Sooner Intel: OU news and nuggets

OU offer Juwan Dowels

The OU coaches hit the road in full force this week. Get the lowdown on how some of those visits went.

The Sooner Intel is an inside look into Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting and is solely for Sooners Illustrated subscribers. It is a sneak peek into what's happening with OU recruiting and is not to be distributed anywhere else.

Decision day for Hayes

The Sooners might have another piece to the puzzle Friday morning or might just be another so close but so far scenario.

Lackawanna (Pa.) College running back DeChavon Hayes is set to decide between the Sooners and Arizona State on Friday morning.

The Sooners never actually had an in-home with Hayes this week. Instead, the in-home was with Hayes' father.

"It was a great talk with the coaches, and he said he had a great connection with them," Hayes said. "Everything went really well."

Did it go good enough to overtake the Sun Devils is the question, especially when ASU is going to get the last crack at Hayes. He said ASU was scheduled for its in-home visit Thursday night and then he needed a night of silence and prayer to sort it all out.

ASU had a slight edge going into the week. He liked his OU visit last month but could not talk enough about how much he loved his visit to Tempe two weeks ago.

"It wasn't just one thing, it was everything," Hayes said. "The coaching staff – I felt connected to them. The environment was great. I really like their style of offense and feel like it would use me in a big way."

That might end up being the deciding factor. Hayes said the Sooners see him as like a change of pace running back and a little bit at slot receiver, but ASU has said it will use him in every imaginable. Running back, wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner. Every way possible.

"I really like that because I believe I'm a versatile threat," Hayes said. "I'm not just a running back. I'm not just a wide receiver. I'm all of them."

Nothing has changed regarding his academic standing, but he still wants to get this commitment out of the way. He's not signing next week, but he's ready to have the process done with.

As of Wednesday evening, he said he hadn't really done a pros-cons list for each school, but he does know what he'll be thinking about.

"I'm looking for the school that is most comfortable with me," Hayes said. "I'm looking at my education and graduation rate and things like that."

Dowels emerges as target

OU is definitely targeting cornerbacks aggressively in the last month. A couple of offers were made two weeks ago and another one was made last week to Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Juwan Dowels.

Dowels, committed to Northern Illinois since the summer, is 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds and is starting to see a rise in interest from across the country, most notably from the Sooners and Syracuse.

He had set up a visit for Syracuse for the weekend of Jan. 17, but after an in-home visit with OU cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright, has switched the visit to OU and will reschedule the Syracuse visit later.

"Coach Wright came down and spoke to me about everything," Dowels said. "He talked with me and my mom, and we finalized the visit. I'll have to move that Syracuse visit to a later date."

Things have picked up considerably and fast when it comes to Dowels and OU. He wasn't on the Sooners' radar as much as three weeks ago. Wright called one of Dowels' coaches early last week and everything has developed since that point.

For now, Dowels is still committed to the Huskies. And it has been tough for Dowels with all the new schools coming in, but he's enjoying it, too.

"I was really excited when I heard about OU," Dowels said. "I was surprised about who is actually watching my tape. I never thought it would get that far. But all I can do is play every game and not be worried about that type of stuff."

Northern Illinois was the first school to show interest, he said, back in February. And this week will be his official visit to see what its campus is all about.

Admittedly not too familiar with everything about the Sooners, Wright gave him a crash course on everything.

"He laid it all out for me, and it definitely has me excited," Dowels said. "We started talking on Facebook and everything has been going great, talking to him like every day."

Stoops lays out Clark plan

Haven't had enough about OU and Oklahoma City Douglass four-star prospect Deondre Clark? One more update before we leave it alone for a little bit.

His mother, Dorshell Clark, said the Sooners have always been a legitimate option. Their perception was OU stopped recruiting him in the spring so she said it forced them to look the other way.

"Dre isn't against staying home, but he was against the fact they weren't recruiting him," Dorshell said. "Their attitude made him think he should to the SEC."

OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and OU coach Bob Stoops made the in-home visit last week where the Sooners admitted full blame for how Clark's recruitment has been handled.

Things are back on a good note, and during the visit, the coaches made it clear what they envision for Clark in the future.

"He laid it all out," Dorshell said. "He talked about how young they were on defense and how it has been a rebuilding process. They told him he's going to be a shooter. Dre told me that meant rushing the quarterback as a linebacker."

Of course this isn't the first intense recruitment in the Clark family. Oklahoma State freshman guard Stevie Clark was nuts as well. Dorshell said the family wasn't prepared for that recruitment but feels they've handled Dre's process a lot better.

Stoops has invited them to check out a bowl practice and get more familiar with the campus, while Dorshell said the plan is to come back to OU in January for another visit.

Still an LSU commit, Ole Miss is in the picture, too. She wants Oklahoma State to be in there, but Dre is not having any of that so far.

