The spring evaluation period is about to come to a close and the Sooners will be hosting a number of recruits this coming weekend for one of several camps they are scheduled to have this summer. As most of you are aware, recruiting is a year round affair and things can change very quickly. Therefore, we figured now would be as good a time as any to give you a general update as to where the Sooners stand with a number of their top 2013 targets.
Oklahoma currently has eight verbal commitments for this 2013 class which include on quarterback, two running backs, one offensive lineman, one cornerback, one safety, and two defensive ends. By most accounts, it's a Top 10-15 class at the moment and there is still plenty of time before National Signing Day in February for things to improve. Couple that with the fact the Oklahoma coaches are in no hurry with their evaluations and it's really not a surprise the Sooners stand at just eight commitments.
DEFENSIVE END - Likely to take (3-4), Commitments (2)
The Sooners are in very good shape here early with commitments already from D.J. Ward and Matt Dimon, but they're apparently not satisfied as they continue to make offers at the position. Originally three was expected to be the number at defensive end, and it still might be, but with the continued action at the position the possibility of four has increased. That said, while having the two talented recruits they do is certainly a good thing it could potentially hurt them with some of the top recruits they are still after when you consider playing time is always at a premium with the top prospects.
- Jordan Sherit 6'3" 245 (Tampa, FL) - Sherit is one of the top prospects both at his position and in the football rich state of Florida. His offer list is borderline ridiculous and only continues to grow. He has struck up a pretty solid relationship with OU defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright, but he's said a trip to Norman might only be possible on an official visit. With recruits limited to just five officials, there will be considerable competition to get Sherit on campus.
- Torrodney Prevot 6'4" 210 (Houston, TX) - Prevot is somewhat similar to a pair of recruits Oklahoma signed in last year's class in Charles Tapper and Michael Onuoha. All three are really athletes who just so happen to play defensive end and will likely need some time to learn the position at the Division I level. Like Tapper and Onuoha, Prevot's athleticism stands out on film as he uses more raw ability than technique to beat blockers.
- Eddie Vanderdoes 6'4" 285 (Placer, CA) - The Sooners continue to recruit the state of California very hard and for good reason when the state produces players as talented as Vanderdoes. If you can name an elite program, Vanderdoes likely can claim an offer as he holds upwards of 40 some nine months away from National Signing Day. Vanderdoes is similar to the two players already committed to Oklahoma in that he's not necessarily an elite edge rusher but excels with this strength and motor.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE - Likely to take (2-3), Commitments (0)
The Sooners didn't take a single defensive tackle in last year's class in a somewhat surprising move, so it's a big position of focus in this 2013 class. Position coach Jackie Shipp has been pretty selective with his offers up to this point, though that is not out of the norm as defensive tackle is one of the most difficult positions to evaluate.
- Justin Manning 6'2" 275 (Dallas, TX) - If you're not already familiar with the story on Manning then you must simply pay no attention to OU recruiting (not that there's anything wrong with that). The cliff notes version is: he's the younger brother of former Sooner Demarcus Granger, he initially felt slighted that OU didn't offer as early as he thought they should have, things appear to have been smoothed over, and by most accounts he is OU's to lose by a considerable margin. On the field, Manning is that rare player at the position who can be a dominant pass rusher on the interior while also plugging up the middle against the run. He's by far and away the Sooners top target at the position and it would cause a potential meltdown amongst those of us who follow recruiting if he commits anywhere else but Oklahoma.
- Deadrin Senat 6'1" 311 (Immokalee, FL) - Senat is an obviously massive force in the middle of the line who just recently received an offer from the Sooners. He had been previously committed to Florida State and evidently Mike Stoops had yet to offer out of respect for his brother Mark who is the defensive coordinator at FSU. The relationship between the two is still very new, so it's difficult to say at this point just how genuine Senat's interest may be.
