Open Post | Friday, May 23rd (UPDATE 9:20 am)

Image of PJ Mbanasor via

Hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend. May God bless all who serve and served. And may He bless their families and our great country.

– Last night a couple Oklahoma targets released a list of their top schools. We’ll start with Kahlil Haughton. Haughton’s Top 10, in alphabetical order, is: Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas Tech. Not long ago Oklahoma was near or even at the top of that list for Haughton. I spoke to him last night and it sounds like other schools have reasserted themselves. Lately, he’s had a little more frequent communication with schools like Texas Tech and Baylor than he has with OU.

He is still looking to make some visits, including over the summer. He’s hoping to take a trip to Ohio State in June. His mother is actually from the Virginia area and if Kahlil ends up at a school like Ohio State, Penn State or Duke, she may move back to the area. I say that only to make the point that proximity advantages for schools in the south like Texas Tech, Arkansas, Oklahoma, LSU and Baylor aren’t necessarily a factor. Haughton is also planning on making a trip to Arkansas this summer.

– Kahlil McKenzie actually released an ordered Top 12 list. The Top 5 in order consisted of: 1) Tennessee 2) Arizona 3) USC 4) Wisconsin and 5) Oklahoma. A few weeks ago McKenzie told me that OU and UT were ahead of Arizona. And a few weeks before that, he essentially said they were ahead of Wisconsin. I had anticipated Oklahoma would have come in around No. 3, but like most of you for the past month or so it’s just felt like Tennessee will be really difficult to beat. McKenzie, as most of you know, has family ties to Tennessee.

Arizona is a school that has simply impressed Kahlil with pure recruiting prowess. He has also always spoke highly, at least when talking to me, of USC. The Trojans have the advantage of proximity, and of course he’s built relationships with local Cali players, like Iman Marshall, who are seen as USC leans. Meanwhile, Wisconsin was his childhood home. And the reason he once told me that Oklahoma was ahead of Wisconsin, was because there was apparently a long period where there was little or no communication from their staff. But that appears to have been remedied.

Also, for folks assuming that Oklahoma landing in the Top 5 ensures that OU will get an official visit…unfortunately that isn’t the case. McKenzie has told me that is not a certainty since he has already seen OU.

– Coach Bedenbaugh recently stopped by Apopka, HS in Florida to visit fullback Chandler Cox and OT Martez Ivy. OU, of course, has ties to Apopka through C Ty Darlington and his father. At one time Cox was adamant about his desire to take an unofficial visit to OU this summer. I caught up with him recently and while he still wants to take the visit, it definitely sounded less certain than it had in the past.

– One of the top JUCO OTs in the country, Jamal Danley, recently named Oklahoma and Miss. State as his leaders which sounds like good news. However, in talking to Danley it sounds like Miss. State is going to be tough to beat. And I’ll be quite honest with you, it’s always hard to beat out the two big state schools for Miss. JUCO kids (for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into). Danley, however, definitely understands the kind of talent OU has produced at the OT position and obviously there will be a big need in the next year. We’ll keep an eye on this one obviously, but it feels like Miss. State the school really out in front right now.

– This past week Oklahoma offered JUCO NG, Deonte Reynolds. I caught up with Reynolds, and he’s definitely interested in Oklahoma though he has no publicly stated leaders at this point. After watching a few clips of his film, I thought perhaps the offer was made as an OL. But Reynolds confirmed the offer was made to him by Coach Montgomery and it was for the defensive line. I plan on speaking to him more in the coming week, but had just wanted to initially check in with him.

– Unfortunately, I don’t have much great news for y’all and the not so great news continues. I spoke to PJ Mbanasor earlier this week, and he will be putting out a Top 7 next week. And while Oklahoma is still certainly in it, and perhaps even still at the top, there are definitely some other schools that have made an impression on him. In fact, he said the school communicating with him the most right now is Ohio State. And the Buckeyes are definitely a school he is very interested in. I’ll leave the rest for us to discuss next week when he releases his Top 7. He does still plan on getting up to Oklahoma next weekend with his parents, and the Sooners are still in a good spot with him. But just not quite as strong as they may been in recent weeks.

– For those of you who missed it, Oklahoma made their first contact yesterday with Spiro ATH McKinley Whitfield. Last night he spoke on the phone with Mike Stoops. McKinley was attending his cousin’s graduation in Ft. Smith yesterday, so I wasn’t able to get the details of the conversation but I’ll definitely catch up with him later. It’s hard for me to imagine that OU would see his film (and his frame) and not offer him. He’s a no-brainer for just about any program, in my opinion, and certainly for an in-state school. And fair warning, you can expect us to talk about Whitfield a lot. I love this kid’s film and I’m going to pump him every chance I get.

