With a sub-par 2013 home football schedule, OU fans who follow recruiting have known for some time that this weekend's game was shaping up to be the Sooners only true "marquee" game with which to attract recruits. And for several months the OU coaches have been coordinating their efforts to schedule both official (OU pays for travel) and unofficial (the recruit pays for travel) visits this weekend for a number of high profile recruits.
In fact if all those scheduled to be in Norman do in fact make the trip, it could prove to be the most high profile recruiting weekend the Sooners have ever had under Bob Stoops.
Making things all the more interesting is the abundance of California prospects who are expected to make the trip. If travel plans hold, the Sooners will be hosting five of the Golden State's Top 10 overall recruits and another who resides in the Top 50. in fact, the group has even started referring to it as the 'Weekend of the West' on social media with so many of them planning to make the trip to Norman.
In addition to those already mentioned and several others we'll tell you about, Oklahoma is also expected to be hosting close to half of their current list of 2014 commitments as well. Which is always a good things as having already bought in (hence their commitment), they can help sell the school/coaches/environment to those uncommitted prospects who will be in attendance.
But enough in delaying the suspense. You're here because you want to know who will be on campus and we're happy to share as it could be a very, very significant weekend for the future of this Oklahoma football program.
2014 Running Back | 6'2" 207 lbs | Joe Mixon | *****
Of all the high profile kids expected in Norman this weekend, Mixon is undoubtedly the headliner. He is Rivals' No. 1 overall running back and the No. 1 overall all purpose back in 247's composite rankings. He is a phenomenal athlete who is equally as dangerous running the ball as he is catching it.
The Oakley (CA) product is a self-professed huge fan of Adrian Peterson, which is certainly one of the factors that has drawn him to the Sooners. In fact, there have even been unconfirmed reports that AD could be in Norman this weekend. Which, if true (and that's a VERY big if at the moment), would be virtually impossible for any other school to top and you would have to think put OU right at the top of Mixon's list. Many feel that the Sooners are in good shape with the five star back for a variety of reasons, the AD connection and the relationship he and Cale Gundy have developed among them.
As you would expect, there is no shortage of suitors for Mixon's services. He holds offers from a plethora of programs, but has a proclaimed Top 5 of: Oklahoma, Florida, California, Wisconsin, and Oregon.
Jackson is listed as an athlete by several services because he could play either offense or defense (or both, potentially) at the college level. However, Oklahoma is believe to be recruiting him as a corner. Like a lot of elite high school athletes, Jackson's success as a cover corner is due in large part to being better than 99.9% of his competition. As you can see from his highlights, he possesses ridiculous athleticism though he will certainly need to add some bulk to his frame in order to hold up to D-I competition.
He has a Top 12 (yes, seriously) list of schools that includes the likes of Florida, Michigan, Oregon, LSU, as well as Oklahoma among others. The odds of him actually committing this weekend are virtually zero, especially considering this will be his first of five allowed official visits. But as you'll hear us say all the time, getting a kid on campus is never a bad thing.
2014 Safety | 6'2" 185 lbs | Steven Parker | ****
If you've spent any time at all following OU recruiting or are familiar with high school football in the state of Oklahoma, you've undoubtedly heard the name Steven Parker. He's not only one of, if not the, top players in the state, but he's one of the top players in the country at his respective position. He's a dynamic, play-making safety who obviously comes from a winning program in Jenks.
Many have believed for quite some time it was simply a matter of when not if he eventually committed to OU, but he and his family have been adamant about using all five of his official visits. That said, he has been to a number of games in Norman and this weekend will obviously make it another so people have good reason for their speculation.
Williams is actually a teammate of Adoree' Jackson's and apparently made arrangements to make the trip to Norman once he found out Jackson and several of the other Cali kids were all coming. The No. 4 overall outside linebacker in the country (per Rivals) hasn't been a guy who has really talked a lot about Oklahoma even though he does hold an offer from the Sooners. So this could just be a case of a friend, albeit a very talented one in his own right, coming along for the ride or it could be the start of something. That will be up to how well the visit goes, but again getting a kid like this on campus without ever having previously expressed the desire to visit certainly isn't a bad thing.
As a linebacker, Williams plays much bigger than his listed height and weight. Very active around the football and though his technique could use some work, he does not shy away from contact.
In addition to Oklahoma, he holds offers from Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, and Tennessee among others.
Another guy listed as an athlete, Quick is also believed to be projected as a corner by the Oklahoma coaches despite some talk that he'd prefer to play wide receiver at the next level. The issue being, while a very talented athlete, six foot receiver come along pretty often. While six foot corners who can cover like Quick can tend to be first round draft picks.
Working in OU's favor are several factors. (1) Two of Quick's former Fresno Central East teammates currently reside in the city of Norman, Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore. (2) Current OU grad assistant, Chip Viney, has a preexisting and long time relationship with Quick. Both of which are reasons many believe OU leads for Quick who, in addition to Oklahoma, holds offers from schools like Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC among others.
Another pair of California teammates, in Smallwood and Quick, that will be making the trek to Norman. The big defensive tackle had previously been committed to USC though somewhat recently, prior to the Lane Kiffin firing, opened back up his recruitment and will now be at OU over the weekend.
Possesses a stout, wide-bodied frame ideal for playing on the insides and while there can be some motor issues at times when he flashes it is impressive. No different than most high school defensive tackles, he relies on brute strength to overpower opponents and will need to work on his technique at the next level. Will be interesting to see what type of role the OU coaches see him in if they continue to use this 3-3-5 alignment as Smallwood does not appear to have the frame to project well in the middle of a three man line.
Smallwood reportedly holds offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, and Wisconsin among others.
Ever since his arrival on campus, OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has made a concerted effort to recruit more players of Polynesian descent. He had a connection during his time at Michigan and has carried that over at Oklahoma with Taua being just one of several Polynesian players Montgomery has been recruiting.
The Lompoc (CA) product, similar to Smallwood, doesn't necessarily possess the ideal height for a defensive tackle, but uses his low center of gravity to his advantage. Quick in a small space, Taua can play with a violent aggression at times.
He currently holds offers from schools like Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, and Wisconsin among others.
Bond was actually a member of the 2013 class and signed with the Miami Hurricanes out of junior college before an academic issue arose late in the process and prevented him from enrolling. He and Miami parted ways and now he will sign with the 2014 class and plans to enroll in January with whichever school he eventually chooses. He and Oklahoma are familiar with one another as the Sooners were one of the top schools he was considering before signing with the Canes.
As a player, Bond is a dynamic pass rusher off the edge that would fit perfectly in the type of role Eric Striker is currently playing in this 3-3-5 OU defense. He has his limitations in coverage, but when you can line up and rush the passer like he has proved capable of, you tend to look past any coverage issues.
Of all the guys expected in Norman this weekend, several have put odds on Bond of being the most likely to commit.
In addition to the ridiculous list of talented players above, Oklahoma is also expected to be hosting the following players as well:
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