These days, Oklahoma coaches are mighty picky about recruiting - who to recruit; who to offer scholarships; at what positions; on which side of the ball.
Picky, picky. By necessity. OU stands to offer but 12-15 scholarships, the by-product of a youth-laden roster that features all of nine scholarship seniors. So the Sooners must be very choosy in divvying up their limited supply. So choosy, there may not be room for anyone at the high-profile positions of quarterback or running back. Not unless OU’s coaches feel that certain someone is awful special. Not when there are more pressing needs to meet. So what positions are the Sooners targeting? OU now claims five commitments - all on defense - with Enid safety Austin Box and Seguin cornerback Desmond Jackson premier prospects. Defensive end Jontae Bumpus of Muskogee, junior college linebacker Mike Reed and cornerback Jamell Fleming of Arlington, Texas, also come highly touted. That leaves seven to 10 available slots, without even addressing the ever-urgent position of offensive line. The Sooners would like to sign at least three linemen on offense. And two defensive ends, where they’re stocked for 2006, but also aging, with seniors Calvin Thibodeaux, C.J. Ah You and Larry Birdine holding down three of the top-four spots on the two deep. Feel the squeeze? A kicker may also be in order. And defensive tackles are almost an annual wish-list item, as are big-play receivers, even though the Sooners have young wideouts lined up. So how do those precious few final slots get allocated? Depends who’s interested. But there’s no room for error. That’s why QB and running back bear watching.
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