Open Post | Weekend, February 19th – 21st

Quick Hitter | OU Owning Virtual Visits
– CJ Vogel

I figured I would make a post out of this because it has been a constant theme I have heard surrounding the Sooners’ top prospects across the 2022 and 2023 classes so far.

But the OU staff is doing a phenomenal job at getting virtual visits set up for targets at the top of their board. I’ve heard the same push from a number of prospects like Chace Biddle, Jarred Kerr and Jalen Hale.

All three said their first virtual visits were with the Sooners staff. In a time where there is no end in sight for the dead period, being able to virtually visit through Zoom and connect for a call like this is going to pay off in the long run. Not only does it express a lot of interest from the OU side of things, but it also the closest thing possible for a recruit to see campus, facilities and explore educational opportunities.

For the time being, the Sooners are dominating this aspect of the current recruiting world. It’s already paying off with a top five class very early on.

Jake Taylor Releases His Top Three | Update
– Super K

So, we’ll keep the Las Vegas updates rolling. In case you missed it, we had a few Vegas target updates, last night. So, be sure to check those out.

As you know, last week we stopped by to see 2022 offensive tackle, Jake Taylor (Bishop Gorman).

The primary surprise for me in Jake’s top three was the addition of Alabama and USC not making the cut.

When I spoke to Taylor and his father last week, it was really clear that NFL development was a major priority. Academics are also a priority.

Alabama offered him a day or two after I saw him and in speaking with folks close to Jake, it sounds like that offer immediately supplanted USC in his top three.

***Notre Dame would seem to have that perfect combination of Academics and offensive line development but I am told that they have fallen a bit due to the sheer number of tackles already committed in this class. Notre Dame currently has two tackles already committed. And Jake certainly isn’t afraid of competition but taking a path of greater resistance also isn’t ideal.

***As I noted last week, the family seems to be Sooner fans and they did visit on their own dime for last fall’s Baylor game. I personally think if the choice was made today, the Sooners would be the favorite.

***Alabama has come in late but as I said, they almost immediately took over USC’s spot which is no small thing. Jake and his family have a great relationship with USC’s staff and it’s a longstanding relationship. USC has academics and they have proximity. That tells you the power of that Bama offer.

***I still like where OU is in this one but when I spoke with Jake, he said he wants to take more visits including another a visit to Norman. So, I think how difficult this becomes for OU may have to do with how much time Jake takes with this process. I don’t think much is going to change in terms of Notre Dame. He already knows a lot about them and has the relationships there. But the longer the process takes, the more time Alabama has to build those relationships and make their case.

***This is one OU would love to have. Jake is ridiculously athletic. Tremendous feet, very quick, and intelligent. He also has that streak of nasty in him that coach B likes. He’s lunch pale kid. And he wears his 280 lbs about as well as you’ll see. He looks like a TE and I mean that as a compliment.

***I will say that I can foresee one very simple advantage OU may have (beyond the family being fans of OU) is the direct flights from Las Vegas to OKC. In passing, Jake’s father mentioned the direct flights and how easy it is for them to get to Norman.

***Anyhow, Jake is a primary target for the Sooners and he is elite. So, this is going to be a big one to watch this cycle.

TFB Randoms | New Number
– Charlie S

*** A few of you noticed that Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge picked up the number 35. Last season, 35 was worn by Sooners inside linebacker Shane Whitter.

I have been told that Whitter has shifted to number 13 which was vacated by Tre Norwood when he left.

Quick Hitter | Important 2023 Offer Goes Out
– Charlie S

The Sooners extended an offer to 2023 athlete Makai Lemon (5’11” 175) out of Los Alamitos, CA

The reason I say it is an important offer for Oklahoma…

He is close friends with Sooners 2023 priority QB offer Malachi Nelson.

K will have more on this combo down the line, but make no mistake, not only is Lemon an elite athlete who can play either side of the ball, he also figures to be a consideration in Nelsons recruitment.

