Summing up Sooners’ signing day
CAMPUS CORNER — Much appreciation to Bob Stoops and his staff for having signing day virtually completed by noon local time.
I think they’re done, although some fans are already chattering that the Sooners have a chance with Davonte Neal. It would be a big surprise, at this point. I know Tim Kish has that connection with Neal, from Phoenix, but I would be surprised if he wound up somewhere other than Ohio State. Neal is expected to sign in the next couple of weeks. He’s working on his own timeline, which is fine. If it starts to heat up with him in February, we’ll let you know.
But let’s talk about who is here, so to speak.
The themes …
It’s what jumps out first, to me. I’ll find this out this afternoon, but this has to be a new record for junior college players in the Stoops era. Right? Maybe not. I know the Josh Heupel class leaned heavily on them, as well. But doesn’t that indicate where OU is right now? It needs immediate help, because of transfers and others who did not work out.
I remember Stoops telling us after the bowl game that OU rarely goes after junior college players, but it typically gets good ones when it does. Not sure all of these signees will be stars, but I’ll be two-thirds are. My guesses on top contributors … latter three over the former three. Look for good things from Will Latu, Courtney Gardner and Damien Williams. Not to say the other trio will not help, but the last three could make the bigger splash in 2012.
** National reach
I haven’t been here long, but this has to be the fewest Texas commitments/signees in a while. OU has a total of five from the Lone Star State, not counting the early enrollees (Trey Metoyer, Jordan Wade). That’s two offensive linemen, John Michael McGee and Kyle Marrs. Marrs’ fellow San Antonio native Trevor Knight is another. Cornerback signee Zack Sanchez, from Keller, is the another. Athlete Daniel Brooks, from Port Lavaca, is the other. There will be a tug of war over where Brooks will play. Corner would be the most likely place he’ll land; he could return, as well.
Here’s the state breakdown of this class, geographically: California (3), Florida (4), Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio (2), Nevada, Oklahoma (3), Pennsylvania, Texas (7).
What’s the tell ya? It’s an evolving approach at OU. Two more kids (originally) from San Diego, continuing that pipeline.
** Filling the needs
While the guys on ESPNU are talking ad nauseum about the SEC and Southern Cal and Notre Dame, Oklahoma very quietly got what it needed out of this class (though, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true, to some extent). I think the Sooners signed so many receivers and tight ends – and even a couple of running backs – that it figured all won’t pan out, but some really will in a big way. And, with the JUCO players, the wait might be shorter.
** Best on the board: WR Durron Neal. That’s why we wrote about him today. He seems to think he’s underrated; we don’t, and I know OU doesn’t. His impact could be somewhere between Kenny Stills and Kameel Jackson in their first years.
** Most underrated: CB Gary Simon. If everyone’s calling you underrated, are you really underrated? Still, Simon is a middle-level recruit, according to those scouting services, so we’ll deem him under the radar. Simon could develop into an all-conference kind of player, if things shake out right. Simon and Sanchez signing smoothed over the losses of De’Vante Harris and Kevin Peterson.
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