Thought on Kenyon Frison

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Happy Saturday Sooners! How bout that signing class? I’m still flying high from the Sugar Bowl win that’s over a month old now, so the haul that we pulled in Wednesday is just icing on the cake for me. When you look at the class from top to bottom, it seems like one of Stoops’ most complete classes if not the most that I can remember. The big time talent is there at virtually every signee, and when you look closely at the prospects who are lower rated, the knocks you hear on them are things like…wasn’t a camp kid, showed up to events overweight, discovered late in the process, at one point was a possible grade concern etc. So when you look at those reasons, nowhere to be found is a knock on any kid’s ability to actually play the game. One of these guys is Kenyon Frison.

Talking to K about Kenyon’s performance in the Semper Fi Bowl, there were some times that he whiffed on blocks and maybe didn’t look all that great in the actual game. What you gotta remember about all star games whether they be in high school or college like the senior bowl, is that the practices leading up to the game are more valued by scouts and decision makers than the actual game. The laboratory that’s provided by being able to spend a week seeing how a guy practices, how he prepares, how he does in drills, how he finishes, and all of those things are what really resonates to people in the scouting world.

Like I alluded to in the article about Orlando Brown, Kenyon was a guy who I never felt great about Oklahoma landing. I don’t know what it was, but it was just a feeling I had that the guy wasn’t coming to OU. With that, I didn’t do a whole lot of research on him since I didn’t feel like we were going to get him anyway. Originally I watched his junior film, and I wasn’t all that impressed. What I saw was a guy who just looked really raw. He was very athletic, and that couldn’t be mistaken. Without knowing too much about Kenyon, I thought that he may be a Charles Tapper kind of guy who hadn’t played the game very long. Come to find out, Kenyon has only played football for a couple of years. So when you cut on the tape for his senior year, the transformation you see, and the progression in his game is undeniable.

You hear about guys all the time who take leaps and bounds from year to year, and Kenyon is one of those guys. What was the most fun about watching Kenyon’s senior film was going back and pulling up his junior film and comparing it. When I laid them side by side, if I didn’t know that I was watching the same guy just one year later, you couldn’t have convinced me that I was. The guy literally made that kind of step in his development. Talking to folks I know around the Oklahoma Football community, the stuff that’s coming out about how the staff feels about Frison is very exciting. Phrases I’ve heard have been:

“Best offensive tackle prospect Oklahoma has ever signed since Stoops has been here”
“Upside seems to have no end”
“The staff feels like he could be as good as Trent Williams”

All of that sounds like very high praise, but I can see why they feel the way they do when you go back to how much he progressed between his junior and senior years. Without sounding too corny, the kid took a quantum leap. Couple that with the fact that he’s played basketball most of his life and has only been around football for a couple of years, I find myself asking the question how good could this guy be?

It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of how our offensive line was being coached up before Bedenbaugh came to town. I saw guys who were supremely talented all across our front only to be missing on the little things time after time. Coach B however is an architect as an offensive line coach. He’s a guy who knows what kind of players he wants, knows how to recruit, and is very demanding once they get here. The guy is a savant when it comes to coaching kids up and teaching them how to play the game. Look at the depth we’ll have this year at virtually every position. Specifically at offensive line, you’ll have from left to right…Thompson, Savage or Shead, Darlington, Nila or Evans and Williams. You have Farniok, St. John, Marrs, and looking at the class coming in, you don’t see the need to plunge these new kids into the fray too early like we’ve seen in the past. Guys like Habern, Cooper, Good and others were put into the games before they were ready because we had no one else. The same could be said for the defensive line too, but now when you see guys come in like Dalton, Alvarez, Brown, Frison, Paul and Curtis, you feel good about knowing unless something goes very wrong, that these guys are going to redshirt and be around a couple of years before they’re needed to play. Then with Bobby Evans and Wariboko in the fold for 2015 already, and rumors of Barnett committing almost every time you hear about him, you really come to appreciate the fact that Bedenbaugh knows how to build an offensive line that will stand the test of time.

So for kids like Curtis, Paul and Brown who could stand to lose some bad weight, and a developmental guy like Frison, the situation they’re walking into at Oklahoma seems tailor made. I’ll admit unapologetically that I was rooting for Tristan Hill to get an offer. He ended up getting offered by Vanderbilt in the SEC, so you know the guy can play or at least we’re not the only folks that think so. Now that I know it’s all over and the ink is dry on the paper, I am very glad that Kenyon is a Sooner. There’s really not anything I don’t like about his game. Any deficiencies he may have at this point are things that are going to come with experience and good teaching. The guy is 6’6″ and 290 right now. His frame doesn’t look like it’s filled out all that much, and Stoops said that he’s actually closer to 6’7″. So when you think about what he could be in two or three years, a guy retaining his elite athleticism and weighing 325 while developing power out of his natural strength, the future for the offensive line just has me giddy. Even warm and fuzzy.

