Pair of ’25 OL to Keep An Eye On
– Charlie S – Posted on: January 20, 2024
CJ was out and about covering the Texas junior day and he bumped into a pair of ’25 offensive linemen who you will want to keep an eye on.
Jonte Newman (6’4 275) and Ryan Fodje (6’5 275) are teammates at Bridgeland High in Cypress, TX and both of them hold Sooners offers and have OU on their minds.
While both of the tackles have more than a dozen quality offers, Fodje is just now really beginning to pick up steam on the recruiting trail as he has only played a very limited amount of offensive line.
Fodje mentioned to CJ that Newman has been trying to get them to get back up to Norman. We expect that visit to take place later in the spring as they currently have plans to travel together to a couple of other schools here in the next few weekends.
CJ’s biggest takeaway from speaking with the pair is that Newman has a very real affinity for Oklahoma. So much so that right now we would have him trending to OU and with that, the door is wide open for Oklahoma to make a big move with his teammate Fodje.
Now, the ’25 class is really quite deep as far as the offensive line goes and we will get into that with the big Boards down the line, but having OU in a very good spot with these two is a very good sign for the cycle.
Sourced Team Notes | Winter Workouts Begin
– Charlie S – Posted on: January 23, 2024
The Sooners began winter workouts last week and obviously, they are not in top form at this time regarding ‘feats of strength’ but I did speak with a source who passed along some observations.
***Start with linebacker Lewis Carter…source spoke about him like many have spoken about Jaren Kanak in regard to his athleticism and speed. Source said ‘You can see Carter change physically every day’.
***On Justin Harrington, source said ‘He’s gonna be ready to go by summer’ and when I asked about the waiver, OU source said they are expecting to get the clearance ‘any day now’. Who knows with the NCAA.
***Was told Danny Okoye is ‘The dude’. Source said he tested extremely well and is very focused during each session. He is a very personable kid and sometimes that overshadows who he is as an athlete when not on the field or training, but when it’s time to get down to business, ‘Danny is a dog’.
***In regard to the secondary as a whole, source said ‘They are ‘fast fast’ and getting bigger and stronger. Reggie Powers caught the eye of the source with his efforts in testing as well.
***Source mentioned that Jackson Arnold entered this winter ‘looking different’. I asked for something more in depth there and what that meant, source said ‘He looks harder…doesn’t look like the youngest kid in the room anymore. I don’t know, maybe he lost some baby fat. He just looks different’. Sounds to me like Jackson has put the pedal down since the Alamo Bowl.
***Lastly, source said the linebacker room is what you all know it to be, “Insanely athletic”. Source went on to say “I don’t know that there is a deeper or more talented linebacker room in the country”. Now, it’s up to Alley and Venables to get the best out of them.
I’ll be checking in later this week to see what other notes of interest I can grab for ya, drop some specifics in the comment section and I will see what I can do!
Name and Visit of Note | ’25 Defensive Lineman Trenton Wilson
– Charlie S – Posted on: January 24, 2024
***Touched base with’25 DLTrenton Wilson (6’3 270) out of Upper Marlboro, MD (Dr. Henry Wise HS) who confirmed he will be visiting Norman on March 9th.
***Couple of things….It sounds like the Sooners will be having another junior event that weekend (March 9th) and this is not the only visit Wilson plans on making to OU as a source close to Wilson told Super K that he plans on being out for the Sooners BBQ as well.
***Another item of note…Upper Marlboro, MD, and Dr Henry Wise High School may sound familiar to you, and it should, because that is where Jalil Farooq is from, so there is another connection between Wilson and OU.
***When asked if it was a foregone conclusion that Wilson would likely stay close to home at a Penn State or Ohio State, source mentioned that they did not believe that is the case and that Wilson is very open to Oklahoma.
***His top 8 includes OU, Penn State, Ohio State, Maryland, Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee, and Florida State.
The Latest | Geirean Hatchett
– Charlie S – Posted on: January 24, 2024
Just wanted to keep you all up to speed with what we have heard in regard to Washington offensive line transfer Geirean Hatchett.
Hatchett visited OU last weekend and by all accounts, OU once again impressed him and his family. Sources said the visit went very well and we were leaning toward OU for him.
***Tonight, I had a source tell me that they believe ‘things are moving in a positive direction’ for Oklahoma.
***James touched base with an OU source who mentioned that ‘OU feels they have a pretty good chance with him.’.
Now as for a timeline, well, it is my understanding that transfers need to be enrolled by Friday at OU if they are going to be eligible to be part of the program this spring.
