Target Spots: Part II

Lawton HS DE D.J. Ward is a Sooner target.

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners picked up a very nice recruiting class in 2012, but it was extremely offensive heavy. So, couple that with the players who are set to graduate after the upcoming season and what does that mean for where OU will focus next year? Who are some targets to keep and eye on? Sooners Illustrated breaks it down inside.

Defensive tackle:

The Sooners lose more guys in the interior of their defensive line after next season than at any other position, so they'll have to get to work there. Both of their expected starters, Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland, as well as Stacy McGee, graduate after 2012. So, to the trails they go. They have went national on their offers thus far, sending them out to a couple of New Jersey kids, Tashawn Bower and Greg Webb, as well as Vienna, Ga.'s Montravious Adams out of Dooly County HS. Justin F Kimball HS product Justin Manning is a likely Sooner commit, although he has yet to receive an offer. There is reason to believe he'll get one at the second Junior Days visit and could commit then and there. At the very least, OU will sign two and perhaps three DTs.

Defensive end:

OU also loses a couple of potential starters in David King and R.J. Washington at the end position following 2012. Therefore, they'll need to replenish at least two spots, maybe three there also. The additions of JUCO transfer Chaz Nelson and freshmen Mike Onuoha and Charles Tapper this year definitely help, but there's still work to be done. More offers have been extended here than anywhere else to this date, including to Elijah Daniel, Jason Hatcher, Alquadin Muhammad, D.J. Ward, Torrodney Prevot, Garrett Sickles, Jonathan Allen, Kylie Fitts and Joe Mathis. The Sooners would really like to get the in-state Ward, a four-star prospect from Lawton HS. Any of the three of Daniel, Hatcher and Muhammad, also four-star products, would be tremendous additions, too. No doubt this is one of the major focus areas for 2013.

Linebacker:

Eleven scholarship linebackers drops to eight after next year and if the coaching staff moves Jaydan Bird to fullback, then there's only seven. The effort will be to add at least three in the 2013 class. At Mike, Chans Cox has been extended an offer. Michael Hutchings, E.J. Levenberry, Dorian O'Daniel, Deoundrei Davis and Michael McCray all have offers as outside linebackers. New linebackers coach Tim Kish is a great recruiter and this will be an important class for him to make that presence be known at OU.

Safety:

OU continues its search on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary, and there are a number of very good options out there. Su'a Cravens, Maurice Smith, Priest Willis, George Baltimore and Erik Huhn are some of the names that are highest on the wish list right now. They've all been offered. Cravens is a five-star from Vista Murrieta HS, so add him and the Sooners would already be in business. OU is probably looking at two here with the exit of Javon Harris. Its two likely starters, Aaron Colvin and Tony Jefferson, are slated to return in 2013, so depth will be the biggest issue. Quentin Hayes and Zack Sanchez are the two other safeties. Throw in couple more and the number there is more solid.

Cornerback:

The Sooners will take a bigger hit at cornerback because veteran Demontre Hurst will graduate in addition to Lamar Harris. Still, OU brings back Kasseim Everett and Gabe Lynn, among others a year from now. Two, maybe three here figures to be a safe number. The coaching staff has already offered a number of national guys, including Kendall Fuller, Johnny Johnson, Anthony Covington, Cole Luke and Chris Hawkins. Fuller, a four-star, reigns from the same high school as prized 2012 Maryland commit Stefon Diggs. So, he's one to certainly watch, and OU could still get in on Tulsa East Central HS corner Stanvon Taylor. He already has offers from Arkansas and Tulsa, with interest in OU and Oklahoma State.

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