2012 OU verbal commitment Durron Neal at his U.S. Army All-America selection announcement.
This week kicked off one of the two biggest weeks in the recruiting world (the second being the week of National Signing Day) as the two feature high school all-star games will take place. The first, The Under Armour All-American Game, will take place Thursday night (Jan. 5th) in St. Petersburg, FL and will be televised on ESPiN at 6:30 pm (central). The second, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, will take place Saturday (Jan. 7th) in San Antonio, TX and will be televised on NBC at noon (central).
Both games will feature multiple current 2012 Oklahoma verbal commitments as well as several recruits still being targeted by the Sooners as we approach National Signing Day (Feb. 1st). So for those of you diehards out there, we thought we'd put together a quick recap so if you're interested in watching some future Sooners you'd know where and who to look for.
First up, the Under Armour All-American Game on ESPiN.
WR Sterling Shepard (Black Team, will wear #14) - Shepard actually accepted his invitation to the game on national television after his Heritage Hall team was featured on ESPiNU. Shepard has already drawn praise after one day of practice and the name Ryan Broyles has been dropped in comparison as well.
DB De'Vante Harris (White Team, will wear #10) - Harris has also drawn praise from the likes of Herman Edwards after the first day of practices. He has lockdown cover corner skills, but still has a way to go to bulk up his frame for play at the D-I level.
RB Alex Ross (White Team, will wear #28) - Ross made the trip to FL, but will not be participating in the practices or game while he continues to recover from a collar bone injury suffered late in his senior season.
TE Sean Price (White Team, will wear #21) - The current South Florida soft verbal commitment has recently opened up his recruitment and the Sooners (and Arkansas) have entered the picture. The FL prospect has scheduled an official visit to Norman on January 28th which is clearly a sign that OU might not be done in 2012 at the TE position despite already having three verbal commitments.
WR Nelson Agholor (Black Team, will wear #3) - The five star prospect from FL was just in Norman a couple weeks ago and recently announced his official top five which included the Sooners. Agholor has said he could make a decision at any time and will have no better access to a source for all things OU in teammate and Sooner legacy Sterling Shepard.
OT Avery Young (Black Team, will wear #56) - Young had been very vocal in his recruitment of how big a fan he was of Oklahoma, but comments from him as of late have rarely included talk about OU. It's unclear at this point just how realistic the Sooners' chances are with the FL prospect. It appears likely that he'll stay in SEC territory.
OT Josh Garnett (White Team, will wear #78) - Garnett is another talented tackle prospect which is a position of need for OU in the 2012 class and a position at which they've yet to secure a commitment.
Now, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on NBC.
WR Durron Neal (West Team, will wear #9) - Along with De'Vante Harris, Neal has been one of the more vocal proponents of the Sooners among the current 2012 verbals. Don't expect that to change as he'll be joined by four other OU commits and all will surely be working the Sooners remaining targets that are also playing in the game. None more so than Dorial Green-Beckham who, according to conflicting reports, may or may not be rooming with Neal during their time in San Antonio.
WR Derrick Woods (West Team, will wear #1) - Woods is another guy that along with Neal will have plenty of time to hang out with DGB given that all three will spend the week of practices at the same position. The week will also provide Woods the opportunity to meet for the first time the other OU commits that will be in attendance.
TE Taylor McNamara (West Team, will wear #88) - McNamara, the most recent OU commit, will quickly get the chance to bond with some of his future teammates after committing to the Sooners just one week ago. Woods played a role, via Twitter of course, in helping OU to secure McNamara's commitment so expect the two to hit it off early in the week.
OG John Michael McGee (West Team, will wear #70) - McGee has a ton of personality and will likely be one of the more vocal advocates during the week about his future school. OU fans should hope he gets to spend plenty of time around OT Zach Banner because if the two could strike up a friendship it might help the Sooners land the commitment of the elite left tackle from WA.
C Ty Darlington (East Team, will wear #79) - Darlington, the nation's #1 center per Rivals, is Oklahoma's lone commit on the East squad coming out of Florida. However, don't expect that fact to keep him from hanging out with his future teammates. He's also at a position that isn't expected to get a ton of attention during the week, but he's the #1 ranked center for a reason so if you don't hear a ton of news about him coming out of the week don't get worked up.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham (West Team, will wear #5) - You may or may not have heard of this guy, but this just in he's pretty good. At this point, there isn't much else we can tell you about the guy that we haven't already said. It's a national showcase for the 2012 class' best player and I don't expect him to disappoint. As an OU fan hoping like all get out that he comes to Norman, you have to like that the Sooners have so many commits playing in the game as well as two of their biggest "salesmen" (Woods and Neal) having a chance to spend so much time with DGB.
WR Stefon Diggs (East Team, will wear #1) - Diggs had talked about making an official visit to Norman, but in the end wasn't able to make the trip. There has been talk of still trying to make something happen later this month, but to date nothing has been officially scheduled. It remains to be seen just how realistic OU's chances are of landing the five star WR from Maryland.
OT Zach Banner (West Team, will wear #73) - Perhaps OU's biggest remaining target (both literally and figuratively) the elite left tackle would be an absolutely outstanding addition to the Sooners 2012 class if they could land him. Banner is reportedly down to a decision between OU, Washington, and USC (with Notre Dame and Michigan also in contention) and has nothing but positive things to say about both OU and his primary recruiter, Bruce Kittle.