Open Post | Tuesday, May 19th

In Focus | 2021 DL Marcus Burris
– Charlie S

Last week I noted that I caught up with Ty Taylor who is the defensive line coach at Pleasant Grove High School where Sooners 2021 defensive line target Marcus Burris goes.

I wanted to get a little background on Marcus in regards to his on-field play and his off-field mentality.

Coach Taylor was more than happy to take the time to share his thoughts on Marcus and he is obviously very fond of him.

In regards to his play on the field, Coach Taylor said: “Right now for us, he’s playing defensive end spot and we’re a three-down front, but he’s really a bigger defensive end and we do ask him a lot to play two gaps, but at the next level I really see Marcus being a 3-tech in a four-down front or if he is in an odd front he is the kind of guy that can play two gaps, and that’s just the way his body is trending.”

I asked the coach about Marcus’ physical stature and he said,’We have him at 6’5″ and he’s up around 280, in the 280’s now.”

Pleasant Grove is also home to LSU commit Landon Jackson. Coach Taylor noted that he is very fortunate that he has an embarrassment of riches as he has Burris, Jackson, and Torey Phillips (holds several P5 offers) in his room, so I thought it was pretty noteworthy about Marcus when he said the following about his play:

“He definitely is a go-getter. If people want to see Marcus go up against some elite talent, you know we played Carthage in the middle of the year this year and they won state in the division above us. They had a division one commit (Tykiest Crawford) at left tackle. We specifically put Marcus over him and I don’t think anybody watching the film with an unbiased eye wouldn’t tell you that Marcus got the best of that matchup. He was very physical and played hard. He is definitely a gamer.”

I wanted to dig a little on how Marcus is perceived by his teammates and coaches. Again, some pretty solid reviews from coach Taylor.

Coach Taylor told me “He’s one of our elite guys. We’ve been doing zoom workouts four days a week and he’s one of our guys who is always there, always encouraging his teammates, always pushing them to get better so the team gets better. He is one of the unquestioned leaders of our team.”

All programs are looking for elite talent on the field. After all, college football in large part is, in fact, all about the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s.” While the on-field play is what grabs the coach’s attention, it is the off-field stuff that can tell you a lot about the individual. I asked coach about Marcus’ personality off the field and he told me a pretty cool story.

“Marcus is a big teddy bear. He has a really good nature about him. A great example of that was this past football season we had a kid who’s mom and dad both work for the school district and Marcus met the young man at some school event and the young man wrote a paper about meeting Marcus and the impact it had on him. The mom told Marcus about the paper and he told her to make sure to find him after the game that Friday because he wanted to get a picture with the boy. Marcus followed through, found the young man and took a picture with him and game him some gloves or something and really made the kid’s day”.

He went on to add, “He’s the kind of kid I would let babysit my own kids. As a matter of fact, he has babysat for some of our coaches. He’s just a great kid.”

As far as coach Taylor’s interactions with OU, he said, “It’s been primarily our head coach Josh who has been dealing with the OU staff, but I have a weekly podcast and I had Ruffin McNeil on. I know he’s not with OU anymore but he came through twice last season and we built a relationship which I really enjoyed and I got a chance to speak with coach Thibodeaux this past spring when he came through before the shutdown and he was first class and really enjoyable to interact with as well.”

Naturally, I wanted to get some information for you all on Marcus’ recruitment and when he may be making a decision. Mind you, a lot of what we talked about in that regard was off the record but Coach Taylor did say that OU has done a very good job recruiting him and in regards to a timeline for a decision, he said “I think he would like to make his decision before the season starts so it’s not hanging over his head. I would imagine it will happen sometime this summer.”

If you would like to read Charlie’s Insider Notes which accompanied this article, please check the Donor Board

Eyes of Riley | Accounting Matters
– Charlie S

Head coach Lincoln Riley sent out two sets of eyes which were quickly revealed on Friday…

The first set was for 2021 WR Mario Williams who announced his commitment moments after the eyes were flashed.

The second set was for Edge defender Clayton Smith who committed moments after that set was flashed…

There are still two sets of eyes outstanding (disregard the Jantzen Dunn set) from March 1st and March 22nd.

March 1st… our clue was ‘Not a lot to add here in order to not give it away, but K was able to confirm who it was and we can tell you…the commit is from a 2021 defensive player.’

March 22nd… our clue was ‘We are working on some additional confirmation but initially, we believe it is a big one which could lead to additional dominoes falling, just watch.’ (we confirmed it was who we suspected it was in the thread)

NPD to finally include digital sales data for games | Middle Of ...

So there you go…two sets still outstanding and we believe they are still both in good standing as silent commits.