Quick Hitter | 2022 Aledo TE to Visit Campus
– CJ Vogel

2022 Aledo tight end Jason Llewellyn told me he hopes to make the trip up to Norman next weekend to see the campus and facilities on a self-guided tour.

Llewellyn added he will be up in Austin this weekend, though the trip is contingent on the weather and if I-35 is clear enough to drive after the wild week of snow and ice across the state.

Texas offered on February 1st and the Sooners on February 13, but both will be big players in this recruitment moving forward.

Update | 2022 DB Bryan Allen
– Charlie S

Checked in briefly with 2022 DB Bryan Allen last night to see where things are at in his recruitment.

Allen took a virtual visit with Oklahoma over the past weekend and as you would expect to hear, he came away very impressed by the presentation.

Allen has previously been to Norman. The last time he was in town was a little over a year ago when he visited OU for a junior day and received an offer from Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley.

Following that visit, Allen told me OU would be a major player in his recruitment going forward.

Then in April, he suddenly committed to LSU…sight unseen. (I still believe that had a lot to do with JoJo Earle and LSU, but that is speculation on my part).

However, Alex Grinch and Roy Manning never stopped recruiting him and now that he has backed off the LSU commit, the Sooners are in play. Their persistence has OU in a good spot here. Texas has also emerged as a major player for his services right now so it could eventually come down to a true red river battle.

I asked Allen if he has any plans set to get back up to Norman or Austin in the near future and he said, “Nothing planned as of now, but both schools are very, very high on my list”.

Allen (6’0″ 180) is one of the top safeties in the class and there is one offer missing that I am keeping an eye on…Alabama.

Right now, I believe OU and Texas would be at the top of his list, if and when that Bama offer comes, I do think they will immediately jump into contention.

OU needs to continue to put the work in on the recruiting trail with Allen and continue to produce in the secondary on the field to give themselves the best chance possible at landing the coveted defender.

Late Night Note | 2022 In-State DE DeSean Brown
– Charlie S

A name to keep an eye on is 2022 defensive end DeSean Brown (6’4″ 240) out of Choctaw, Oklahoma.

Source tells K that the Sooners, and DE/OLB Coach Jamar Cain in particular, are starting to check him out a little bit deeper and they have some legit interest in him.

Ideally, OU would like to see him again in person before they extend an offer, but with the NCAA extending the dead period, that may not be feasible.

Brown currently holds around a dozen offers or so and interest in him is picking up of late, so he certainly qualifies as an in state kid to keep a close an eye on going forward.

2022 Linebacker Notes
– Super K

Sooners currently have one inside backer committed in the class in Kobie McKinzie (Lubbock, TX). We expect them to look to add a couple more.

We will have more on these prospects, shortly but some of the targets are as follows:

***Justin Medlock (Manvel, TX) – I saw Medlock fairly recently and he is high on the Sooners. However, when I asked him how much he hears from coach Odom he said, “I’ve been talking to him a bit”. If the Sooners push here, I think they’re in a good spot.

****Xavier Simmons (Greensboro, NC) – Simmons says he speaks with Odom almost every week. He told me he was thinking about visiting OU for the spring game but with visits getting cancelled that likely changes his plans.

***Other big time Texas linebacker targets include Kip Lewis (Carthage) and Martrell Harris (The Woodlands). These are both high priority targets.

***Devon Jackson (Omaha, NE) – Jackson is set to release his top five and the Sooners should make the cut. Earlier this month, Jackson did a virtual visit with the Sooners.

ChampU22 | Offensive Line Big Board
– Charlie S

Continuing with the roll out of the OU Big Boards.

Currently posting the ’22 recruits who hold Oklahoma offers.

There will be additional names added to most position groups as names of interest as we get deeper into the cycle.

Offensive Tackle: The Sooners currently have no offensive line commits in the ’22 class.