Take this for what it’s worth, but in my opinion, Kenyon has all of the physical tools to be a first round draft choice in a few years. The guy is an elite athlete at the position, and would have been rated much higher had he been around the game longer. So when you see how nasty he is, how good a finisher he is and how athletic he is, you gotta feel good about knowing that he’s going to have time to learn how to play the game. If he comes in and embraces his opportunity to redshirt, hits the weights hard and takes nutrition seriously, we may have a guy who could be challenging to be the starter at left tackle after Thompson leaves. Farniok has always been a right tackle to me anyway, so it’s possible we could have a three or four year starter at the left tackle spot. Granted that depends a lot on what Josiah St. John does about it, because if there’s anyone on the team who can compare athletically to Frison it’s St. John, and like Kenyon he hasn’t played the game very long either. It’s going to be interesting watching all of this unfold, but I must admit it’s a great time to be a Sooner! Kenyon Frison is a special signee, and I’m excited to see what the young man can do.

  • Cory Reedy

    My thought is…he’s a LOT bigger than the guy in the picture up top! : )

  • Cary Newman


    Great write up. And I agree with you all the way on Frison. Really never felt confident about signing him, but after the dust settles, could become the most important player of this most impressive class.

  • The best part of this story is that all six of the incoming OL recruits can redshirt while learning OUr system, learning proper nutrition and adjusting to the nightmare that is coach Schmitty.

  • Jeff Frederick Jr.

    Great post, JY. I had the exact same thought about watching his film between his junior and senior years as you did. If I didn’t know for a fact that it was the same kid going into the two films, I would’ve bet you good money that there was no way the two kids were related. Not a chance.

    Thanks for having a post up first thing in the morning. Now that I’ve had my TFB fix, I can get this weekend started.

    Boomer Sooner!

  • Sooner Ray

    Thanks JY, nice piece. Lots of upside to him and many of these recruits, gonna be exciting around here for a while!

  • Rees Bear

    Imagine the yardage our RB’s will chew up with our line opening holes and our big WR’s, TE’s blocking downfield… then mixing it up in the pass game, again to our huge receiving corps. The next few years are gonna be special ones to watch on both sides of the ball.

    • Fear The Magic

      and add to that the fact that we have a QB who can take off running for 20 yards at a clip if nothing else is open.

  • EasTex

    JY, I am still watching the Sugar Bowl replay and highlights, too.
    Haven’t seen any film on him, but appreciate your passion in describing what you see and hope to see.
    I look at this recruiting class and see quality young men coming in at every position on a young team loaded with quality players. Will make for some fierce competition in camp. The OU drill will be highly anticipated this spring and in the summer.

  • Daryl

    It could and should be a great couple of years. BUT realize that these guys are 18yrs old and once they on campus they may not be handle it all. They may decided that football isn’t what they want to focus on anymore. There is still a long road to get where we should be. Lots of work with an attitude that these guys still have proved nothing and need to do so. Please don’t hear me wrong I am so pumped, but we still have to let it play out, but if the work is done there should be a lot of Sooner Magic in the future.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    What’s up with the uniform in that pic?

    • JJsooner1

      I could get used to that.

      • Boomer4life

        Me too! Love the helmet color.

    • Sooner Ray

      Think those are just generic templates. I don’t want any big changes.

    • Jason Foss

      It’s just a graphic the media people put together for signing day…

    • Travis Coyle

      Its actually the modified OU-TEXAS uniform we used this year. I can see the gold outline on the shoulder pads and same undershirt.

  • Fear The Magic

    What you have to love is that Bedenbaugh is bringing in HIS type of players. Translation…Nasty. Nasty will go a long way for an Offensive line but when you add VERY TALENTED to Nasty then you have a potential powerhouse of an offense. It all starts up front.

    • JJsooner1

      I know right? Omg I hope we can keep out new coaches happy and in God’s Country:-)

      • pitbull17


        • Sooner Ray

          Don’t think it’s the JJ we know pit.

          • JJsooner1

            Probably not. JJ is my name. Lifelong Sooner fan too small to play past highschool. Baseball was my strength. Just glad to be here with fellow Sooner fans:-)

          • Sooner Ray

            The OUJJ we’re talking about is a girl and I didn’t get that impression from anything you’ve said.