– Back in April we were first to report when Kingfisher TE Jace Sternberger was invited to Oklahoma’s spring game. Since then OU has been by to visit him and his teammate Kaden Clay Jackson. We haven’t done a full evaluation of Sternberger yet, but we hope to relatively soon. We have however had some communication with him and plan on getting to know him even better. Sternberger is really starting to intrigue me. There isn’t much film of him blocking, and it appears the reason for that is he just started playing TE last year. In fact, as a freshman he was a 5’8″ QB and as a sophomore he was up to 6’1″. He also recently measured in at nearly 6’4″ at the NFTC!!! And get this, at the state track meet last year he ran the 200 in 21.8 secs!

That length and athleticism alone is very intriguing to me. We look forward to getting to know Jace more and, of course, taking a deeper look at his film. But he’s definitely a guy firmly on our radar, and it appears OU is watching him as well. And they aren’t the only ones. Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma State all dropped by Kingfisher last week to see Jace and Kaden. Jace told me this summer he is working on his stance and being more explosive in the blocking game. If Sternberger adds that element to his game along with his size, athleticism, and hands, he could see his recruiting really pick up going into his senior season.

And nothing would make us happier as we love seeing all these Oklahoma kids get recruited.

– UPDATE (9:16 am): Recent OU offer & 2015 TE Josh Moore tweeted this morning that he’ll be making yet another trip to Norman next Saturday.

– UPDATE (9:20 am): And with the news early this morning of OU not making the Top 5 for Justin Hilliard (one of their top 2015 LB targets), the Sooners have apparently moved on to another 2015 Ohio linebacker in Anthony McKee Jr.



  • Jordan Esco

    Here’s this to help try and brighten your Friday

  • Zack

    Since it looks like mbanasor is starting to fade from an ou lean and lane committed to osu. And it doesn’t look good right now for the Cali corners, is it time to offer Patterson from Lawton? I don’t know that he would commit on the spot so why not extend the offer.

    • Super K

      Mbanasor is still a strong possibility. It’s just that a few weeks ago he appeared to be a lock and now it’s a little less certain. But again I’d still say OU is in a great spot with him and could very well win his commitment. A lot will depend on how things go next week when he visits with his fam. He values their opinion greatly.

      • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

        Super K..Have you or any of the brainiacs been able to evaluate Robert Charlton(Memorial) or Robert Thomas (Union) yet? Thoughts?

      • Zack

        Thanks for the insight. I know as fans we always think the sky is falling but I’ve got to remember it’s a marathon not a sprint.

      • hOUligan

        Any movement on the Derrick Baity front? And is there genuine interest on his part in OU? With all of the CB/S prospects that looked so promising just weeks ago (Mbanasor, Lane, Ross, Langley, Holiday, Haughton) looks like a new batch of offers needs to get out and he needs to be one. I’m sure TFB will keep us posted! ; )

    • hOUligan

      Isn’t qualifying the main issue with Patterson? Seems K said recently Patterson is all in with OU but the staff is concerned about grades so no offer until then.

  • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

    Is there no one else who thinks maybe there is heavy negative recruiting going on against OU right now with these Texas kids? I am not into conspiracies but it was only a month ago we were talking about a great possibility of getting PJ, Lane, Haughton and Sunderland and nowwwwww…Painful.

    • Zack

      Sunderland is Midwest city so I think he’s probably interested in both ou and osu considering I think that’s where both gundys went in high school. But it does seem like ou is being recruited against and pretty well at that.

    • Jordan Esco

      I suppose anything is possible (and to some degree I think there is always some of that), but what would the pitch be? Not like OU is down right now, obviously coming off the Sugar Bowl. Or instability among the coaching staff. Or pending NCAA stuff. I’m just not sure what the negative pitch to sell these kids against OU would be right now?

      • Daryl

        It sounds like with a lot of these recruits we are just getting out worked. When guys that are at the top of our boards are hearing from other schools more than us that seem like an effort issue. I don’t know all the NCAA regulations but man take a day and schedule email and tweets to go out everyday every week to these kids. Phone a couple days a week but the reality is tweeting and texting is there language. Use that technology to your advantage and answer that phone when they call.

        Sorry that was a rant but feel free to correct me if I’m off.

        • hOUligan

          Don’t know this to be true but seems we are hearing more and more recruits saying they are ‘hearing’ from another/other schools more than OU. Is it as simple as getting out dozens of letters a day and a few texts and tweets to each one every day X 120? LoL

          • pitbull17

            If that’s the case I’ll gladly go to work for OU writing letters and sending out tweets.

  • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

    Hope we offer Nick Connor and Jake Pickard soon..

  • Ed Cotter

    OU will get players that will compete for championships. Kids are enamored right now with all the schools that are jumping at them. Let the dust settle and we’ll see what happens. I just like the fact that the coaches are evaluating guys and making offers and not just sitting back.

  • Zack

    Looks like josh wariboko will release a list of top schools when the evaluation period is over.

    • Jordan Esco
    • rphdenton

      …..this list will be interesting………wonder if it will be strictly schools that have accepted the ‘offer max’ condition

      • Zack

        I wouldn’t be surprised if ou is not number one but say he does a top 10 or 12 and ou isn’t in the top 5 then I think that’s like settles list and it’s just an attempt to show up ou(for lack of a better phrase) and if he thinks ou is low because we won’t offer his brother YET, give it time and I bet we will offer him but I think that hinges on how he plays this year.

        • Gary Robbins

          Is Louisville and UCLA the only 2 schools to offer the younger Wariboko?

          • Jordan Esco

            In terms of ‘prominent’ schools, I believe that’s correct.

  • SoonerBredCD

    The recruiting woes continue to baffle me. You would think I would be used to it by now, but I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that OU just doesn’t seem to be a sexy program to recruits.

  • Jordan Esco

    fwiw, I don’t believe that Top 5 from Hilliard necessarily means OU is completely out of it. But having not made it, though just on the outside, they clearly still have plenty of work to do if they are going to actually stay in it.

    • Gary Robbins

      I just wonder if other programs and athletes committed to other programs are really bad mouthing OU as perceived? OU is up to 128 offers or more and are not slowing down. Also is offering a lot of JC athletes a good or bad sign?

      • Jordan Esco

        If they’re targeting specific position groups, then I’d say that’s perfectly fine. If they start just crop dusting the JUCO ranks w/ offers, then I’d say that’s a pretty good sign they have a problem.

  • Ash Jones

    Recruiting for OU is working out well. It’s good to see where OU stands with recruits early, because as OU runs the table this fall, plenty will try to ride OU’s nuts again. But OU will be able to see right through those folks. OU wants players who believe in hard work and are team oriented, not kids who just want to go to a school because it’s the flavor of the month.

  • BigJoeBrown

    Yeah, it get’s a bit depressing hearing about OU and de-commits and it seems like potential recruits lose interest makes you wonder what is wrong. But I really believe that if OU is able to capitalize this season with big victories across the board, and a stellar bowl victory then we will once again see recruits lining up at the door. The Sugarbowl sharpened the blade but we got some more wood to chop.

    Part of me thinks that you guy’s may want to book mark some of these post’s and save them until after signing day, so people remember it’s a marathon not sprint. I know I have to remind myself.

    Another request or idea would be if you guy’s can add a Q&A at the top next to Facebook, Twitter or Contact. This section would provide basic answers to repeat questions that posters have on this sight. Like, What is the 3-3-5, 4-3-3, ect and what kind of players are needed? What are Red-shirts, Grey-Shirts? How does the numbers game work when it comes to recruiting? Ect… Anyway, just an idea…feel free to tell me to “rick rocks” as Stephen A Smith says.

    Keep up the outstanding work.

    • Sooner 4Ever

      I can help answer one of the “example” questions you listed…

      the 4-3-3 defense was a John Blake specialty… throw off the opponent’s blocking schemes by fielding only 10 players. LOL

      • BigJoeBrown


    • Zack

      Or the 4i tech.

  • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

    It seems like I might have to repeat my post about the alleged “woes” OU is facing in recruiting. So soon we forget about the players we actually have. Instead everyone focuses on the players we don’t or aren’t likely to get.

    Y’all gotta stop chasing women who don’t want you. Chase those who do.

    • Jordan Esco

      You’re not wrong, but b/c of how the sport works at this level you obviously have that constant turnover w/ regards to your roster. So while your point is valid re: OU’s current roster, you can’t simply ignore that it has to be replenished and recruiting is the only way to do that.

  • Boom

    I realize this doesn’t relate to this post but it does relate to recruiting.,36109/

    • SoonerPhins

      It is the Onion, but I could totally see schools doing this.

    • Sooner Ray

      The girl looks like she was doomed to be a checker at Wal-Mart, now has a nice job at a university and she doesn’t have a clue what she’s going to do or why. Yeah that’s legit.

  • Paul Warfield

    Oklahoma has almost always struggled during this part of the recruiting cycle because Bob believes in taking time off and enjoying life. He is right in doing so and allowing his coaches to do the same, but it also results in being outworked by other staffs.