*** Zach Rice – Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, VA) 

*** Tyler Booker – IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) 

*** Kelvin Banks – Summer Creek (Humble, TX) 

*** Will Campbell – Neville (Monroe, LA) – LSU

*** Josh Conerly Jr. – Rainier Beach (Seattle, WA) 

*** Jacob Allen – Hun School (Princeton, NJ) 

*** Addison Nichols – Greater Atlanta Christian School (Norcross, GA)   

*** Kiyaunta Goodwin – Charlestown (Charlestown, IN) 

*** Kam Dewberry – Atascocita (Humble, TX) 

*** Drew Shelton – Downingtown West (Downingtown, PA) – PSU

*** Julian Armella – Columbus (Miami, FL) 

*** Tegra Tshabola – Lakota West (West Chester, OH) – Ohio State

*** Collin Sadler – Greenville (Greenville, SC) – Clemson

*** Dayne Shor – IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)

*** Malik Agbo – Todd Beamer (Federal Way, WA) 

*** Jacob Sexton – Deer Creek (Edmond, OK) 

*** Jaylen Early – Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) 

*** Cameron Williams – Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) 

*** E’Marion Harris – Joe T. Robinson (Little Rock, AR) 

*** Jake Taylor – Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) 

*** George Fitzpatrick – Cherry Creek (Englewood, CO) 

*** Aliou Bah – IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) 

*** Hunter Erb – Eaton (Haslet, TX) – Aggie

Offensive Guard: The Sooners currently have no offensive line commits in the ’22 class.

*** Devon Campbell -Bowie (Arlington, TX) 

*** Earnest Greene – St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) 

*** Dave Iuli – Puyallup (Puyallup, WA) 

*** Cole Hutson – Frisco (Frisco, TX) 

*** Johnny Dickson – Flour Bluff (Corpus Christi, TX) 

*** Neto Umeozulu – Allen (Allen, TX) 

*** Kanaya Charlton – Brunswick (Brunswick, GA)

*** (OC) Demetrius Hunter – West Orange-Stark (Orange, TX)

Offensive line bottom line: 

OU will likely be looking to take a full sleeve along the OL. (Five players).

Currently it feels like they are in good shape with a solid mix of tackles, guards and Demetrius Hunter at center.

One thing I love about the way Bedenbaugh recruits (generally) is the wide net he casts. That was never more evident than with the 2020 class where he landed (in my opinion) the top offensive line class in the country despite missing out on some early priority targets (Corcoran, Aki, Monheim etc…).

The 2021 cycle was set to be smaller with a class of 3 initially and up to 4 potentially, but Bedenbaugh suffered some losses as Tristan Leigh and Bryce Foster each went elsewhere. He didn’t cast as wide of a net because he didn’t need the numbers. I don’t think you will see that mistake (if you can call what Leigh did and missing on Foster a mistake) again out of Coach B.

Some names on this list that I would initially pay close attention to for the Sooners are:

OT: Josh Conerly, Dayne Shor, Malik Agbo , Jacob Sexton, Jaylen Early, Cameron Williams, Jake Taylor

OG: Devon Campbell, Dave Iuli – Puyallup, Cole Hutson, Johnny Dickson, Neto Umeozulu

Those are not the only names worth monitoring, but those are some of the guys we know OU has sincere interest in right now and they return a high level of interest in OU.

OU will still put work in with names like Kam Dewberry and Kelvin Banks along with the other guys at IMG as well.

Jovantae Barnes | Visit Update
– Super K

As I previously noted, 2022 RB Jovantae Barnes was set to visit OU in April. This visit was set up with the understanding that visits with coaches were going to be permitted.

The NCAA has decided to push visits back, once again. However, I am told that Barnes is still likely to make it to Norman.

When I spoke to Jovantae recently he mentioned that while he likes OU, he really wants to see the campus and where he would be living. I believe he can scratch the itch with a self guided tour and that may be all it takes.

The Latest | Big Kat Bryant
– Charlie S

Things aren’t looking great right now for OU and Auburn transfer defensive line target Big Kat Bryant and we would be surprised if it comes together.

As we had previously mentioned, the issue was a hold up ultimately on OU’s side and obviously it didn’t get straightened out.

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