We will continue to see if we can come up with anything of substance for Landen Hatchett, but right now, all I know is that he told me last week he was not visiting at that time (which he did not) but OU was in contact with him.
So, things seem to be trending well for OU and Geirean, but we will all find out here soon enough.
Casey Thompson | The Journey Home
– James Hale – Posted on: January 25, 2024
The fact that Casey Thompson will play his final year of college football at OU is a cool and unique situation in college football as Thompson is getting ready for his 7th year.
Thompson is a legacy player as his father Charles was a wishbone quarterback for the Sooners in the 80’s, and his brother Kendal quarterbacked for the Sooners in 2011-13. Casey always wanted to play at OU, but it just never worked out until now that he gets the chance to play at his dream school finally.
“It’s been a blessing, that is for sure,” said Thompson on my radio show, Total Sports, on CBS Sports Radio 105.3 HD1. “It’s a unique opportunity because I have always wanted to play closer to home. There is no better fit for me than to come back to Oklahoma and play with OU for my final season.”
“It is actually crazy how it all went down. It’s everything that the Lord wanted to happen, and everything kind of fell into place. I was at Nebraska but left there when they had a coaching change and went to Florida Atlantic for this past season. I got hurt (ACL) in week three at Clemson and went down at the top of the 2nd quarter.”
“If I had played the rest of the game or even one more game, there would have been a possibility that I didn’t receive the medical redshirt. Throughout this past season, I was able to sit back and enjoy college football as it was the first time since I was four years old that I did not go out and play every Saturday.”
“I was just enjoying it being a college football fan for the season, focusing on my studies and stuff like that, and finally, I sat down with my dad and family and asked what is next for me next year. I was actually dealing with a lot of confusion, prayer, and family time. There were a lot of long talks and conversations on whether I actually use the extra year of eligibility or not, but I got word on November 29th that I had received the extra year of eligibility.”
“Then, the whole month of December, I had to decide whether I actually wanted to go through and use it because I had interest from the NFL and XFL about coming out and training for the draft. The XFL reached out and told me that they would draft me high in the first round.”
“So, it was a hard decision at first, but once I decided that I wanted to use the extra year to get myself healthy, to put everything that I had into rehab, and put my best foot forward into college football for one more time.”
“We thought it would be ideal for me to be closer to home, and that was when I decided after a number of talks with my family and prayer that I would put my name in the transfer portal, hoping that OU would reach out. They did reach out, and after that, we started working on the details of when I could come, when I could be there, when their report day was, and what I had to do between now and then.”
“The last two or three weeks since Christmas have been crazy trying to get everything situated, move all my stuff back from Florida to Oklahoma, and find a place to stay.”
“That is how it all went down. I went into the portal, and OU reached out, and after their bowl game, we got the ball rolling. The hardest part was trying to keep it quiet and keep it under wraps because word travels fast when it comes to Oklahoma Football. I am very excited about the opportunity, and I think it is a quick turnaround, but I am very excited about the opportunity, that is for sure.”
Casey has known Brent Venables for a long time, and the family knows Coach Venables very well, so the family was able to reach out to the man that makes the decisions at OU to see where they stood.
“I initially reached out to Coach Venables because of our family history with Coach Venables,” said Thompson. “He is family friends with us, and I have known his kids for a long time. When he was the defensive coordinator, he was a coach on the staff when Kendal was there in 2011.”
“The initial conversation, however, came from Coach Littrell because he reached out and told me that OU was interested. He asked me if OU was someplace that I would like to be, and he wondered what needed to happen for me to come to OU. I told them that I would be ready, and I was all in as long as they were.”
“I told them, let’s go ahead with the process because there was really no recruiting that needed to go on or a visit that needed to take place. I told the other teams that were interested in me out of respect that I knew where I was going. We started working out all the details, and then I knew that this was going to be a reality. I told other places that I was going to OU.”
Nothing is guaranteed in college football, but because of the family’s relationship at OU, Thompson had a pretty good idea he would play his final year at OU.
“Because of our relationship and history with Coach Venables, we hoped this would work out,” said Thompson. “I have always wanted to play for a Coach like Coach Venables. He is a God-fearing Christian head coach who carries himself with honor and respect.”
“Knowing how the players talked about him at Clemson, and it’s the same now how his players talk about him at OU. Coach Venables is someone that I have always admired and respected throughout his whole coaching career. We were happy for him as a family when he got hired at OU, and I have always wanted to play for a guy like him.”
