Sooners bulk up line with 6-8, 360-pound Loadholt
Oklahoma football

By John Helsley Published: February 8, 2007
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NORMAN – Oklahoma's latest recruiting class features at least one "can't-miss” prospect: Phil Loadholt.

That's can't miss as in if you cross his path — or his shadow — you can't miss him.

At 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds, Loadholt is, well, a load.

"Wait till you see this guy,” said Sooners coach Bob Stoops. "When he walks around with Duke Robinson and Branndon Braxton, those guys look small.”

And in no other context have the 6-5, 330-pound Robinson and the 6-6, 318-pound Braxton ever been referred to as small.

Now it's up to Loadholt to line up next to Robinson and Braxton, filling the one opening on OU's offensive line: left tackle, vacated by senior Chris Messner.

Offensive line was again a Sooner recruiting focus, with Loadholt leading five new additions for an offensive front that only now counts 13 scholarship players.

Overall, however, Wednesday — national signing day — delivered diversity and even some drama for OU.

The Sooners closed with a surprise, as Norman High standout Ryan Broyles completed a double-switch, finally signing with OU after twice announcing an allegiance to Bedlam rival Oklahoma State.

And the Sooners closed strong, adding two four-star defenders in end Frank Alexander of Baton Rouge and linebacker Travis Lewis of San Antonio, along with Broyles.

"Really pleased with our assistant coaches, how they worked and hustled to the end,” Stoops said.

How well did the Sooners do?

The recruiting analysts pegged OU all over the board in their rankings.

Rivals.com liked this class best, putting the Sooners No. 14 nationally. ESPN.com had OU at No. 19.

"To put together this class, and what they did late — landing some of the kids they have and filing some needs, especially at defensive end and offensive line and quarterback, I'm actually very, very impressed,” said Jeremy Crabtree, national analyst for Rivals.com.

But Scout.com differed considerably, with OU No. 31.

"When we watch and evaluate, we like what we see,” Stoops said of his latest class.

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