Open Post | Tuesday, March 23rd

Jovantae Barnes Visiting Sooners
– Super K

As you know, the Sooners are heavily pursuing 2022 4-star running back, Jovantae Barnes (Las Vegas, NV).

Barnes was hoping to visit Oklahoma in April but the NCAA extended the dead period so that didn’t come to fruition.

However, Barnes tells me he is now scheduled to take his official visit to Oklahoma on June 12th. Barnes has told us that while Oklahoma is really high on his list, he needs to see Oklahoma before he can make a decision.

Assuming the dead period isn’t extended again, this will be his chance. Barnes will likely take the visits he needs in June and then make a decision very soon thereafter.

Trending | 2022 DL Kris Ross
– Charlie S – Posted on: March 19, 2021

Super K is on the road, but he just wanted to get a quick note out to you guys to let you know that sources indicate 2022 DL Kris Ross is trending to Texas right now.

At the time I posted this note, there were four days left till his scheduled announcement…today is that day.

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Looking at the Roster | Weights and Measures
– James Hale

When the new roster comes out, it’s always interesting to see the gains or the declines from players that are still on the roster from a year ago. It’s always interesting to see how the new guys measure up and what number they are wearing. Also, if any of the varsity guys have changed numbers, it’s always good to note. If I don’t mention a player, it’s because they did not have much change from their height or weight from a year ago or their number.

0 Eric Gray (5’10, 206)
1 Joshua Eaton (6’2, 184) compared to 6’2, 175 from a year ago
1 Seth McGowan (5’11, 205) compared to 5’11, 211 during his freshman year
3 Mikey Henderson (6’2, 223), leaning up to 6’2, 234 from his freshman season
3 Jamal Morris (6’2, 221) is building up to play LB to 6’2, 210 from a year ago.
4 Mario Williams (5’9, 181)
5 Micah Bowens (5’11, 192)
5 Billy Bowman (5’10, 182)
6 Cody Jackson (5’11, 177)
7 Latrell McCutchin (6’1, 185)
7 Spencer Rattler (6’1, 201) compared to 6’1, 205 a year ago.
8 Trejan Bridges (6’1, 187) compared to 6’1, 180 from a year ago
9 Tanner Schafer (6’3, 200) who has dropped a lot of weight 6’3, 217 from a year ago
10 Theo Wease (6’3, 205) bigger than a year ago 6’3, 192.
11 Nik Bonitto (6’3, 234) who has leaned from 6’3, 238
11 Jadon Haselwood (6’2, 208) continues to yoke up from 6’2, 200
13 Shane Whitter (6’0, 218) leaner than at 6’0, 238 from last year and with a new number as well
13 Caleb Williams (6’1, 219)
14 Reggie Grimes (6’4, 260) down from 6’4, 266 a year ago.
15 Bryson Washington (6’2, 192) leaned up from 6’2, 197
16 Brian Darby (6’0, 198) leaned up from 6’0, 204
18 Austin Stogner (6’6, 255) down from a year ago at 6’6, 262
19 Caleb Kelly (6’3, 238) a solid six over 6’3, 232
20 Clayton Smith (6’4, 228) Impressive freshman
21 Kendall Dennis (5’11, 189) up from 5’11 181 his freshman year
27 Jeremiah Hall (6’2, 244) has really leaned up from 6’2, 253
29 Jordan Mukes (6’1, 205)*
30 Brynden Walker (6’2, 247) down from 6’2, 251
33 Marcus Stripling (6’3, 241) some reason dropped weight from 6’3, 250
40 Ethan Downs (6’4, 248)
42 Noah Arinze (6’5, 261) adding weight for his move to DT 6’5, 252
45 Joseph Wete (6’4, 226) leaned up from a year ago at 6’4, 233
47 Gabe Brkic (6’2, 203) natural growth from 6’2, 198
52: Tyrese Robinson (6’3, 326) losing weight from 6’3, 335
53 Anton Harrison (6’5, 317) has lost his baby fat 6’5, 334
54 Marquis Hayes (6’5, 335), has gotten into great shape from 6’5, 349
55 Aaryn Parks (6’5, 301) also lost his baby fat down from 6’5, 322
56 Chris Murray (6’3, 279) dropped a lot of weight from 6’3, 297
64 Wanya Morris (6’5, 313)
65 Finley Felix (6’5, 303) up from 6’5, 298
66 Robert Congel (6’4, 319)
69 Nate Anderson (6’4, 279) surprisingly is getting smaller 6’4, 281 from his frosh year
70 Brey Walker (6’6, 353) added a chunk from 6’6 342
71 Noah Nelson (6’7, 307) down from his freshman year of 6’7, 317
73 Andrew Raym (6’3, 304) surprising down this much 6’3, 320
74 Marcus Alexander (6’3, 315) down from 6’3, 322 from a year ago.
79 Darrell Simpson (6’7, 358) in much better condition from 6’7, 369.
87 Spencer Jones (6’1, 210) much bigger than a year ago at 6’1, 197
88 Jordan Kelley (6’3, 278) is it really good a nose lost this much weight from 6’3, 292?
90 Josh Ellison (6’2, 279) same thing for a nose 6’2, 291
92 Kori Roberson (6’4, 298) bigger to play the nose or DT from 6’4, 288
94 Isaiah Coe (6’1, 295)
95 Isaiah Thomas (6’5, 262) lost a little from a year ago 6’5, 267
96 Laron Stokes (6’4, 272) down from 6’4, 278
99 Marcus Hicks (6’5, 287) natural growth from 6’5, 284