"I keep throwing OSU out there, but he doesn't care," Dorshell said. "I love those guys up there, but I think Dre wants to do his own thing and get out of the shadow of his brother."

Dorshell doesn't have a problem with Dre going to LSU, but she said she is worried about what might happen if her son doesn't play as a freshman.

"He's going to go so far away from home and not play – that's a bad situation," Dorshell said. "LSU has more kids so he might have to wait. Or he could play closer to home, be closer to family and get the opportunity to play faster. It's his decision, though."

Closing the door on defensive linemen

Last weekend saw a major OU defensive tackle target in Lompoc (Calif.) High's Ainuu Taua commit to UCLA. The question after that was where does OU go from there?

Starting to believe the answer is nowhere. Sounds like the Sooners are content with what they have right now. OU will make exceptions for certain kids like Coppell (Texas) High stud Solomon Thomas. But if not, OU is ready to roll with what it has.

This has been an intriguing aspect to watch all summer and fall. It's obvious Montgomery must be liking what he is seeing from his young guys. Mentioned Charles Walker before, but early word has to be positive regarding Matthew Romar, too.

It still feels like Carrollton (Texas) Ranchview's Brandon Glenn is going to grow into being a nose tackle and Homewood (Ala.) High's Dwayne Orso is set to be the defensive end.

This has been a calculated move by the Sooners. Defensive ends like Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington's Jordan Brailford didn't make the cut. Longtime SoonersIllustrated favorite, Denton (Texas) Ryan defensive end Sekou Clark isn't what OU is looking for.

Defensive tackles like Fresno (Calif.) Central's Tashon Smallwood, Tooele (Utah) Stansbury's Allan Havili and Rowlett (Texas) High's Cedric Johnson were also names in consideration at one point during the fall.

The lack of defensive linemen commits should result in more linebackers. Don't be surprised if OU tries for five for this class now. And of course, nobody is putting in more work than offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh as OU continues to try to shore up that group.

But unless something drastic happens, close the door on defensive linemen. Wouldn't expect a late offer this time around in this category.

Green busts out

In the upcoming weeks, SoonersIllustrated is going to release the top 25 for OKPreps for the Class of 2015 and one name that will certainly make the cut and top 10 is Moore Westmoore wide receiver Dahu Green.

Green, who is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, came from nowhere this season to become one of the state's most promising prospects.

Originally from California, Green moved to Moore this year and tore it up. Had the chance to see him live twice this season, and he scored touchdowns in both games.

Right now things are still a little slow, but Green isn't worried about that.

"That means I haven't done enough yet," Green said. "I was happy with my season. I know I did well, but there's still a lot more left to be done."

Green took an unofficial visit to Tulsa during the season and is starting to hear from Texas Tech. Right now the Sooners haven't been knocking on his door but that could change.

At this point last year the name Jeffery Mead wasn't uttered all that much, either, and OU fans know how that one worked out.

Green caught 40 balls for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

Frison tops visitors list

OU might be taking it easy with visitors, but other schools are attacking the last potential weekend of 2013. The Sooners went all-in Wednesday with West City Valley (Utah) Granger offensive tackle Kenyon Frison.

Committed to Utah, Frison visited OU last month. It felt then the Sooners had a great chance to try to flip his commitment. The Sooners had Bob Stoops, Montgomery and Bedenbaugh there Wednesday for an in-home visit.

This weekend Frison gives the Utes a chance by making his official visit to Utah. This weekend will certainly go a long way toward determining what Frison wants to do going forward.

Another crucial visit to keep tabs on is Goodyear (Ariz.) Desert Edge's Ismael Murphy-Richardson. For the second week in a row, IMR (as he will be known) is off to see the country.

He visited Texas A&M last week. He was originally scheduled to visit Washington this week but switched that up to a trip to USC.

It has felt for a while OU is in good standing, but you never can tell because of how tight-lipped IMR has been about the process. At this point, he still hasn't set an official visit date to see the Sooners.

Also will get some answers with Los Angeles Pierce College tight end Isaac Ijalana. He said earlier this week he is deciding Dec. 15 (Sunday).

He visited Purdue last weekend, and it was a bit of a shock that he didn't pull the trigger. One reason could be that perhaps he's back talking to Jay Boulware and straightened things out.

Ijalana was incredibly focused on finals this week and wasn't doing any interviews. But with only trips to Purdue and OU under his belt, hard to see any other school in the mix even though no school pursued him harder than Illinois.

Ijalana, to recap, committed to OU last month. During a visit with Boulware two weeks ago, there was a mis-communication about things. Ijalana thought his offer was being pulled so he went ahead and decommitted to sort of beat OU to the punch.

Turns out that wasn't the case. Anyway, the saga ends one way or another Sunday.

SoonersIllustrated.com Recommended Stories