Open Post | Tuesday, July 1st

Image of McKinley Whitfield via

– While all the fan focus has been on John Humphrey and Ryan Newsome, there is an explosive WR named Desean Holmes out in California that has quietly been building a great relationship with OU as well. We chatted briefly with Holmes recently, and he said he’s definitely interested in Oklahoma. He said that he is going to take an official visit to Norman on November 8th for the Baylor game.

– We caught up with one of our favorite players, McKinley Whitfield, recently. McKinley has been hearing a lot from Arkansas lately and recently attended Salt County Premier Prospect camp in Little Rock. McKinley is a raw but exceptional athlete with tremendous length and without an ounce of hesitation to come downhill and lay the wood. He’s the kind of defensive player you can put all over the field on any and every down. I spoke to former star Arkansas WR J.J Meadors who held the camp and asked him about McKinley, he said “McKinley is a beast!”

We got a little phone camera footage of McKinley going 1-on-1 with KJ Hill, one of the most explosive WRs in the country. Hill has offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Ohio State and just about anyone else you can imagine. He’s a legit 6’0″, probably closer to 6’1″, and had the 2nd highest SPARQ rating at the Dallas NFTC combine. In fact, KJ ran a 3.97 shuttle! Hill is not only explosive, but he’s polished. He’s been privately coached by J.J. Meadors since he was in 8th grade.

On the flip side, you have small town kid in Whitfield who stands 6’3″ 200 lbs, has never really received any in-depth coverage training, and goes to a tiny Oklahoma school that barely has a weight program. His upside is just tremendous, but if you want to see a glimpse of what he can do against one of the most explosive WRs in the country, watch him in the video below. You’ll notice in the second clip that Hill gets a few steps on McKinley, but keep in mind that you’re talking about a stop-and-go route in a drill that favors the WR. I truly believe once McKinley receives the proper training, he is going to be a really special defender.

Also, we got a copy of McKinley’s updated jr. highlights. Watch the first few minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

– JUCO pass rush extraordinaire Takkarist McKinley out of Contra Costa College released his Top 10 last night. He said they were in no order, but this is the order in which he listed them: Oklahoma, Texas, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington State, Tennessee, Oregon, Missouri, USC.

After he released his Top 10 he did send us a private message saying “Go Sooners!”, so that can’t be a bad thing! We talked to him a little bit about Eric Striker and again, Striker’s name continues to help Oklahoma in the race for these elite pass rushers. As OU gets back to putting more defensive players in the draft and having stars on defense, we are likely to see better and better recruiting on that side of the ball. Last we heard Takkarist was planning an official visit to Oklahoma with his teammate Deonte Reynolds late in the season.

In case you missed it, click here to read the write-up we did on Takkarist a while back with evaluation notes.

– Breiden Fehoko tweeted out the following yesterday, so it looks as if, for now, Fehoko won’t be taking a visit to Norman (or anywhere else according to his own words). Based on a few of his tweets, I suspect Tech did everything they could to convince him not to take a look at OU. We certainly wish him all the best either way. Based on the conversations we had with him, he is an absolutely wonderful young man!

– But a Tech commit who does still seem interested in the Sooners is JUCO OT Lio Lafaele, who also tweeted this yesterday. We asked him about the tweet, and he said that he spoke to coach Bob Stoops on the phone this past Sunday. He said OU has been recruiting him hard and he is “high on OU!”

– This past weekend Oklahoma offered 2016 OT Clark Yarbrough out of Virginia. Yarbrough is extremely athletic and actually uses his hands surprisingly well, especially considering the fact that last year was his first playing football. He told us that he grew up a basketball player and only recently began playing football. OU isn’t the only team that took note of Yarbrough’s great size and athleticism. He already has offers from Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, and others.

But here is an interesting note. Clark said he is trying to take a trip out to Norman as soon as possible and is hoping to make the trip in August. We asked him if he plans on making any other unofficial visits this summer, and he said no. It’s early but the point here is that it seems OU is recapturing a little of that national intrigue we all remember from the early 2000’s. It starts with major national recruits talking more and more about OU, taking visits to OU, etc. And as the momentum continues throughout the season, and OU puts more and more players in the league (this year both of OUs starting OTs may get drafted), that interest turns into leverage for OU. And hopefully, in the coming year or so, more and more elite commits.