***35 Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (6’4, 247) much different than was reported when he was recruited. With Rawlins-Kibonge I checked to see if that is a misprint. Throughout the recruiting process, I talked to him several times and had him on my radio show and he always said he was 6’7. The OU coaches on signing day said that he was unique with his length and his ability to move. He was offered as a basketball player at Washington as a forward, and not many 6’4 guys are recruited as a forward. OU wants him to come out for their men’s basketball team when the football season is over and that’s not because he is a 6’4 sharpshooting guard.

So I went and checked on that with a source and was told he actually measured at 6’5.25″ and the thought is that there was a misprint on the spring roster in regards to Kibonge as well as with Jordan Mukes who I was told is taller than the listed 6’1″.

OU set out to lean up their football team this spring, and for the most part, they have done that. The ‘Speed D’ concept is in full effect in the defensive line, and while I’m old school and don’t always agree with that, that is what Coach Grinch wants for his defense. I’m told Coach Riley wanted to run the guys hard this offseason with the thought to build them back up with good work during the summer offseason program. I have always been told that a player can put on five good pounds or thereabouts during a seven-week training session, so the guys who lost weight this offseason will put a little bit back on this summer.

Still, Murray at center, and some of the defensive lineman is a little eye-opening that they lost that much weight. Again, that’s me, and I’m a little old school. Yet, it’s good that both Robinson and Hayes lost weight at the guard spots.

Update on the Tulsa Trio | Rowe, Williams & McClellan
– Super K

As many of you know, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre that happened at Black Wall Street.

One of the things that has struck me in covering these particular Oklahoma kids is just how impressive they are off the field and in their aspirations.

Gentry is a high academic guy who wants to go into commercial real estate and eventually return to Tulsa to help in the effort to revitalize north Tulsa.

Jayden Rowe’s father owns a number of businesses and has done well for himself in entrepreneurship so it sounds like Jayden would like to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Chris McClellan says he wants to eventually open a mental health facility.

And Eli McWilliams wants to get a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

***This past weekend was the first time I’ve seen Chris McClellan and Jayden Rowe in person.


***They’re both a lot bigger than I expected.

***I know Darius and CJ had mentioned that Chris dwarfed Bear Alexander. And, they mentioned he was one of, if not the best defensive lineman at the recent Under Armour camp.

***OU has struggled in the past few years in getting the NFL body types on the defensive line. Perrion was the most recent and before that, it was probably Du’Vonta Lampkin, who likely would’ve been a draft pick if he would’ve stayed another year.

***McClellan is that body type. You’re talking a legit 6’4 (if he’s under that it ain’t by much), broad shoulders and he’s already nearly 300 lbs. He has the potential to look like an absolute monster at the next level. I understand why LSU and Florida are after him.

***Unlike Charlie, CJ and Darius, I’ve been quiet on beating the drum for Chris. And part of that was because, on my recent trips, I’ve seen a lot of DL who claimed they were 6’3/6’4 and ended up being more the 6’1/6’2 types with decent frames but nothing special. So, I wanted to see Chris in person.

***Yeah, on frame alone, the Sooners are going to want to keep him in state. When you add his athleticism with that size to go along with his work ethic and good academic standing, he’s a must keep in the state.

***Chris tells me he has his first OV scheduled for the opening weekend of June to Florida. He will be going to Florida with Gentry who also has Florida in his list of top schools.

***On the third weekend in June, he and Gentry plan on taking their official visits to USC.

***Both told me that they have not scheduled OU official visits just yet.

***Jayden Rowe…double wow. His size shocked me. You’re talking an elite 100m high school sprinter playing cornerback (and just started playing a couple years ago, I believe) who is a solid 6’2 if not taller.

