OU recruiting update
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 06, 2013
1/25/13 at 2:45 PM
News of the week
Early guys: Oklahoma got a quick start on its recruiting with the mid-year signings of defensive tackle Quincy Russell and punter Jed Barnett.
The junior-college players fill definite needs on the OU roster. Russell (6-3, 300) helps replenish a defensive tackle position that will lose three former starters in Casey Walker, Jamarkus McFarland and Stacy McGee.
Russell had originally signed with Texas out of high school, but played at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College.
"Quincy's a huge difference-maker for us. We're excited about him," OU coach Bob Stoops said late last month.
Stoops was asked if he expected to bring in three or four defensive tackles in this class.
"Absolutely," he said before Christmas. "We're still recruiting and we're still working in a lot of positions."
Barnett, a former walk-on at California, averaged 41.3 yards per punt last season.
After spending two years at Laney (Calif.) Community College, Barnett had committed to Louisiana Tech before switching to Oklahoma.
Following the graduation of four-year starter Tress Way, Barnett could be expected to contribute right away.
"Jed's a heck of a punter," Stoops said. "I love his hang time and he averages over 40 and we're losing Tress (Way).
"We've got some young guys coming up who I believe are going to be good and that gives me more comfort."
Busy weekend: A trio of Oklahoma commits played in all-star games this weekend.
Running back Keith Ford (5-11, 195) from Cypress Ranch (Texas) High School took part in the Under Armour All-America game.
Jenks wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (6-2, 190) and Fresno Central East (Calif.) High School defensive back Hatari Byrd played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Looking to the future: Oklahoma will host a number of recruits in upcoming weekends - starting Jan. 12 with junior day.
OU is expected to welcome class of 2013 recruits/commits as well as a handful of 2014 targets.
Oklahoma has to hit the ground running following Friday's disappointing 41-13 loss to Texas A&M.
Not only do coaches need to sell the OU program, they have to reassure current and future commitments that the Cotton Bowl loss was an anomaly.
One player to watch in upcoming weeks is Laquon Treadwell (6-3, 198). The wide receiver from Crete, Ill., is the No. 1 player at the position according to Rivals.com's board.
Treadwell is expected to visit Oklahoma State next weekend. He is also considering OU (which he visited on Dec. 14) and Ole Miss (which appears to be his front-runner).
ESPN 18th, Rivals 13th, Scout 15th.
Position watch: D-tackle
The Sooners will need to stockpile defensive tackles after losing three-year starters Walker, McFarland and McGee this season. David King also saw action in the middle in 2012.
One problem - defensive tackles have been hard to land for the Sooners during this recruiting season.
The biggest target was Justin Manning, who chose Texas A&M over OU. It was widely expected that Manning (ranked one of the nation's top 10 defensive tackles out of high school) would sign with the Sooners after his brother Demarcus Granger played in Norman.
Jordan Phllips will enter his sophomore season as the only young player with significant playing time at the position.
OU did sign defensive tackle Russell (Trinity Valley C.C.) last month. The 6-3, 311-pounder is a three-star recruit according to Rivals.
The Sooners also have a verbal commitment from Kerrick Huggins (6-4, 283), who was a one-time commit to Texas A&M. He's a four-star athlete according to Rivals.