– 2015 OU LB target Anthony Wheeler said that he’s going to try to take an unofficial visit to Texas this July. July 18th UT is holding an invite only elite camp. A number of top targets will be in attendance at that camp. In fact, Oklahoma DB Ashton Preston has been invited to the camp after performing really well at UT’s open camp this past June. Last time we spoke to Wheeler we got the sense he was struggling whether to pull the trigger this summer or to wait and take a few official visits during the season. One thing that did seem certain was that Oklahoma is very high on his list. UT is probably the other major competitor right now, so if he ends up making the trip to Texas in July then it will be interesting to see if a decision comes shortly thereafter.

  • NORMAN — John Humphrey says education doesn’t just come first for him.
    “Education is first, second and third,” Humphrey said. “It’s the most important thing to me in trying to find the right school.
    “Right now, I feel that Oklahoma is on the top.”
    Humphrey — a wide receiver from Clear Falls High School in League City, Texas — committed to Baylor in April, but opened his recruitment back up recently. He also holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, California, Clemson, Louisville, Ole Miss, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon State, TCU and Texas Tech.
    Rivals ranks Humphrey as the 88th-best wide receiver in the country for the recruiting class of 2015. He is also a standout defensive back, and Baylor was considering playing him on defense.
    Humphrey is also an accomplished track star. He runs the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and is on a relay team for Clear Falls.
    Humphrey spoke with The Oklahoman this weekend about his recruitment, what he likes about Oklahoma and his expectations to have a two-sport future in college.
    The Sooners currently have seven players committed in their 2015 recruiting class.
    Q: What do you find appealing about Oklahoma?
    A: I really love Coach Bob Stoops. I love the education they provide the student-athletes with. I love how each student-athlete has their own tutor. I just like OU. Just, period.
    Do you have a timetable for making a decision?
    I’m thinking around a month, or maybe shorter than that. I know I’m gonna do it before the season.
    I know Baylor was recruiting you as a defensive back. Do you feel like you’re better suited to play offense at the next level?
    I can play DB, but that’s not where my heart was. I have a passion for playing offense. I love making plays, scoring touchdowns.
    Do you plan on running track your senior season of high school?
    Actually, I’m graduating early. I’m gonna graduate in December and go the school of my choice and begin spring ball.
    Would you like to run track in college?
    I plan to run track on the next level as well. The OU coaches have talked to me about doing track also. They would love for me to be on their track team. They just want me to be part of the Oklahoma family.

    Forgot where I stole this but it was free, the D O?

    • Zack

      Jason kersey wrote that I believe.

    • SoonerPhins

      “Humphrey spoke with The Oklahoman this weekend about his recruitment”
      There is your answer lol
      OU looks to be almost a solid lock it seems, from these responses.

  • Kody K.

    Whitfield may not be near polished yet, but he has great natural football instincts. I could see him turning into a bigger Roy Williams. Love the way he lays the lumber!

    • Super K

      Love it too! He plays with an edge off the field but is the nicest kid off the field! He’ll make a great teammate and on the field player.

  • HoustonChiver

    A WR named Desean Holmes?!?! Hopefully he’s half Desean Jackson and half Santonio Holmes…if so then he’s destined to play WR…and hopefully at OU!!!!

    • Zack

      Holmes looks good but I haven’t found much film on him maybe 2 or 3 minutes worth of highlights. I think he and stanley Norman from Cali are both going to be more durable than Humphrey and newsome and they still run close to 4.4 range. So I would be happy landing any 2 of the 4 but I do like the texas kids better for the sub 4.35 speed.

      • boomer-d

        pretty sure I heard Holmes is a grade risk

    • Super K

      lol nice!

  • Sooner 4Ever

    Are there any other OU fans, besides me, that are Stephen King readers? I’m just wondering if I’m the only one who thinks of “TAK!” from ‘Desperation’ and ‘The regulators’ every time Takkarist McKinley is mentioned in an article.

