Open Post | Tuesday, July 20th

In-Depth Interview | Sooners OL Commit Jake Taylor
– James Hale

On the fourth of July weekend, OU struck gold with a great weekend of recruiting, and one of the key players that gave a verbal to the Sooners was four-star offensive tackle Jake Taylor (6’6, 290) of Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman), Nevada.

“I hope a lot of people saw my commitment video,” laughed Taylor. “I busted out the golden hat, and I thew down the ‘Horns Down’ just to show a little appreciation that I have for Texas.”

Taylor has been dealing with OU for a long while, and he’s been leaning OU’s direction the entire time.

“Oklahoma was my first college phone call,” said Taylor. “My head coach walked all the way to my classroom and told my teacher that he needed to see Jake Taylor right now. So, I thought I was in trouble. You never see a coach come into a classroom, and I knew I did not do anything wrong.”

“So, I had sweats and everything going on. We were going into the Dean’s Office, and my coach is asking me what did I do? I told him that ‘I didn’t do anything I promise’ and then he said, ‘Ok let’s see’, and he pulls out his phone, and there is Lincoln Riley, DeMarco Murray, and Coach B (Bedenbaugh). So, the first-ever recruiting phone call I got I got played by my coach, and I have never been more shocked in my life.”

“They told me that I had been offered. Since day one, we have been building on that offer and have been working on this relationship for over a year and a half. That was the strongest reason why I committed there. No one could beat my relationship with Oklahoma. No other school could come in and can touch the relationship that I have had with Oklahoma throughout the whole recruiting process.”

“Then the family feel that I got when I was on my official visit at OU was outstanding. I attended the ChampUBBQ, and there were a lot of recruits there. Then they had all those NFL guys who came back, and they all came back on their own dime. OU could not pay for anything for them, and all those great football players came on their own will.”

“That was so cool and was just proves just how family-oriented that OU was. OU is a huge family, and their alumni is strong, and I knew after the BBQ that OU was where I was going to school.”

“A number of the NFL players at the BBQ have told me they came back because they love the program. That was one of the most impressive things they saw from OU that day.”

“The OU alumni came back because they just wanted to help the program and be around the program,” said Taylor. ‘That was so cool, and I couldn’t believe it really. I couldn’t believe how much the OU alumni cared about the program and how much the program cared about them.”

‘So, all of us recruits were right in the middle of a number of current players, the former players, and we represented the future I guess. At least, I felt that way. Meeting all those coaches, and players, and former players, and now that I’ve committed, it seems like I have family there. I felt that in a couple of hours with them.”

“The bond that was built in just a couple of hours was just amazing.”

Taylor joins four-star Jacob Sexton (6’5, 285) of Edmond (Deer Creek), Oklahoma, and four-star center Demetrius Hunter (6’2, 315) of Orange (West Orange Stark), Texas, thus far in the 2022 offensive line.

“I do a group chat a couple of times a week with Sexton, Hunter, and Coach B,” said Taylor. “Demetrius and I were at the BBQ together, and Jacob and I met on an Alabama visit. Since then, we have been in a group chat with Coach B, and now that we are all committed, that chat is going strong, and we invite other guys sometimes as well.”

“That is really building a strong bond with all of us, and that is so important in the O-line. In that BBQ, we did a scavenger hunt, and we were hanging around the coaches and learning all about the campus, and the facilities. The way that OU did that I was getting to now recruits at other positions was special to me.”

“The way that OU handles their business, and the way they present their recruiting is the best, and so much fun to be a part of. I did my own 25-word questionnaire about recruiting and was comparing Oklahoma, Alabama, and Notre Dame. I was giving points for each category for each school with three bering the best down to one for the worst.”

“So, like in visit presentation, OU got a three, and I didn’t really get to see Alabama, and Notre Dame got a one. When I answered all the questions Oklahoma led by 25 to 30 points. It was a pretty easy decision for me after that.”

Another big reason for Taylor to choose Oklahoma was because Bill Bedenbaugh is the Sooner O-line coach.

“I love him and his whole family,” said Taylor. “I have been building this bond with him for a year-and-a-half. I have been on multiple virtual visits with him, and my official visit was actually the first time that I got a chance to see him in person.”

“I went down for a game last year on my birthday. It was the best birthday gift as my parents gave me a ticket to come to an OU game against Baylor. I was able to see how he coached. I wash’t able to talk to him, but I watched him and enjoyed watching him coach.”