Snippet from: Monday Notebook | Danny Stutsman, QBs, LincUp21 Getting Hot
– James Hale

Now that Stutsman has committed to OU many have come out and said the COVID-19 ranking hurt his opportunity to move up in the rankings and when or if we have a high school season he will soon be a four-star linebacker. Stutsman has been thinking about OU since he first got the offer.

“When I first got the offer back in March it’s kind of been the talk ever since,” said Stutsman. “Coach (Brian) Odom did a great job of recruiting with a different program, and I could sure tell that I was wanted. I was a top player on their list and it was kind of both ways. It was a clear decision for me.”

Stutsman had an outstanding junior year finishing with 110 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and three sacks, while breaking up four passes, recovering two fumbles, forcing one and returning one fumble for a touchdown. On offense, Stutsman caught 44 passes for 891 yards.

“Danny is first and foremost a good kid,” said Foundation Academy Offensive Coordinator Wright Bynum. “A lot of college programs recruit kids off of athletic ability but the truth is you need somebody with both the athletic ability that also has good character and is a hard-working kid.”

“He’s 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and the kid is 17-years old and has a bright future ahead of him. The sky is the limit for him and he’s probably one of the most aggressive kids I have ever seen on the field as far as hitting somebody but off the field, he’s a teddy bear.”

“He’s a good kid, he works hard and he’s a team-first guy. He’s always been a leader for our team and not just at linebacker, he’s going to make plays on special teams. He will help out on kickoffs and kickoff returns. He will be a great utility play for a program like the University of Oklahoma. I think OU fans are going to get excited watching him run around and knocking heads.”

In 2018, Stutsman was also productive as a junior finishing with 86 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two passes broken up, six forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered, two fumbles returned for touchdowns while on offense he caught 43 passes for 650 yards.

“He has kind of been our workhorse,” said Coach Bynam. “I think he had 900 and something worth of receiving yards last year and he probably rushed for another close to 500 yards as our Wildcat Quarterback. He scored 15 touchdowns for us and could play quarterback for us. He’s a miss-match for anybody playing us across the board and we are looking forward to him having a great senior year on both sides of the ball.”

Stutsman was initially recruited by Shane Beamer but in the end, Brian Odom was his primary recruiter.

“I think Oklahoma was one of those schools that knew that I was a linebacker,” said Stutsman. “I have had offers to play tight end but when Coach Odom and I developed that connection I think he really wants me on the defensive side of the ball.”

“Coach Odom pretty much knows that I’m a versatile player. I have length, and I have size and speed. I can throw the blocks and in the Big 12 I can deal with the spread and be a sideline-to-sideline player.”

Things really came together for Stutsman and OU when he took a virtual visit to OU the first week that OU actually put the program together.

“Oh, man that was a great visit,” exclaimed Stutsman. “It was personalized and they created a visit just for me. I got a chance to talk to the President of the University of Oklahoma (Joe Harroz) and the Athletic Director (Joe Castiglione). I talked with Coach Riley throughout the video and I talked to pretty much the whole staff.”

“You could really tell that they wanted me to enjoy my time on the visit. Pretty much my whole family was impressed. After that virtual visit OU seemed like a great option for me.”

What really sold the deal for OU was when OU rolled several classic cars on the field with Coach Riley because Stutsman and his family love classic cars.

“Oh yeah, that’s all we do here,” laughed Stutsman. “They rolled about five 1969 muscle cars onto the field for a video, which was sweet.”

No other program went that extra mile to impress Stutsman.

“I know,’ screamed Coach Bynam. “I can’t believe that. When they put that on the screen I just started laughing. That’s pretty incredible. You don’t see many schools going that far for a kid.”

It was a connection to Coach Beamer that actually started the process of Stutsman to OU.

“It’s funny when I first moved down here I established a great relationship with Danny’s dad through work, and then I started coaching,” said Coach Bynam. “I saw Danny and I heard how good he was through the grapevine, and I got through our first spring practice going into his junior year and I told him that if he took this seriously that he could really make a name for himself.”

“He took all the right steps. He started working out and hitting the weights. It was about halfway through that first summer he got his first offer and from that point on I knew he was going to blow up. When I saw his measurables and saw how he was growing I called Shane and shot him a text message. I played for Shane (Virginia Tech) and have a great relationship with him and told him that he has to take a look at this kid. I told him that I thought he would be a great tight end for the Sooners.”

“He saw it and told me that he was going to pass it along to Coach Odom as well. A month later Danny went to a Rivals Combine and the got some official stats with his measurables and he got a good forty time and all that, and immediately Shane called me and thanked me for putting this kid on OU’s list.”

