OU week in review

OU target Christian Kirk

Things starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail this week for OU.

This week has very much been the calm before the storm for Oklahoma. The coaches worked the entire week at a youth camp and now will come the high school three-day on-campus camp with a bevy of top prospects coming to Norman.

The Sooners got a major addition with Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson four-star cornerback P.J. Mbanasor on Tuesday afternoon, giving OU three Scout 300 commits right now.

But here's a look at the other news and notes from the week.

OU still alive for Kirk

There's work to do, but at least it's now known that the work needs to be done with Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro four-star wide receiver Christian Kirk.

Kirk has been considered one of the top wide receivers in the class for a long time and was offered by OU more than a year ago. His initial plan was to visit OU for the spring game, but he opted to stay home and take the ACT instead.

Despite not making the visit, Kirk has OU in his top 10 right now. How long the Sooners stay there will be interesting. Kirk has been able to make a lot of unofficial visits, but OU hasn't been one of them.

With OU out of the realistic running for Cedar Hill (Texas) wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, Kirk is the top prospect on the board.

The Sooners aren't strong contenders for Kirk, but OU has options with Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge four-star receiver Alex Ofodile and top in-state receiver Dahu Green. Wide receivers coach Jay Norvell can be a little selective and patient, but he should still find his man.

Offers off the board

This was a big week in that regard. It usually is as right after the spring evaluation period, recruits get a better feel of what they really want and then know they're ready to make the call.

The first happened Saturday with Apopka (Fla.) High fullback Chandler Cox committing to Auburn. OU tried to make a play for Cox, but it became clear around April or so that War Eagle was going to be tough to knock off.

Another one that happened over the weekend was with Louisiana wide receiver Derrick Dillon. After showing initial excitement about the OU offer, nothing really materialized. He committed to Florida.

Rising Texas defensive tackle Kingsley Keke was next to make the call Wednesday when he chose Texas A&M over schools like OU and Texas. The Sooners got in there pretty early with Keke, but it felt like OU could never really have made a dent in that recruitment.

Sooners don't make cut for…

Another growing trend this week was recruits being able to get some clarity and narrow down their list of schools. Unfortunately for OU fans, that meant some top targets deciding Norman isn't for them.

It started with Ennis (Texas) High four-star defensive end James Lockhart not including OU in his top six. The Sooners were able to get him to campus for junior day in February, and he loved the outpouring of support.

But as time wore on, other schools like Alabama and Florida State entered the mix, and the writing was on the wall. Add in the fact OU was talking to Lockhart about moving from end to outside linebacker, and it was tough to see how OU would stay a contender.

The Sooners took another hit Tuesday night when Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie said he was going to commit at The Opening between Tennessee and Arizona.

This is a bit of a blow although most fans did realize how tough it was going to be to snatch McKenzie away from the Volunteers. His father and his uncle were both stars at Tennessee, and though he grew up an OU fan, there was no real Sooner connection for McKenzie.

McKenzie, a five-star prospect, had nothing but good things to say about the OU staff and the way his recruitment was handled to Sooners Illustrated on Tuesday night, but it just wasn't meant to be.

So with McKenzie, Keke and Lockhart now presumably off the board, the defensive line target board is shrinking. As it pertains to defensive ends, it still looks like there isn't a favorite on the board right now.

Yazoo City (Miss.) High prospect Gabriel Campbell seems like the circled name, but with offers from both in-state powers and Alabama, going to be a tough chore to snag him away from the SEC.

This might make OU a player once again for Cypress (Texas) Falls recruit Du'Vonta Lampkin, who once again mentioned the Sooners as one of his favorites this week.

Lampkin decommitted from OU last month, but it's obvious it wasn't malicious or anything the OU coaches did to Lampkin. The intriguing part about Lampkin, now, is how things are starting to sway toward offensive line.

He tweeted earlier this week that after his showing at Baylor, the Bears now want him at offensive line instead of defensive line.

Another recruit that has OU on the outside looking in is Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus offensive tackle Keaton Sutherland. He released his final four Thursday morning with OU missing the cut.

Sutherland visited the campus three times since July, but for some reason, nothing really materialized in a huge way. His family ties have him headed to Arkansas but that remains to be seen.

The good news at offensive tackle is Maryland prospect Patrick Allen shocking a lot of people to say OU is his leader right now. Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is obviously doing something right to have the Sooners in the mix for a prospect in a region OU usually doesn't fare too well in at recruiting.

OU enters KLS sweepstakes

No doubt defensive end isn't a strong point right now for the Sooners so OU's one major offer this week was at the spot with one of the best around.

OU officially joined the race for Orange (Calif.) Lutheran five-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-Smith with an offer.

Is it too little, too late? Remains to be seen as KLS has offers from all major schools. OU has one ace in the hole as signee Dallis Todd is already doing his best to sway KLS to at least consider the Sooners going forward.

Good times ahead

This week didn't feel very positive but this next week is shaping up to be something special. Obviously OU isn't going to be in the running for every offer so not making the cut and things of that nature are going to happen.

But this is the week for OU. To go along with the three-day camp in Norman, OU will have satellite camps in Dallas (June 12) and Houston (June 13). If any top Texas high school prospect can't make it to OU, the coaches are likely to try to get a look at them next Thursday or Friday.

Don't expect a rash of commitments unless certain new offers are extended but do expect OU to once again start building that foundation with specific recruits that leads to good results further down the road.

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