“Then getting actually to meet him and talk him I now will live and die for this guy. I will work as hard as I can for him. A leader is a guy pulling the sled, and a boss is on top of it directing people. Lincoln Riley and Coach B are leaders, and I want to work for them, and I will put my life on the line for those guys.”

Sunday Brunch | Recruiting Nationwide
– Charlie S

The small graphic above is simply a chart of where all the additions to the Sooners program hail from over the course of the ’21 cycle up until today, which includes transfers. (I included Malachi over there with Raleek on the west coast as we are expecting OU to land him later today).

The reason the graphic is so small is that I am pretty much a novice at putting those things together and I probably should have asked Ryan for some assistance, but it was something I was working on in the middle of the night and I assumed Ryan had enough on his plate with the new baby and all.

Regardless…that is a pretty impressive ‘heat map’ if you will.

The Sooners reach extends from coast to coast and all places in between.

While there are a ton of pins inside the region (Texas/Oklahoma) there are almost equal the number of pins outside of the region with the Maryland/Virginia area being particularly hot right now.

The Sooners still maintain a solid presence on the west coast and that should only continue to grow with the recent additions out of LA and Las Vegas.

While there is a somewhat underlying notion that OU is at a disadvantage geographically due in part to the population numbers…they have shown the ability to land a ton of kids from outside their region and we are not just talking about ‘fillers’ or guys who are ‘ok’. We are talking about the cream of the crop at QB/RB/WR/DE etc…

Looks like geography shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not landing those elite players across the country because, well, the Sooners are proving to themselves they can go anywhere they want and pull kids.

Why would some positions be at a geographic disadvantage while others clearly are not? There are fewer ‘Elite’ QBs across the country than any other position. It is an interesting topic for sure and right now, it looks like OU is starting to flex a little at multiple positions around the country. Love to see it.

Commitment Coming for Jadon Scarlett
– Super K – Posted on: July 19, 2021

As I mentioned last week, OU has turned up the heat on 2022 DL, Jadon Scarlett. Scarlett attended the OU BBQ in June.

Following the OU visit, Scarlett released his top three which included Texas A&M, Missouri and Oklahoma.

He also recently tweeted out that while he is “99.99999%” certain of where he is going, he wants to “sit on it a little while longer”.

It looks like we won’t have to wait too long to find out his decision though. He let me know this past weekend that he plans on making his announcement sometime in the next couple of weeks.

The stiff competition here is from TAMU who has been on him from pretty early on.

Scarlett isn’t the tallest DL but he is very long and very explosive. He’s also fairly new to the game. If I recall correctly, his father played in the NFL but Jadon only started playing football two or three years ago. However, he is father has been working with him and Jadon has made huge strides.

Jadon says he is having a commitment video made so I’d reckon that’s the hold up. Just to be transparent, it’s not being produced by us.

Snippet from: Weekend Notebook | Big 12 Media Days Wrap up and a Recruiting Note
– James Hale – Posted on: July 16, 2021

I am not one that sits around all day at the Big 12 Media Days. I try to hang around with the OU guys as much as possible. Sometimes, I am just trying to be a fly on the wall, and I am just listening to see what I can pick up. Sometimes I get to walk with one of them for a little bit, and I can talk about what I want, and often that is recruiting.

OU’s number one defensive back recruit and one of their top two or three recruits on their recruiting board is Gentry Williams (6’0, 170) of Tulsa (Booker T. Washington), Oklahoma. I happened to hear some conversation about him, so I just hung around and listened, and here is what I got.

Coach Riley had a great conversation with Williams earlier in the week, so good that he feels better about the situation with the high four-star recruit. As TFB has reported, Williams is giving strong consideration to USC at press time, but that conversation was so good that OU feels they have closed the gap against the Trojans.

OU is going to have another BBQ event on the 31st, and they have invited one of their prized 2023 recruits Micah Tease (6’0, 170), who plays with Williams at Booker T. OU offered Tease after their first elite summer camp, and they have been recruiting him very hard since.

Tease is coming to that event, and he wants Williams to come with him. Williams apparently told Coach Riley that Tease wanted him to go to the BBQ with him, and Williams also apparently told Coach Riley that he would probably be at the BBQ if that was okay with the Coach.

You can imagine how happy that Coach Riley was to hear that, and from what I could tell, OU can’t wait to get the two Hornet stars on campus.

What does this mean? OU and Williams are still talking quite a bit, and Coach Riley is doing most of the front-line recruiting. From what I heard, OU feels Williams is not as strong with USC as maybe he was after his visit to California as K already reported, and OU will just keep recruiting him diligently in hopes of winning his signature on signing day. This feels like it is trending in the right direction, just have to keep building.