“He said I think it’s going to be a done deal and we are going to go out and offer him. Shane has been a big part of the reason why I got into coaching. I couldn’t be happier for Danny to go and play for a guy like Shane and that program. I know they do remarkable things. Shane and Brian Odom kind of just took a chance on him and they are going to be happy with what they get.”

Coach Beamer got the process rolling but it was Coach Odom who really sold Stutsman on being a Sooner.

“It actually feels like for me that we have a line from here in Florida to Oklahoma,” said Stutsman. “Oklahoma honestly feels like home. I’m blessed to have that it’s been set up so that I get to attend there. It’s an unreal feeling to this day. When it became clear that Coach Odom believed in me and thought I could be a great player for OU then that was all that I needed to hear and I can’t wait to put on that Sooner uniform.”

Stutsman comes from an athletic family so he was destined to be a football player.

“Ever since I was growing up I knew I was going to be a football player,” said Stutsman. “My dad played division 1 football, my mom played division 1 basketball and my sister plays division 1 softball. Being a kid I have always known that I have all the talent and gifts to make it at the D-1 level. I have coaches that can push me and push my body to the next level.”

“I know that I can go and play at that level. I feel I’ve always had that drive in me that I’m going to play Division 1 football.”

The feeling is that Stutsman has all the tools to be a great player at OU.

“When I first saw him I kind of laughed because my first thought was this kid is kind of skinny, but I would watch the film and he was just killing people,” said Coach Bynam. “That was February of 2019 and now it’s May of 2020 and going into that spring is when he flipped that switch. Going into the season he could barely get 225 off the bar and the other day he repped 225 pounds 19 times.

“I would say in six months his body flipped a switch. He grew tremendously and he put on 30 pounds since the season was over. I’ve told him that he has to dial it back this season because he could really hurt some kids. I think from now to a year from now he’s going to grow tremendously and everybody knows what happens when you get on a Division-1 weight program with the food that they feed you. He will probably be at 240 by the time he steps on the field for the first time.”

Nothing will change for Stutsman next season at Foundation Academy as he will continue to go both ways.

“Last year we set a lot of records for us on offense,” said Coach Bynam. “This year our goal is to not break records but just to put up consistent numbers every night. Getting Danny the ball will be one of our top priorities but we have playmakers across the board that we feel can make plays for us. Hopefully, Danny is going to attract a lot of attention from a defense. We expect him to be double teamed a lot and maybe even triple-teamed. If that’s the case we have other guys that we expect to step up and make plays. We have a lot of players that can step up and make a lot of plays.”

For Danny, he is another victim of the COVID-19 period that he’s committed without actually stepping on campus at OU.

“I had a visit planned in April but that was canceled,” said Stutsman. “The virtual visit gave me a great idea what the campus is like and I’ve been able to get on-line and see a lot of the campus. When we can I will get out there personally before I have to report and see everything in person, but I have a very good idea what OU looks like. That tour was for about three hours and I feel I know Norman. it’s a great college town with a great culture. It’s going to be a great experience the first time I’m up there.”

Stutsman is another player that has had to get creative but is finding ways to work out during the shut-in of COVID-19

“Oh man, I’m working out every day,” said Stutsman. “I’m getting good lifts in and getting a good burn after. I’m pushing my body as hard as ever during this time.”

An interesting side note, it wasn’t too long ago that Coach Bynam actually played tight end and long snapped for Coach Beamer at Virginia Tech.

“Shane was our running backs coach and I played right end, but I long snapped on our football team,” said Coach Bynam. “So, he recruited me out of high school to come up there and long snap and play high end. I didn’t work under him on my specific position but Shane is a great special teams coach and we became very close. His dad (Frank Beamer) is the greatest special teams coach of all-time. Those guys are geniuses when it comes to that kind of stuff.”

“He really poured into me on the special team side but more importantly Shane is one of those guys that will call you just to see how you are doing in the middle of the off-season. He’s also a guy that will call you mom and check-in and just tell her that they are thinking of her. He’s a great guy and to be honest he impacted me off the field more than he did on the field.”

Stay safe, let’s beat COVID-19.

Sooner Moms Recruiting
– Super K

Remember that 2017 class where the Sooners had families doing a lot of recruiting? Tiffany Broiles, mother of Justin Broiles, was one of the biggest advocates for OU.

Well, it looks like she’s back at it. This time recruiting the mother of 2021 5-star OT, Tristan Leigh (Fairfax, VA).

Gotta think that at least helps. Oklahoma also has Caleb Williams in their corner here.

The Sooner staff is obviously putting in some work here as well. I honestly don’t know at this point what Oklahoma’s chances are but Leigh had told me before the dead period that he was planning on visiting Oklahoma so I imagine he has at least taken their virtual tour but he is not one of the recruits I was referencing in the ‘whoah’ threads.