Open Post | Weekend, November 3rd – 5th

Jadon Haselwood: This past weekend really couldn’t have gone much better for Oklahoma. It wasn’t just with the 2018 recruits, either. The Sooners really made an impression with 2019 UGA WR commit, Jadon Haselwood.

Though Haselwood is from Georgia, he has deep family ties to the state of Oklahoma and the university itself. Haselwood made the trip with his father, Jeremy, who said, “We had a great time at OU. Jadon really enjoyed it.” Haselwood was definitely a priority as they got to hang with and talk to Sooners outside WR coach, Dennis Simmons, and Lincoln Riley quite a bit. The two coaches impressed too, “It was just great to meet them in person. Both were awesome and very gracious.”

When speaking with Jadon, he confirmed what his father said. I asked him if he had plans to visit OU again. Jadon was adamant in the return saying, “I am for sure taking an official next year.”

That’s good news for Sooners as there was always thought that if they could get the UGA commit on campus things could really get interesting.

And here is why…

Jadon’s father said, “He literally has three generations of OU DNA in him.” That is something Riley and Simmons are banking on to turn the tide as they make a hard push to flip him. – (Brandon)

Jeremiah Martin: The numbers are tight but the Sooners are still in pursuit of a few more key defensive pieces. As K mentioned earlier this week, 2018 CA DE, Jeremiah Martin (San Bernadino) is a guy the Sooners would like to have in this class.

Martin only recently picked up an OU offer and almost immediately scheduled a official visit to Oklahoma. He was in town this past weekend for the Texas Tech game and the environment stood out from his previous visits, “Nothing at OU was similar. It was different. It was a different atmosphere. Everything was a stand out, everything was great. It was a great experience and I met a lot of great people that were committed and the coaching staff was just awesome. I mean, it’s somewhere you can see yourself”.

I asked Martin about his upcoming plans including his commitment plans. “I’m visiting Washington in January and I’m going back to Texas A&M and OU maybe”. Martin recently visited TAMU and has a return visit scheduled. In terms of a commitment timeline Martin said that he hopes to make a decision in January.


He also added that he will likely silently commit to a school prior to that in order to reserve his spot.

In the past Martin has mentioned OU and TAMU being his top schools and I don’t think that has changed. He planned his return trip to TAMU before making his visit to OU so perhaps he will indeed make a return trip to OU now that he’s been on campus.

I did ask Martin if where OU and TAMU stand in relation to one another, “I mean, I’m still not sure. They’re both close”.

With the instability at TAMU, you’ve gotta like a close fight to go OU’s way. – (Brandon)

Brian Hightower: We’ve seen the word going around that 2018 Miami WR commit, Brian Hightower (IMG Academy) may have some interest in the Sooners. Yes, another IMG Academy prospect.

We are digging on this but we can tell you that Hightower told us earlier this week that he is planning on taking a official visit to OU.

Again, we are still checking on this. Let me just add that, if it’s not obvious by now, TJ Pledger can’t be the only guy at that school recruiting for OU. – (Super K)

Abdul-Malik McClain: Oklahoma has a ton of momentum in recruiting right now. Especially, with targets from California. You can add 2018 elite San Juan Capistrano, CA (J Serra Catholic HS) DE/OLB Abdul-Malik McClain.

McClain has been committed to UCLA since July and seemed to be a solid commit to the Bruins. Still, Oklahoma has really been pushing McClain and it seems to be working as the star DE/OLB is set to visit Oklahoma on November 11th. This would be another huge get if Oklahoma can get McClain to flip. – (Brandon)

Micah Parsons: Earlier this week I spoke with Terrence Parsons, the father of 2018 DE/OLB, Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, PA). Going into the visit, OU probably didn’t stand much of a chance but they were able to change that, “At first, I wasn’t even going to come on the visit. They (OU) came in the picture later in the game and I wanted to know why didn’t come after him (Micah) sooner.”

Terrence accepted the staffs explanation that very simply put, they never really thought they’d have a chance with a player of Parsons caliber from so far away, “After the Ohio State game the d line coach reached out and they said they wanted to just see if Micah would be responsive and he was so it started rolling from there”.

Still, it was pretty clear that going into the trip, Parsons’ father was skeptical but Riley and the staff changed his perception, “Like I said, I wasn’t even going to go on the trip…the coaches were real. They look you in your eye and they tell you the real. Mr. Riley is young but he knows what he’s doing. Riley is straight forward and the fact he’s so young just impressed me. He’s going to be there for a while. Franklin (Penn State HC) and Riley are similar type guys. They’re people person. They can joke around but they know when to be serious. But Riley is so young so it’s that much more impressive.”

Terrence said that while there is no formally released list of top schools, the decision is going to likely come down to Penn State, OU and Georgia. They’ve visited Georgia for a unofficial visit and are hoping to make it down on a official visit. Terrence also said they’d like to get back down to OU if possible but Micah’s high school plays their games on Saturdays so traveling during the season makes it tough.