          • JJsooner1

            Lol nope. Not that pretty:-)

          • pitbull17

            haha, my bad.

          • JJsooner1

            Yep and its probably a bit misleading judging from my profile pic:-) Don’t let it fool you. She is just vicious! Not really. Spoiled rotten lil dog who needs a job besides being cute:_)

          • Sooner Ray

            It wasn’t the dog as much as the pink! LOL!

          • pitbull17

            I actually talked to her a few minutes ago on twitter and she’s had problems logging in, apparently she has an account attached to her email and can’t figure out how.

          • Sooner Ray

            Tell her she needs to get in here and have some fun with us, tell her how to set it up if she’s not sure.

  • JJsooner1

    Wow JY, what a great write-up. For you to be this impressed, at this stage, is remarkable in and of itself. His size and frame brings memories of Ed “too tall” Jones, a three time All Pro DE. That “nasty” you speak seems to be a deal-breaker for linemen regardless of offense or defense. I don’t believe you can coach that. Its there or its not.

  • JJsooner1

    Oh and btw, HAPPY FOUR MONTHS OLD BIRTHDAY to the Braniacs!! So glad you were born!

    • Sooner Ray

      Absolutely! Seems like it’s been longer….time to take off the training wheels! Lol.

    • Tim A

      I could not agree more!!

    • Sonny Schovanec

      It’s 4 months??? I guess that makes me a lifer.

  • pitbull17

    I”m really loving what Coach B is doing, it’s starting to look special. The only problem is as good as he’s making himself look at OU it’s not going to be long before somebody comes along trying to poach him away.

    As far as Frison, the tape from his junior and senior year is night and day. Really bad fundamentals in his junior tape, 10X better in his senior tape. The only thing I noticed is it seemed at times his pads still get too high, but I’m sure Coach B will fix that.

    • EasTex

      Where are the videos on Frison?
      Didn’t see any at utube.

      • pitbull17

        All the videos I’ve seen on him are from highlight videos of his QB. Offhand I can’t remember what the kids name is.

  • Billy

    Frison looks pretty small in that picture for a LT.

  • ohiosoonerdevildog

    Definitelt have to give Bedenbaugh props. I heard a bunch of WVU saying he was only good at coaching spread offenses, and couldnt coach a nasty pound it out oline. I have to disagree with them 100%. Him and coach Mont have helped breathe a little like back into this program thats been missing for a few years.

    • Sooner Ray

      They should get a close and personal look at a nasty pound it out offense this season. That’ll change their opinions!

      • ohiosoonerdevildog

        I agree. I think they were just bitter we stole him from them. Plus the culture shock they have faced playing in a big boy conference.

    • Tim A

      BB and Mont have been a godsend.

      • ohiosoonerdevildog

        Yes they have. I think they were exactly what we needed.

      • JJsooner1

        Well, they’re in God’s country now so you must be right!

        • Tim A


  • John Garner

    Thanks JY. Great read. Much appreciated.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    I didn’t think we’d get Frison, either. As for Orlando Brown, I had no idea we even had a shot at getting him. So glad we got both!

  • Ed Cotter

    Sweet write up JY. I love what Coach B is doing with the OL. Those guys have really come around to be a strength on the team, and it will only get better with the guys he is bringing in. Bright future for the Sooners along the OL.

  • Super Keith

    It’s a little scary to think back to 2011 and 2012, and realize just how thin we really were along the line. Remember how banged up we were at the end of 2012? One more injury and we would have been in big time trouble. I hadn’t really thought that much about it, but we were in really bad shape along the line.

    What Bedenbaugh has done is nothing short of awesome, and the best part is; this is really only his first class…it’s only going to get better (as I think we’re starting to see in the 2015 group).

    Then there’s the defensive line, and we have already seen what Montgomery can do with what he was given. Now, we will start to see what he can do with the guys he really wanted.

    The skill position players and defensive back end guys are always fun to talk about, and clearly an important part of the game, but it’s the trench guys that set the tempo and determine the outcome, and it looks like we are getting back to OU toughness on both sides.

    Yes JY, it’s a GREAT time to be a Sooner!

  • RIsh

    Anybody see Marcus smart try to throw down with a Texas tech fan?

  • hOUligan

    Thanks JY. You’re reading my mind. After reading your piece on Orlando, was waiting for one on Frison. Heard the same stuff out of his NFTC camp. Night and day difference between JR and SR years and made all camp team and invite to The Opening. Sounds like another Sooner steal and a young guy who could be a difference maker if he puts in the work. Do you see him at LT along with Brown or RT?