

    • JY

      Mama says no problem haha.

    • Jed
      • Robertson / Robertson 2016

        I didn’t know Jonah Lomu was so old! …or American.

        • Jed

          Giant Kiwi’s are a terrible thing to waste. Op cit: Steven Adams.

          • Robertson / Robertson 2016

            re: Adams. Or fat.

  • Slim Sooner

    I really like the recruiting reports on our in-state prospects. Thanks, JY. Now I want all three of them.

    • JY

      no doubt, and you’re welcome!

    • Stephen Dale

      Fialoa and Frederick………………..

  • OceanDescender

    Great work here, JY! You’re going to have a hay day with some of the lineman talent in the upcoming OK preps classes.

    • JY

      Definitely!

  • hOUligan

    Have ‘heard’ Frederick’s size has allowed him to play w/o really working and the coaches want to see him put it all together. Luther has the size you can’t coach but might not be ‘quick’ enough in the new scheme. Have heard TJ is very athletic and has the size. Good OG prospect. As said, OU needs to recruit these kids even though some tejas kids like Jack Anderson and Austin Myers are higher on the OU board. Great stuff, JY. Always love the Oline pieces.

    • JY

      Thanks!

  • KJ1123

    Just going off the 2 films above. Frederick looks like a massive kid, plays a little high and looks like it causes him to be a bit top heavy. Get him into a college S/C program and he could be a serious force. Fiailoa has that typical Poly aggressiveness and looks pretty explosive. Pretty light on his feet and can obviously finish. Good looking prospects.

  • hemisooner

    I like TJ the Best. Best Athlete of the bunch with nice long arms, quick feet, and a mean streak. Rowdy seems to have short arms, which I don’t like in OL. Maybe his best fit is center. Harris a big thick kid, guard all the way for me. Im sure Bedenbaugh will find the right guy.

    • Crimsonborn

      Funny, Rowdy was measured at the Rivals camp and is wingspan is 6’9″.

  • Doobie74OU

    JY is back and dropping wisdom on us! Thanks JY appreciate the update on local guys!

    • JY

      No problem doob!

  • L’Carpetron Dookmarriot

    I think the above is part of the explanation for why “OU doesn’t get 4/5 stars” and similar argumentative questions.

    OU may see the same things we all see, but, for example, they like someone’s versatility better and thus go after that player who may not be as highly rated. Similarly, they may like the raw ability of someone who isn’t rated highly because of the potential the player could be.

    • D Hunter Sanchez

      The last cycle had mostly 4 star OL men didn’t it?

  • D Hunter Sanchez

    Question. With the Air raid, is OU going to revert to smaller, quicker type OL men?

    • Jeff

      I hope not

      • D Hunter Sanchez

        The linemen in 2008 were big, but were skillful enough to pass and run block. No Oregon duck linemen needed in Norman.

        • KJ1123

          Agree…Oregon Linemen = PAC 12 style of football = get beat up by other power conferences D Linemen.

    • Stephen

      My guess would be there won’t be any variation in the OL.

  • Stephen

    Big Rowdy Fredrick fan, not sure why he hasn’t gotten an offer yet but not surprised either. OU hasn’t really hit the ground running early in a recruiting season (at least in the past few seasons).

    • Stephen

      Also, great write-up, JY!

    • EasTex

      Good point, the evaluation period doesn’t start until after the Spring game.

  • connie usa

    JY. Fantastic write-up. And you with that football hat on; kinda hot. Always loved a guy in a uniform. If I wasn’t married, you’d be a pretty high draft pick of mine……….

  • Mike Reed

    I see it from TFB on Facebook but not here…….

  • Sooner born, Sooner bred

    Thanks for the info JY. It’s always good to hear from you and get your input. Keepem rollin brother!

  • Sooner Ray

    JY, I couldn’t pick the best big man out of a buffet line so I’m glad you’re here doing it. Nice eval.

  • EasTex

    Sure is good to see your mug, JY.
    Appreciate the info on the OL prospects.
    What, in your opinion, will the numbers be for the Sooners 2016 OL class?