***He’s shredded 217 lbs. Yes, you read that right. Absolute freak of a physical specimen.

***I get the sense that Baylor is the team to beat in this one. Rowe seems to really really like the way Baylor has prioritized him.

***If Bama or Clemson or any of those types of teams see Rowe in person, he’d likely pick up offers from them. I haven’t seen a DB in this class that looks like that and I’ve seen the 5-star kids. I’m looking forward to watching him move around in the spring.

***But when you’re just talking about pure speed and size – physical gifts –  it doesn’t get much better than Rowe. I don’t know what position he will eventually play but you take big fast athletes like that all day.

Five Keys to Sooners Spring Ball
– James Hale

As Spring Ball gets underway today, I wanted to share what I felt were ‘Five keys for the Sooners this spring’.

1) Offensive line: OU had a pretty good year in the offensive line last year, but not a great one and it certainly did not live up to coach Bednebaugh and Rileys expectations. But this unit still has a chance to be great. OU has to find two offensive tackles, and they should be able to do that with two guys with major starting experience in Wanya Morris (6’5, 313) and Eric Swenson (6’5, 329) and some talented youngsters on campus like Anton Harrison (who got a ton of playing time last year) and Stacey Wilkins. OU has to find a center as well, and they don’t have a guy that has really played a ton at the position before aside from Ian McIver. Chris Murray and Robert Congel do have some limited experience. Both starting guards have lost over ten pounds, but the competition will be good with good young players and an experienced transfer inside.

2) Wide receiver: By their own admission, the OU wide receivers did not have a great year in 2020. Sure, they are talented and made some plays, but they dropped too many passes to be great. Coach Riley has stated that the wide receiver position will be a clean slate this spring, and may the best players emerge. Sophomore Marvin Mims (5’11, 176) leads this group with a group of sophomores looking to get their careers back on track to stardom. Look for Trejan Bridges (6’1, 187), Jadon Haselwood (6’2, 208), and Theo Wease (6’2, 205) to get their swagger back this spring.
There will be some newcomers to watch at wide receiver this spring as well in Mario Williams and Cody Jackson.

3) Quarterback. Spencer Rattler (6’1, 210) has to be an improved player this spring from his first year as a starter. Rattler was very good and is considered the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy this year. OU could care less about that, but he has to continue his development to read defenses and take what the defense gives him. He will get pushed by freshman Caleb Williams (6’1, 219), and that competition will be interesting to watch for a number of reasons.

4) How the opt-in guys do: For junior running back Kennedy Brooks (5’11, 220), sophomore offensive tackle Stacey Wilkins (6’6, 316), and sophomore defensive tackle Jalen Redmond (6’4, 284), getting back on the field is something to take a look at. I have friends in the business that feel that Coach Riley will make the guys earn their place back on the field, but Coach Riley has already stated that they have looked like they never left. He has always said that the players will have to prove that they have not lost anything from their year away from football. Redmond will start out as the starter at defensive tackle, and Brooks the same at running back. Wilkins will be battling for playing time at offensive tackle.

5) Return of injured players: Senior linebacker Caleb Kelly (6’3, 238), redshirt freshman defensive tackle Marcus Hicks (6’5, 287), and defensive back Justin Harrington all worked some during the off-season but worked in the pit (injured workout area) just as much. Kelly and Harrington are coming back from torn ACL’s, while Hicks has a torn Achilles. According to Coach Riley, all three have been cleared to resume workouts and be full go this spring, but he admits that the coaches will be careful with them this spring. All three will be in fights for playing time, and how much they play this spring may determine if they leave the spring as starters or as a rotation piece.

*** During the COVID era for the Sooners, every college football team, the 2020 season was the longest year of their lives. I’m sure that goes for most of us, but the fact that spring ball has returned across the country and in Norman is a blessing for sure.

“Oh, it’s a great feeling that is for sure,” said Coach Riley. “We have learned so much about each other through the COVID year, but we can’t wait until we get back to normal. I’m not sure when that will necessarily be, but we know we are getting closer to that. We won’t test quite as much as we did during the season, but the guys are going to have to maintain their discipline. We have already seen a couple of programs shut down their spring ball because of positive COVID tests, so the guys will have to be aware that we could lose a part of the spring if they don’t maintain their discipline.

“We have a good mix and experienced players and young talent. We like the young players in our program, and they will push the veterans, and a few will emerge to help us this year. We have some of the details put together for the spring game. We can’t have recruits that weekend, but we can put on a good show for the fans, and we will let everyone know soon what we are going to do, but we look forward to playing in front of our fans again.”