One of the Sooners top 2013 targets, TE Beau Sandland, confirmed to multiple recruiting services Friday that he has set one of his five official visit dates. The Pierce Community College (Ca.) product will be in Norman the weekend of August 24th. Sandland is one of the top JUCO tight end prospects in the 2013 class and one of the Sooners top remaining targets as well.
Despite signing a ridiculous four tight ends in last year's class, Oklahoma has put considerable effort into the recruitment of Sandland both for his ability to catch the football as well as the likelihood that he could come in and play immediately. Projecting the Sooners roster at tight end in 2013, they would have Brannon Green preparing to leave as a senior and the two would be either sophomores or redshirt freshman (Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant) from the 2012 class. The fourth member of that 2012 class, Laith Harlow, was forced to quit football following a back injury and will be on medical hardship at Oklahoma. So, as you can see, tight end would still be a need position for the Sooners.
As you would expect with one of the top players at his position, there are a number of schools vying for Sandland's services. Sandland holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, California, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech among others. Along with Oklahoma, his favorites at the moment are believed to be Nebraska, Arizona State, and Ole Miss. Sandland has already taken an official visit to Nebraska and raved about it, so much so that he's talked about going back with his mother for a second trip. He also has plans to visit Arizona State later this month along with this trip to Norman as well of course.
Sandland has a great frame at 6'6" 250 pounds and, as you can tell from the video above, moves quite well in the open field. He is quite clearly a pass catching tight end, but has talked openly in interviews about focusing on his blocking ability as he prepares for his upcoming season. He has mentioned that the NFL, his end goal, is looking for tight ends that can both catch and block and that can only be good news for all the schools looking to sign him.
Positives in the Sooners favor are (1) he's spoken very highly of both Oklahoma's winning tradition and success and the tight end position and (2) his relationship with his would be position coach Bruce Kittle. Also in OU's favor is the fact that a former teammate of his, corner Kass Everett, is already in Norman and has been selling him on how well he would fit in at Oklahoma.
Sandland will be an early enrollee (in January) and has been pretty firm on waiting until December before he makes his final decision. So a commitment during his trip to Norman is pretty unlikely, but it will obviously be Oklahoma's best chance to show him everything they have to offer.