    And hey, I’m not sure which is more frightening… an extra-dimensional demon who’s reason for existence is death and destruction or a 6’3″, 250 DE/ Jackbacker who runs 4.5 and has a thirst for blowing up quarterbacks. Maybe the answer depends on whether you are a quarterback or not. 🙂

    • cpearc00

      Big Stephen King fan here, but haven’t had a chance to read those novels yet.
      Thanks for giving me some new book options, though!

  • SoonerGray

    Who has offered Whitfield to date? Film looks incredible (I realize against inferior competition) but it sounds like he’s testing extraordinarily well and holding his own in camp competition against elite talent.

    • Super K

      Has a few offers right now: Minnesota, Houston, Tulsa, Southern Miss. But he came on the scene late so peoples classes are filling up or their boards are set for now so there aren’t a lot of offers coming out. Had he had more attention back in January I almost guarantee he has a lot of BCS offers.

  • Boom

    OK, I’m going to vent a little here so I appreciate your patience. I realize there is a board the coaches use for top recruits per position. They may be holding out on several of these top recruits which makes sense. However, my man Whitfield is not at the top of the board or at any position for that fact. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, think Brodney Pool who just finished a 10 year career in the pros. He was 6’3 but not near as big. Whitfield could play at 220/225 at the nickel and come up and lay the hammer on run support.
    I think Whitfield would be a cross between Roy Williams & Brodney Pool. Who was Roy until Stoops showed up. 2000 NC with a bunch of no names – like a Whitfield.
    Now, think along these lines. Whitfield is playing for Jenks and been going to camps for two years. He’s working with strength coaches and position trainers. Hmm, he’s a 4 star and M. Stoops has been courting him for two years. Reality, he’s in Spiro, works with no one and is still a stud. Enough said.

    • SoonerPhins

      Would make a great “Rise to Fame” story. Hopefully he will get to more camps and show that he can handle greater competition.

      • Boom

        True, but you look at what he can do now and his potential/ceiling which is the most important. Also, he’s not 5’10 185 and will be more like 6’4 220/225. Stoops bros would have multiple options with him, like Striker. K, make sure Whitfield knows there are a lot of Okies pulling for him and would love to see him in Crimson & Cream.

        • soonerinks

          Wow, just finished watching his tape. Realize it is not against top competition but Whitfield is a flat out baller. Has a nose for the ball and seems to have very good instincts and man he closes in a hurry. C’mon Mike that is one kid you want to have on OUr team.

  • bjwalker82

    Appreciate the news fellas. Any updates on practices by chance? Hearing that Michiah Quick is something amazing and that our Defense may eventually rival some of the best we’ve seen at OU in the Stoops era.

  • Gary Robbins

    A little sunshine pumping this morning.
    Student athletes OU is among their top choices for a 2015 commit ( OU is on top for a few).
    Peat(lb), Sunderland (db), Moore (te), Newsome (wr), Humphrey (wr), McKinley (de), Wheeler (lb), Barnett (og), Ford (ot), Danley (ot), Thomas (ot), Akamnonu (ot), James (ot), Ross (db), Haughton (db), and probably many more.
    A very “non-official” list of student athletes I’ve heard about for official visits.
    Marshall Wallace, Ricky Deberry, Louis Brown, Stanley Norman, Ykili Ross, John Houston, Takkarist McKinley, Du’Vonta Lampkin, Andrew James, Deonte Reynolds, Desean Holmes, Gabriel Campbell, and Ryan Newsome. All subject to change as you know, but I truly expect this list to grow and grow.
    A couple of July un-officials: Jamal Danley and Taylor Jacobs ( last I heard).
    Everything seems to be falling in place. Coaches receiving raises, OU voted best stadium in Big 12, plus $370 million dollar in upgrades (weight room-wow), Norman rated the 2nd best college town. Almost forgot, Headington Hall- truly a game changer. What’s left except an undefeated season in 2014.

  • Jordan Esco
  • Indy_sooner

    Striker came in # 10’s 14 for 14 hitters. Love it

  • Boom

    K, I would like to hear an update on Jace Sternberger. Curious how much he’s growing and if he’s working on anything specific. Also, has he heard any more from OU. Thanks K.

