Not only will this weekend mark the start of spring practices, but Oklahoma will also be holding their second Junior Day event as well. A little over a month ago the Sooners held their first Junior Day and while it only produced one verbal commitment, it gave the coaches (several of whom are no longer on staff, mind you) an excellent opportunity to familiarize themselves with a number of their 2014 recruiting targets.
This time around Oklahoma is taking a bit of a different approach, both in their own personnel in the form of the recently hired coaches and in the size of the invite list. As you can imagine, the coaches will have their hands full what with Saturday being the first practice of the spring. So rather than inviting, say 20 recruits, the coaches have chosen to keep the list smaller, allowing them to focus more attention on the kids who do attend.
At this point it has yet to be determined whether or not Oklahoma will host another Junior Day. Typically the Spring Game has served as a defacto-like Junior Day, so that remains a possibility.
As for this weekend, here is a list of 2014 recruits who are expected to attend. (Our obligatory disclaimer - As with all of these type of deals, this list is far from concrete and there could easily be a player, or several, not listed here who do in fact take part this weekend.)
WR K.D. Cannon 5'11" 155 lbs (Mount Pleasant, TX) - VIDEO
Frankly, there isn't a whole lot I could tell you about Cannon that Wescott Eberts didn't already say in his terrific write-up on the talented young wideout.
LB Christian Sam 6'2" 205 lbs (Allen, TX) - VIDEO
Sam is an athletic outside linebacker who has seen his recruitment pick up considerably in recent weeks. He's a kid who really excels attacking downhill against the run and on film rarely gives up on a play, often running down the ball carrier on the backside of a play. He's believed to be very high on Oklahoma and a commitment this weekend is not out of the question.
LB Tay Evans 6'3" 202 lbs (Allen, TX) - VIDEO
Evans and Sam are actually teammates, but at the moment Evans has yet to be offered by the Sooners. That could change this weekend and if it does Oklahoma might be able to land one and/or both.
LB Gyasi Akem 6'1" 216 lbs (Broken Arrow, OK) - VIDEO
Another linebacker and a local product, but the news here even prior to his visit likely isn't positive with respect to OU's chances. Akem is believed to be a heavy Oklahoma State lean at the moment. Now anytime you get a kid on campus strange things can happen, but this race could very well be over before it's even ran.
DT Trey Lealaimatafao 6'1" 290 lbs (San Antonio, TX) - VIDEO
A name much easier typed than said, Lealaimatafao has struck up quite the relationship in a short time with the Sooners new defensive line coach, Jerry Montgomery. The two hit it off right away and have continued to speak on a regular basis ever since he was offered. Lealaimatafao is another player who has seen his recruitment pick up in recent weeks, so the odds of him committing are not great but Montgomery and OU are definitely building some positive in-roads here.
WR Mark Andrews 6'6" 225 lbs (Scottsdale, AZ) - VIDEO
A huge (obviously) target, the Arizona product knows how to use his frame to shield off defenders and is kind of sneaky fast for a player his size. Andrews does hold an offer from the Sooners and has admitted to growing up an OU fan, but has given no indication that he is in a hurry to commit.
DE/LB Josh Malin 6'6" 240 lbs (Cibolo, TX)
In interesting prospect as he could play a number of different positions at the D-I level. Malin will come to Norman with an offer already in hand.
OG Jovan Pruitt 6'5" 275 lbs (Dallas, TX) - VIDEO
Pruitt could eventually prove to be one of the top offensive linemen in the state of Texas and as such he holds offers from a number of quality schools already, including Oklahoma. Making the trip to Norman would never really be a bad thing, but there is pretty much a zero percent chance of a commitment happening this weekend.
RB Justin Stockton 5'9" 175 lbs (Cibolo, TX)
Stockton is a Texas Tech commit and does not hold an offer from Oklahoma, which should pretty much tell you all you need to know about this one. A talented player in his own right, but he seems pretty solid to Tech and OU has a couple other primary targets at running back.
DB Edwin Freeman 6'1" 190 lbs (Arlington, TX) - VIDEO
This one may not actually happen as Freeman is pretty quiet and doesn't typically do a lot of interviews, so his previous intention of attending this weekend could have changed. If it does happen though, it would be good for Oklahoma as Freeman's offer list (Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, OU, Texas, and Texas A&M among others) is a good indication of just how talented his is as a defensive back.
DT Courtney Garnett 6'2" 285 lbs (New Orleans, LA) - VIDEO
This one is a surprise as Garnett was only offered by Oklahoma in the last couple days yet somehow was already able to arrange a trip to Norman. Louisiana has always been a state Oklahoma recruited in the past, with varying success, and it's somewhere they are definitely looking to increase their presence.