Courtney Gardner: The many travels of a JUCO standout the Sooners swiped from Arkansas
News that California junior college wide receiver Courtney Gardner signed with Oklahoma can’t be sitting too well with Arkansas. First the Hogs lost out on the nation’s top prep receiver (Dorial Green-Beckham) to Missouri. Then, in Gardner, they lost the nati0n’s top JUCO pass catcher to the Sooners.
But its cause to celebrate in the Sooner coaching offices. Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell has restocked his receiving corps quite well.
Here’s the receivers on the OU roster before classes were in session: Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson. That’s it.
Here’s the receiving corps Norvell and the Sooners since have signed:
– Trey Metoyer, perhaps the nation’s top receiving recruiting last year, returns to Norman from Hargrave Military Academy as the top prep school recruit. The five-star recruit probably has a different perspective on campus life now, having worn a military uniform to class last fall.
– Duron Neal of St. Louis spent his prep career playing in DGB shadow and comes to Norman with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, looking to prove he’s underrated — hence the Twitter handle @UnderratedNeal. Norvell calls him a student of Sooner football history and one of the favorite kids he’s ever recruited.
– Those of us who have watched Sterling Shepard’s career and know his background wonder if Norvell wasn’t actually talking about the Heritage Hall star, who signed Wednesday. Norvell made it clear in his segment on OU’s signing day webcast that he was looking for ways to the ball in the hands of late Sooner receiver Derrick Shepard soon.
– Derrick Woods of Inglewood, Calif. grew up just blocks from the Fabulous Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers. Norvell enjoyed talking about Woods’ Los Angeles roots, and holding off a late charge from USC to sign him.
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