Open Post | Weekend, July 31st – August 2nd

First Glance | 2022 WR Caleb Burton
– Charlie S

I recently caught up with 2022 wide receiver Caleb Burton (6’0″ 165) out of Del Valle, TX.

Burton is an elite receiver prospect and he already holds offers from basically all of the power programs across the country. He is the definition of a national recruit.

The Sooners are already heavily involved with Burton and they extended an offer to him way back in May of 2019.

As the conversation began, I wanted to get a sense of his decision-making process and a timeline for a commitment. Burton told me. “I’m still taking it slow. I don’t plan on dropping a top 12 until maybe the middle of my Junior football season and I don’t plan on committing until right before my senior football season”.

His process has obviously been interrupted with the pandemic and that has affected the programs he has been able to see to this point. Caleb said, “I’ve only been able to get on campus at Texas and OU. I had a west coast trip planned to go see USC, Stanford and Cal but Corona just took that away”.

As mentioned above, Oklahoma let him know that they were serious very early in his recruitment as they were among the first major programs to throw an offer in his direction.

When I asked him about OU and what stood out, Caleb answered in a manner that is likely familiar to you all by now. It’s all about the relationships. Caleb said, “I talk to Coach Simmons and Coach Riley the most. The relationships I have with Coach Simmons and Coach Riley really stand out. I really love talking to those guys”.

As for what stands out about the football program in Norman, Burton said, “What they do with their wide receivers and how they send them to the league. I like the way they use the wide receivers with the different formations, get them involved with things like the jet-sweeps, reverses, and other creative ways. I like that type of stuff”.

Following his mention of putting receivers in the league, we spoke a bit about some of the recent OU products that were drafted. We touched on DeDe Westbrook, Marquis Brown, Sterling Shepard, and CeeDee Lamb. When I asked him who he would compare his game to out of that group he said, “I would say CeeDee Lamb because what he can do after the catch. I feel like I bring that same type of play with my game”.

Finally, we touched on the topic of peer to peer recruiting. We spoke about what is going on across the country with the 2021 class and how aggressively they are peer recruiting each other and I asked him if there was much of that going on in his class at this point. Caleb said,  “We (the recruits in his class) haven’t really gotten into that yet. We just talk about what schools stand out to us when we talk. I haven’t had anyone really try to peer recruit me from any school besides Ohio State”.

There is a long way to go in this recruitment but I feel confident in saying Oklahoma will remain heavily involved throughout the entire process and they have as good of a chance of landing Burton as anyone else in the country at this point. I do think he is open to leaving the region and Ohio State was brought up repeatedly so it seems like they are high on the list at this time as well.

Needless to say, Burton is a guy you are going to be hearing a lot about over the course of the next 18 months.

Quick Hitter | 2022 OL Cole Hutson
– Charlie S

Just touched base with 2022 OL Cole Hutson  (6’4″ 290) out of Frisco, TX and wanted to share a quick quote with you.

*** Hutson is very high on OU, when I asked him about his first thought when he hears the word “Oklahoma Football” he said “Results”. He went on to say “You’ve seen what they’ve produced, you’ve seen what they’ve done…you’ve seen over the years all they do is win, win, win. It’s a testament to Coach Bedenbaugh and Coach Riley really.”

*** Also, he’s a great kid and not shy about promoting a lesser-known skill he claims to possess. We were speaking about Lane Johnson and how he went from a Tight End to an all-pro tackle and he told me, “Oh no doubt, I have the best hands on the team! You can ask my coach!”

*** Hutson has really picked up steam on the recruiting trail of late as he holds all of the regional offers you would expect and Ohio State, Penn State, and Northwestern are all in steady communication with him.

*** Will have the full write up later this week, but he’s a really athletic kid who’s film reminds me a bit of Nate Anderson.

Sourced | Team | A Word on the Nose Guards
– Super K

***The task of replacing Neville Gallimore is a significant one.

***The battle appears to be between Perrion Winfrey and Jordan Kelley, I’m told.

***I get the impression that Winfrey is slotted as the starter currently, but obviously come fall camp, they’ll battle and that can change.