Parsons will certainly make a trip back to Penn State. He’s been there numerous times and he has strong connections to Penn State, “His teammate is committed to Penn State. He knows a lot of guys there. He was committed there but I think in a way he did that for us. So I was actually glad when he decommitted. I don’t want him to do it for us. I’ll admit, I’m a die hard Penn State fan but I told him my favorite team is going to be wherever you go. I don’t want him to make a decision based on what I want.

So how would the family feel if Parsons were to choose OU?

“If my son was out there (Norman) I know he’d be in good hands. The distance thing is not a problem. My boss knows I may need to leave on a Thursday to make a game. For my son, he goes back and forth. There are distractions close to home but at the same time close to home is comfortable. That visit was better than he thought it was gonna be. Oklahoma shocked him. He’s adamant he wants to go away for college but he is tight with his family too”.

According to his father, Micah’s biggest priority is contributing, in some capacity, right away, “He wants to get on the field as a freshman. He wants to contribute right away somewhere even it’s just fifteen to twenty snaps to start.”

One of things Oklahoma is selling the Parsons on is Micah playing both ways, being primarily a defensive player but also having a offensive package at H-back. Micah is a legitimate running back prospect. Perhaps this is where OU can separate themselves from the school that is clearly their biggest competition, “Penn State isn’t one hundred percent on him playing both ways. Oklahoma though showed him how he could. They had a whole presentation about how they could use him at H-back and how he would fit in the defense. Oklahoma said that with my son (Micah) they’d be getting a two for one.”

While Parsons doesn’t have any direct ties to Oklahoma he does have ties to some of the OU commits. Terrence told me that Micah actually spent an entire week in California staying with TJ Pledger’s family, “Micah and Bookie and TJ Pledger are close. Micah stayed with the Pledger family for a week”. Terrence also noted that their family is close to Sooners OT commit, Brey Walker. So, while Parsons may not have the same familiarity with guys at Penn State, there are some connections.

Interestingly, Terrence tells me that Micah could actually graduate and enroll early but they have not yet decided if they will do so. Terrence did say that either way, Parsons will commit in a ceremony on December 20th and he will sign that very day. So whoever wins Parsons commitment won’t have to fight it out till February. OU will definitively know their fate on December 20th.

My Take

Micah loved the visit. I don’t doubt that. And there are some OU commits working hard to get him to OU. I think OU actually gave Micah something to think about. Terrence admitted that they were enticed to commit. Will it be enough to beat out the comfort of the home state team? I don’t know.

I respect the fact that Terrence is a Penn State fan but is trying hard to be objective. Still, I can tell it’s a struggle for him. I can hear in his voice that he’d like Micah to be at Penn State but doesn’t want Micah to make that decision based on his preference. The fact that Micah was once committed to Penn State and decommitted might give a clue that Micah really isn’t sure if he wants to stay that close to home. Even Terrence admitted that the initial decision seemed to be made for the sake of his family. Terrence also noted that Micah has long been adamant he wants to go away for school.

In a way this feels like the Proctor situation. Proctor is drawn to Ohio State but sources around him tell us that in the end he will opt to stay closer to home. But will he? Again, no way to know for certain.

The smart money is on Penn State but OU isn’t going to make it easy. As Parsons gets further from the visit, it’ll be interesting to see whether the shine of the visit wears off. I’ll be watching whether Parsons does end up taking a return visit to OU.

This is a hard one to bottom line at this point but I think Terrence summarized it when he said the visit shocked Micah. In only two days, OU made themselves a real contender in this race. What does that say about Parsons real draw to Penn State?

More than anything though, perhaps, what Parsons represents is a message to OU to start recruiting the best defensive linemen in the country. Quit counting yourself out. You’ve got a great product to sell and you’ve got a great man at the helm in Riley to sell it. – (Super K)

Christopher Oats: The Sooners are reaching all across the country to try and sway some of the best LBs in the nation to, at the very least, give Oklahoma a look.

It seems to be working with Merlin Robertson, Raymond Scott, Adeoye Ayodele, Dashaun White and now Winton Woods HS (Cincinnati, OH) LB Christopher Oats. Oats is set to visit Oklahoma on Nov 10th and 11th for the TCU weekend.

Oats is visiting Michigan State this coming weekend and already visited Kentucky back in September. Oklahoma is the only other visit he has set up at the moment.

When talking with Oats you can really tell that Oklahoma LB coach Tim Kish has really been working him hard. Kish has been instrumental in the recruitment of Ayodele, White, Scott and Robertson as well. Oats stated that Kish and him speak often and he is one of the main reasons for his visit.

Obviously, with Oklahoma having a good shot at Scott, Ayodele and White there are limited spots left at LB. It has become a first come, first serve deal at the LB position, so Oats–though he might like to wait– may have to make a decision sooner than later after his visit. – (Brandon)

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