“I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to complete my college career and for my final college football experience. Just being with a coach like Coach Venables will be a unique situation because of how he mentors, how he carries himself, and the kind of leadership that he runs the program with.”
“I have had different football coaches throughout my career. I have a good coaching tree with guys like (Steve) Sarkisian, who comes from that Alabama coaching tree. I had Mike Yurcich, who coached at Oklahoma State with Coach Mike Gundy. I had Mark Whipple at Nebraska, an NFL type of guy, who worked with Scott Frost. Then I was able to play for Coach Hermon at Texas and at FAU.”
“I have learned through them all how to carry myself and how to handle myself with class. With Coach Venables, our family already had such a mutual respect for who he was and what he was all about. He said that if it was anybody else, he would not consider bringing in another quarterback, but because it was me, because of the mutual respect that we have always had for one other, he said it would be a great opportunity for both sides and that it would have some benefit for each other.”
“So, this all got started because of our mutual respect for each other and because I have always wanted to play for a Coach like Coach Venables and at OU. This is more of a faith and spirit decision than it is about football for me. Getting a chance to be back home with family and friends, working with a good mentor like Coach Venables, and getting to reconnect with the community and my church is a big deal for me.”
Thompson enters the quarterback room as the most experienced quarterback on the roster. The starter, Jackson Arnold, is only a sophomore, and the two most promising quarterbacks after that are freshman Michael Hawkins and Brendan Zurbrugg. General Booty is a junior who has not played much at OU.”
“I like to approach things from mind, body, and spirit as much as I do about football,” said Thompson. ‘I thought it would be good for me and my family mentally, physically, and spiritually. For me, to be at OU from a football standpoint was one of the leading factors in my decision.”
“I know they were looking for some experience, maturity, and professionalism in their quarterback room. From my perspective, I think it will be a great opportunity for me to learn from Coach Littrell and Coach Venables, and I think I can add value to the room with my experience and leadership.”
“I have played college football for a long time. I have been in those games, and I have prepared week-to-week, and I know what goes into it. From a football standpoint, I add some athleticism and qualities as a quarterback talent and skills from the quarterback position so that when I am healthy, I can play the game at a high level.”
“I understand there are no guarantees, and I didn’t walk into the situation asking for anything to be guaranteed on or off the field. I think this is really a good opportunity for both sides, and a win-win for both sides.”
“I am happy to be with Jackson Arnold, Michael Hawkins, and the rest of those guys in the room. I think we can compete with each other and make each other better quarterbacks. I think there will be camaraderie in the room, and it will be a healthy dynamic in there. I wish nothing but great success for everybody in the room, and I hope all of us are able to do good things.”
The rehab for his torn ACL is ahead of schedule.
“I had the initial injury on September 16th, and the surgery was on September 22nd, and right now I am at four months going on five months,” said Thompson. “I will be doing a return to play protocol starting at OU. I am in the running and squat progression, and I will start throwing without taking a lot of rollouts and drops.”
“I am able to run straight ahead, and lift, and throw routes. When spring ball starts in March, we will be in a full return-to-play protocol. So, I will be cutting, running, jumping, and throwing in practice in a knee brace. Then, at some point in the summer, I will be able to get fully cleared for contact.”
“So, I will be ready to go prior to the 2024 season, and I am excited to be able to go through some of spring ball. I will be able to do individual drills, throw routes on air in 7 V 7, and do a lot of things with the team. I am excited about that, and right now, I am on a good pace to come back.”
Thompson always has a plan for his life and life goals, and he hopes to play the 2024 season in good health, then get ready for pro day in the spring, and be ready for the NFL season in 2025. He also wants to start working on his business plans of working and training quarterbacks and investing in real estate.
Thompson wants to coach someday, and he is looking forward to learning from the Sooner staff, Coach Littrell, and Coach Venables.
Another Hatchett Job | Landen
– Charlie S – Posted on: January 25, 2024
James mentioned to K and me this morning that he had a source tell him that Washington Offensive line transfer portal player Landen Hatchett would be visiting Norman this weekend.
Up until a few minutes ago, we had not confirmed with Landen himself that he was making the trip, but Collin Kennedy at 247 reported that the visit would take place earlier this afternoon.
Landen has now confirmed that he and his mom are planning on visiting Norman this week which follows his brothers Geirean’s and his father’s visit last weekend.
The Sooners are still pushing for both Hatchett brothers and as we reported earlier in the week, things are trending well with Geirean and now OU gets their shot in person with Landen.
Landen has 3 years of eligibility left and he is a true center and will be looking to remain as such.