***I’ve been told that both look solid. Didn’t get a ton of reaction regarding them from my sources but…

***I did get an interesting insight on Winfrey once I pressed a little. I asked if Winfrey moves like Neville and was told that he does not. Neville was an exceptionally explosive big man. However…

***Source said that while they don’t have a guy that moves quite like Neville, was told that Winfrey is stronger than Neville. So, we may not get the type of crazy get off and spin move into a sack like Neville gave you in the Red River game but you may get a more stout presence in the middle.

***And, keep in mind that Grinch is very good at generating a pass rush with gap exchange and pressure.

Updates | Gilliam & Jackson
– Super K

***Earlier this month, Sooners defensive line target Kelvin Gilliam announced he was making his college choice on August 22nd.

Like where OU is. He has gone a bit back and forth between OU and Penn State. So, while things look good for OU right now, they’ll need to continue to fight because it’s not likely Penn State will let up.

***Also, JUCO DB, Khyree Jackson announced both his final four and his commitment date…

His final four includes OU, Alabama, Florida and Oregon.

I can tell you that a few weeks ago (before OU took certain DB commitments), Jackson had given OU a silent. That was not well known, if at all, and we didn’t put it out for a couple of reasons. The first being we didn’t have the go-ahead and secondly, I just wasn’t sure whether it would stick (Lincoln didn’t put out the eyes or ‘O’ for it).

I’m not quite certain where things stand now that OU has received commitments. Because when Jackson made his silent, he then delayed his announcement date which I believe was supposed to happen earlier. The Sooners did not feel the need to wait.

Whether he is a take right now, given the numbers, I simply don’t have a solid answer on just yet. We are checking though. I personally don’t see OU’s need for a JUCO CB. They brought in some nice talent in the last class. They have nice talent in this class. And, their JUCO DB in Justin Harrington made the grades. Like I said, I personally don’t see the need but we’ll see. (Updated below)

Quick Hitter | 2021 DL Marcus Burris Top 3
– Charlie S

2021 defensive lineman Marcus Burris (6’4″ 280) out of Texarkana, TX has publicly dropped his top 3 schools on Twitter.

While there are no surprises in the group, it confirms what we have been hearing throughout.

A couple months ago, we mentioned that the Sooners were the clear leader for Burris, and while they still are in play, Super K noted on July 15th that we are aware of another DL who has told the Sooners he is in.

‘But where the numbers get interesting are the additional DL spots. I’m told that they will hold a spot for JT Tuimoloau.

Also, it does sound like they received a commitment from an additional DL (not Abiara). I don’t know where that puts things with Abiara but I’m starting to think the Sooners may have moved on after taking this most recent silent commit (was a better take in my opinion).

The question then is whether they will have spot for Marcus Burris. We are still trying to find that out. I know he was someone the Sooners were really high on and you can’t really turn down high level DL. But I haven’t heard his name mentioned much lately. So, again we are still checking on that.’

Same DL also revealed his intentions to the other commits last week which spurred on the commits twitter barrage of the ‘O’s.

Oklahoma currently has JUCO DT Isaiah Coe committed at an interior spot along with Ethan Downs who will get to Norman as a ‘DL’.

The Sooners also have Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge and Clayton Smith committed on the ends, so add in the silent commit (who is considered an interior player) and you can see the numbers crunch as OU is still in pursuit of JT Tuimoloau and Scooby Williams.

While we are not closing the door by any means on Burris, the Sooners would have to get very creative with their numbers if they plan on adding Burris. (Updated Below)

The Latest | Burris & Jackson
– Charlie S

Couple of interesting notes on a pair of targets who have been hot topics of late…

*** First on 2021 JUCO defensive back Khyree Jackson (6’3″ 197) out of East Mississippi C.C.

As we have mentioned previously, at the very least, we know that OU had a silent commitment from Jackson at one point. Whether that still holds true, we do not know.

We do believe if he wants the spot, it is still available to him as he is a guy who can play multiple positions in the secondary with Safety being a likely focus.

*** That brings us to 2021 defensive lineman Marcus Burris (6’4″ 280) out of Texarkana, TX.

With Oklahoma likely to pick up a commit in the near future from the silently committed recruit we mentioned back on July 15th, and with Jamar Cain putting OU at least within striking distance of landing JT Tuimoloau, the question had become would Burris remain a take, especially considering his injury?

It appears that the answer is….yes.