LINEBACKER - Likely to take (3-4), Commitments (0)
Much like defensive tackle, the Sooners surprisingly did not take a single linebacker in their 2012 class unless you consider Eric Striker a LB but he could eventually wind up at safety. Linebacker is unquestionably one of the biggest needs in this 2013 class and is under the spotlight because of the new addition to the coaching staff in Tim Kish. At this point, to be frank, I have no clue what Oklahoma is doing at this position. They've made a number of offers, but there does not appear to be any serious action in terms of talk of commitments from any of them.
- Chans Cox 6'3" 230 (Lakeside, AZ) - For the longest time, Cox was thought to be the Sooners top target at the position but he recently gave an interview where he listed his top seven schools and Oklahoma was not included. Josh McCuistion of SoonerScoop was said to have spoken with him after said interview and Cox said OU was definitely still in it, so you try and figure that one out. Kish was supposed to have the "in" with Cox, so if Oklahoma does prove to no longer be in things it would be very disappointing to say the least.
- Jordan Mastrogiovanni 6'3" 225 (Dallas, TX) - Aside from having an awesome last name, Mastrogiovanni is a very talented inside linebacker who reported grew up an OU fan. The Sooners offered later than some though the reasons behind that have been communicated to the Dallas product and he has said there are no hard feelings. He's also said the Oklahoma offer was one he had been waiting for and some feel he's destined to wind up in Norman.
- Reggie Chevis 6'2" 238 (Houston, TX) - Chevis is another recent offer by the Sooners and at his size, could be a sign in the shift of recruiting philosophy Kish could be implementing at the position. Chevis is a bigger 'SEC style' linebacker possessing the size and speed few can claim.
CORNERBACK - Likely to take (2-3), Commitments (1)
Mike Stoops has been very open about the fact secondary players are a position of focus in this 2013 class even going so far as to say he'd like to take as many as five. Whether that is at corner, safety, or players that could play both (which we know he loves) the end result will likely make up a significant portion of this class.
- Cole Luke 6'0" 165 (Chandler, AZ) - Luke is another player out west Oklahoma supposedly has an "in" with because of Mike Stoops and Tim Kish's previous stop in Arizona. Luke is a player in high demand with his ability to play man-to-man coverage and overall upside. Possess really good ball skills and is not afraid to come up in run support. Has been complimentary of Oklahoma in the past and was even supposed to visit for the spring game before the threat of severe weather. As of late, he's spoken the most highly of Texas.
- Priest Willis 6'2" 200 (Tempe, AZ) - Another Arizona prospect and a player who we were describing earlier as one who could play either corner or safety. Runs exceptionally well for a player his size and displays a superb ability to close on the ball.
- Maurice Chandler 6'0" 180 (Lawton, OK) - Chandler is a local product and a very talented player in his own right. The word on why he hasn't received more attention up to this point is some potential grade issues, but he's working hard to get that cleared up and as that happens expect his recruitment to heat up. He has not been shy about his affinity for Oklahoma, so much so that should an offer come an commitment would very likely follow shortly thereafter.
SAFETY - Likely to take (3), Commitments (1)
- Erik Huhn 6'2" 205 (Cibolo, TX) - One of Oklahoma's earliest offers at the position, Huhn was a relative unknown at the time. Things have changed considerably as they often do when a school like OU makes an offer to a previously seldom talked about player. Huhn plays safety with the physicality of a guy playing linebacker, routinely coming up to make the big hit or separating the ball from the ball carrier. Might not be the most highly rated player, but has that blue collar mentality that would work very well for what Mike Stoops likes to do.
- Tyler Foreman 6'2" 190 (Encino, CA) - Foreman is a very strong defender against the run and a solid wrap up tackler. Plays a solid deep safety, but doesn't appear to be asked to do much in coverage so it's difficult to gauge his ability on the task.
- Kameron Miles 6'2" 200 (Mesquite, TX) & George Baltimore 6'0" (Mansfield, TX) - Both Miles and Baltimore do not hold an offer from Oklahoma, but still maintain serious interest in the Sooners. There has been talk that with an offer Baltimore could be a commitment and talk as well that OU's pursuit of Miles could pick up soon.