    The reality of Oklahoma’s recruiting issues aren’t anything other than other programs out working them and working smarter as well.

    I had seen someone on the other site say this, and I now completely agree. But Oklahoma needs to get back to what made them so good in the early part of the 2000’s, and that was better player identification and player development. Those 2000-2004 teams were not full of top 100 kids, they were full of the right kids playing in the right system and being coached better than other schools like Texas who was full of ace recruiters.

    • Boom

      Paul, this is a friendly site and I value your opinion. However, if you look at the stars we had on the field, I would say the coaches did an outstanding job. Also, the coaches are not being out worked as you can read from most of these posts that they are everywhere across the country on a daily basis. In addition, look at Whitfield, I don’t think he even has a star and M. Stoops has called him and I’m sure there will be more dialogue in the future.
      I would say they are recruiting the right kids for the right system – ie, Trevor, Striker, Tapper, and I could go on.
      2000 was a team of destiny, period. Spread before spread was popular and if you noticed, not one injury – not one. Also, the other teams were good but what did they win other than the big 12 and some individual trophies. The Big 12 had clout and the SEC wasn’t what it is today. The tables turned and now the Big 12 is a good conference but it’s not viewed like the old days. We lost some good history with the teams that left.
      Over the years, I’ve said some of the same things you are saying but I’ve come to realize that Stoops & Co know what they are doing and I don’t. Stoops has his own style along with the staff and it seems to produce winners so it’s hard for me to bash the staff. Wonder what Mixon’s top 10 was at this time last year……….

    • Stikboy

      Well if you really believe that, which I’m not disagreeing that it’s true, then maybe he isn’t right in doing so. 5 million a year says you need to be outworking everybody else. Beating Alabama was one of the biggest wins of his tenure, but in reality meant nothing as far as championships go. And is that not what he’s getting paid for. If Oklahoma is about National Championships(we all know it is), and judging by his salary it appears that way also, then he needs to figure whatever it is out to put out a product commensurate with what he’s getting paid. And if OU’s coaches are in fact getting outworked that is inexcusable. No one says spending time with your family and having time off for leisure is a bad thing, it’s a wonderful thing. But this may not be the time in his life where he can give his all to his job. I love Stoops and I’m not saying he should leave, but OU isn’t paying him to play golf at Pebble and toss his kids around while other teams gain important commitments because they are outworking OU. If that is the difference in having the depth to not lose 2-4 games a year then he may need to re evaluate his priorities. It’s like last year… OU coasts through recruiting most of the year, then has to scramble and works like crazy at the end in January, and signs multiple players in a position of need(OL) that are either huge academic or character risks. We now see that possibly over half of the OL signed probably won’t make it in. So what excuse will we get in ’15 and ’16 when they are trying to convert TEs and scrambling to get JCs, and OU can’t block anybody? Maybe with a little more time, hard work, “showing love”, effort, and evaluation they might have signed some better players. Who knows?

      • Zack

        Stoops scheduling and the recruiting were not the problem when the program plateaued after Bradford. It was poor player development and maybe some poor evaluations but of highly rated kids. So I can’t blame stoops vacations for all the 4 and 5 star busts. It seems to me the fire is back. Montgomery and boulware seem to be very good recruiters and we know norvell is one of the best. The 2 guys who were academic risks on the oline, one may be close to eligible (teaser from SS) and the other I don’t think was an academic risk at first but had a kid in the last year and I think it changed things for him. And there’s nothing wrong with juco players just ask the offensive coordinator.

    • SoonerfanTU

      So no other schools have coaches taking time off, or taking trips?

      Yeah right.

  • Zack

    Brainiacs anyone know when torrance will announce that top 7? It says soon but that could mean tonight or by July

    • Gary Robbins

      His twitter did not say when just that they would be in order. Hale Hengtes (te from Missouri-I think) is set to announce his commitment at 7 P.M. Central time tonight. I don’t believe OU is in the running. It seems OU may be in the top 7 for T. Gibson. I’m still waiting for another top ot commitment and I would be happier than that camel on Wednesday. lol!

      • Zack

        I like the tight end from Kansas he looks like a special player. I think you’re right about Gibson last time we were 6th so I would think we may move up as high as 4th. I hope he has mentors stressing the importance of him sitting a year or 2 behind a good qb is better for a kid that has things to work on.

  • EasTex

    Hope everyone had a safe Holiday weekend and honored the 1.3 million(+) who have fallen in service to our nation.
    Spent the weekend back home in Marshall, Tx and Caddo Lake. Batteries are fully charged and counting down the days til OU summer training starts.