Burris would be a take for Oklahoma should he choose the Sooners. Oklahoma would still have to move some numbers around to make room for JT, but at this time it appears like OU would welcome a commitment from Burris as well.

how do you like me now ::

2022’s #1 Center Demetrius Hunter Talks OU
– CJ Vogel

I caught up with 2022 West Orange Stark C Demetrius Hunter yesterday to see where he was in his recruitment and if any schools were standing out so far. It’s still very early in Hunter’s recruitment, and at the moment he holds just four offers – Oklahoma, Texas A&M, SMU and Arizona State.

Like I said, it’s still early, but Coach Bedenbaugh and Coach Riley are off to a good start in this recruitment.

“Oklahoma has really shown me the most love,” Hunter said, who is currently ranked as the number one center in the country according to 247Sports. “They really like me and really think I’d be a good fit in their program. They have really been showing me some real good love.”

With any offensive lineman being recruited by the Sooners, a big reason for interest is the development history of Coach Bedenbaugh and Hunter has taken notice of the recent success in the NFL Draft by Sooner o-linemen.

“(His development) stands out to me a lot,” Hunter said. “To know that he has sent a lot of offensive linemen to the NFL, and that’s where I want to be at. It’s great to know that he’s a coach with the capability molded me into a NFL athlete.”

Hunter told me Lincoln Riley is personally involved in this recruitment as well. Riley hopped on a phone call just last week with Hunter and his parents to talk life and football.

Though Hunter has yet to make the trip to Norman, he said he is hopeful to make the trip for a game this fall if permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions.

While a decision is nowhere close to being made for Hunter, he told me the most important aspect for finding his future home will be the family feel. Something the Sooners have done a great job of establishing over Riley’s tenure.

“Really for me it’s if the coach cares about me on and off the field,” Hunter said regarding the point above. “Like are you going to treat me like I am your son, like your own. Are you going to care about me even when I am not playing for you.”

“Really whoever has the best relationship with me, I like to build a relationship with the coaches and get to know them on a personal level.”

This recruitment really is wide open for Hunter. He has yet to be on any campus visits and has yet to really blow up on the scene, despite holding OU and Texas A&M offers.

One interesting note is that he is the first cousin of former Texas Longhorn All American Earl Thomas, and while the Longhorns have yet to get involved in this recruitment, it could be something to watch down the road. But for now, the Sooners should be very happy with the establishment of an early relationship with Hunter.

I asked Hunter what he thought the best part of his game was and he gave me a really fascinating answer.

“Just me attacking as soon as I snap the ball. Like I fire off from the ball quick and aggressive. That’s how I play, quick and aggressive. When I do my training, I try to do everything at a fast pace. Once you learn how to train fast, you will do everything faster. When I am working out at the schools; we could just be doing walk-throughs and I am just aggressive with it, it’s just natural to me.

Update | 2022 Athlete Brenen Thompson
– Charlie S

As we mentioned yesterday morning, 2022 Athlete Brenen Thompson (5’10” 165) out of Spearman, TX, was taking a virtual tour with the Sooners.

Later in the afternoon, he tweeted out his appreciation for the visit…

I caught up with him briefly following the visit and learned something new.

In the comment section yesterday, several asked where OU was recruiting him and I said I assumed he was being recruited at defensive back…I assumed incorrectly.

Thompson tells me he is being recruited as a wide receiver.

He also mentioned that the tour was ‘awesome’ and we will get into more details on that down the line.

As I said in the post yesterday, Thompson is a serious speed guy who ran a 10.32 100 verified time and claims a 10.18 on his Twitter…that is Hollywood Brown type stuff, and you know how well that worked out for Riley and Oklahoma.

Obviously, there are a ton of other elite wide receivers in the 2022 class who are very high on Oklahoma as we talked about earlier this week but going forward, I think Thompson will be a guy to keep an eye on as you simply cannot teach that game-changing speed.

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Sourced Note | Position Change
– Charlie S

Spoke with K earlier this week and wanted to pass along a note on a position change that sources let him know about…

K was told that Mikey Henderson (6’2″ 230ish) has been moved to running back. From what K was told, it does not sound as if this is a trial balloon but rather a permanent move.

Henderson joins a room that includes Kennedy Brooks, TJ Pledger, Marcus Major, Seth McGowan and Rhamondre Stevenson (who will likely sit out a number of games this year due to suspension).