    • Super K

      He’s actually now up to 225 lbs. Continues to add weight and speed.

      • Boom

        Thanks and by this time next year he could be 240 – just take him.

  • Zack

    I would take this kid over Johnson at safety. The kid has great reaction and awareness great range and talk about hitting the kid is not afraid to hammer guys. He will need someone to teach him technique on hitting guys a little lower but that’s correctable.
    His interception on the post route looked like he recognized what play was being ran before the receiver had gone 10 yards.
    I wonder if he has any handlers that would be able to get him in to 5A or 6A because if he had the same impact at that level we’re talking a 4 star national recruit.

    • Super K

      Completely agree. I think if he they didn’t already have Johnson OU would have offered.

      • Zack

        I guess we can hope for notre dame to offer Johnson maybe he would follow McKinney there

  • EasTex

    If I am in the school yard and I get to pick who will be on my team for…anything…I’m choosing Whitfield.

  • Gary Robbins

    Don’t know much about this athlete but Patrick Allen, offensive lineman out of Reistertown, Md., has a top 5 of: OU,Georgia, Ohio State,Michigan and Tennessee per 247 Sports. Has a pretty impressive offer list. Georgia seems to be in the lead at present.

  • Dana Rogers

    I’ve been a gym rat/sports fan my entire life. Speaking of that Whitfield kid – It’s the sum being greater than the parts. Individually; coming from a small town w/ minimum coaching and facilities, his obvious physical attributes and desire to excel, and lastly the unlimited upside that I see… Wholly; sure makes for one heck of a possibility. Now I ain’t the coach with but just a handful of rides to be given but man o man, don’t ya just ever so often have to say to yourself this one’s worth a chance? Heck, I don’t know… but I know what I’d do.

    • Super K

      Unlimited upside. Couldn’t agree more!

  • Kody K.

    Whitfield’s ceiling is sky high! Yea, he’ll take some development to get to finished form, but he’ll be worth all the effort the coaches put into him. Plus, he is one of those players whose passionate play gets his teammates pumped up. I love kids that play with heart. It’s contagious! Hope he gets an offer. The potential for something special is definitely there.

    • Zack

      I don’t get why an offer hasn’t come I would offer him and figure out what he will play when he gets to campus even if you knew his position he would likely have to sit most of his first year so might as well redshirt. But he’s basically the same size as Sunderland so I see him being a safety.

      • Boom

        I think it’s about where he is on the board or if he is even on the board. I’m sure they (coaches) are waiting on some other recruits OU values more to make their decisions. However, I agree with you, just take him. Striker two years ago was playing ILB, now he has his own Striker LB position. Options, can’t have enough of them and Whitfield definitely provides a buffet full of them.

  • Shelby is a Patriot
    • Eric Hoffpauir
      • Shelby is a Patriot

        Oh, wow. They got a whole decked out page for it.

      • Josh

        Absolutely hate those!

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          I can get over them compared to what some other teams wear…

          • Eric Hoffpauir

            Not a fan of those numbers.

          • Josh

            I feel like throwing up lol..

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Personally, I don’t like the stripe on the helmet; it reminds me of Nebraska, I guess.

          • shawn

            I immediately thought it looked like a combo of the FSU and OSU uniforms.

    • shawn

      It’s something different I don’t imagine they’ll be used a lot like the OSU, Oregon uni combos but it will be something different. I like them.

      • Shelby is a Patriot

        At least they’ll give us all something extra to talk about until Football starts..

        • shawn

          I’m just glad that Coach Stoops is showing a willingness to make more changes, it’s not much but the alternate unis are something that these recruits want.

  • Eric Hoffpauir
  • Josh

    Twitter is blowing up with talk of new unis. I’ve seen the pics and they are TERRIBLE!!! Please say this isn’t actually happening! Any one know the real deal with these?

    • Kdubracing

      I like them. Anything different is good. The current OU uniforms are ok, but extremely boring for the current era.

    • If the players and recruits like them, I couldn’t care less what I or other fans think of them.

  • Jordan Esco

    There’s a post up on the new unis, feel free to take the convo over there

  • just_a_fan

    Ou is most definitely going to miss out the longer they tend to wait!!