May 1, 2010

The Mailbag: What Will the Class of 2011 Look Like?

The Mailbag is a feature for our fans to get questions that may require a little more depth and clarity of explanation directly from assistant editor Josh McCuistion. Each week we'll field questions for the mailbag and get you all answers on Saturday.

This week's mailbag takes a long look at how the numbers could play out for the class of 2011 and which players are Oklahoma's top target at each position and how many players they may take in the class. Also with Oklahoma rebuilding it's line on both sides of the ball what players could they be bringing in to help replenish their stock both offensively and defensively.

Who do you think will sign for defensive tackles and who will the offensive line recruits end up being? Also, how do you rank the available running backs that the Sooners are after and who most likely will they sign?

- D.K.

Well obvious at defensive tackle the Sooners are already off to a start they are excited about with the commitment of Jordan Wade. The big man is an interesting prospect and I'm not sure exactly where he'll end up playing for Oklahoma. I think he is probably a one-tech but having talked to several people at camps he shows off the athleticism and foot speed to potentially become a three-technique.

In the end I think he is a one-tech and could be a good one given the time to become a full-time football player unlike the two-sport (baseball) player that he currently is.

As for the rest of the class I think there are a few guys you have to focus your attention on, Isiah Norton, Marquis Anderson, and of the guys without an offer Jon Lewis. Anderson and Lewis are potential three-technique defensive tackles and Lewis is one of the fastest rising names in the entire state of Texas.

Meanwhile Norton is a man-mountain who could be a ferocious one-technique but there are some off-field issues that schools have expressed some concerns about.

In the end I think the'll end up with Wade, Anderson, and perhaps Lewis.

Along the offensive line is a bit more of a crapshoot with new names just now starting to emerge, as was covered in yesterday's Scoop.

Of course the conversation starts with Brey Cook who I think in the end is going to come down to Oklahoma and Arkansas with the final answer being anyone's guess at this point.

After that you've got a lot of questions but the best bet amongst the players with offers would have to be Towanda (Kan.) Circle offensive linemen Jordan Phillips. He is thought to be leaning towards Kansas State but there is no doubt that Oklahoma has had plenty of success in Kansas as of late to give them confidence in turning a kid who may be a bit of an uphill battle.

To me it's more about who hasn't been offered at this point with a trio of in-state kid, Austin Beck of Nowata Dylan Dismuke of Duncan, and Jamelle Naff of Del City all having the potential to pick up Sooner offers.

Beck and Dismuke are almost certainly right tackles moving forward though I do think Dismuke with some work could turn into a serviceable left tackle. Either way the two have numerous offers and though Beck is committed to Arkansas it's probably something he'd at least look at if Oklahoma became involved.

Meanwhile Naff is the new name on the scene and just picked up an offer from Missouri a few days ago. His versatility may make him tough to pass up for Oklahoma as he could play either guard position as well as potentially filling in at right tackle. In the end I'm willing to guess Dismuke and Naff pick up offers and I'm guessing they, and at least one other offensive lineman, will make up the class.

Finally with the talk of the running backs, I think there is really only one who is still being talked to and still has a useable offer at this point in time and that's Cibolo (Texas) Steele superstar Malcolm Brown. So in the easiest answer ever, he'd be my choice at running back.

With 9 verbal commitments what is your current guess for the 2011 class size? Also, with the remaining positions that need filled, what is the number breakdown for each position and a guess of who you think our coaches have at the top of their board for those positions?

- Nick

I've said for a while I see no more than 20 but if you put a gun to my head, I'm guessing 19 is where this class ends up. Frankly I can't figure how it goes above 18 but I always say that in the summer and then Oklahoma signs two or three more than I deemed 'possible' so I have no doubt if it's not 19, I'll be on the lowside.

OK, I'll go position by position for the rest of this.

Quarterback: I think they are happy here, although they are still talking and looking at a few other guys but frankly I think that's kind of precautionary.

Running back: As mentioned above Brown is the only guy I see with a real offer at this point in time and clearly he'd be their top option here. If he wanted to come Oklahoma would take two, otherwise it's Williams and done in my opinion.

Wide Receiver: There is little doubt in my mind that Arnett is the focal point here but there are several receivers I think Oklahoma would be really pleased with and with Kameel Jackson's skillset it lets them kind of take who they get and make the guys work accordingly as Jackson is big enough to work outside or quick enough to be a difficult guy to deal with in the slot. Either way I only see one more guy here.

Tight End: I think from nearly day one Colt Lyerla has been numero uno but there just isn't a lot Oklahoma can do with as quiet as he has been so far. I think they'll take two and frankly I expect those two to be Max Stevenson and Dan Tapko.

Offensive Line: I think the top target here is clear again with Cook being such an early offer for the coaches last summer. However, after that it's just a big ole jumbled mess. I think this class is at least three, and should be four or more. Oklahoma loses offensive line at an alarming rate and to me should recruit accordingly.

Defensive Tackle: Marquis Anderson is the guy here and I think they'll sign at least one more, and possibly two, to go along with Jordan Wade depending on how the numbers are a bit farther down the road.

Defensive End: With Cooper Washington and soon-to-be Nathan Hughes Oklahoma is in pretty good shape here. They may look at a few elite guys to see if they might have a real shot; they can make a fullcourt press on those top flight guys and if they miss, they still have guys they like and if they hit, it's icing on the cake.

Linebacker: The top choice is Anthony Wallace and he is joined by possible future linebackers like Dominique Petties and Franklin Shannon.

Cornerback: Perhaps the most obvious top target of all, Josh Turner, but look for new names like Charles Jackson and Tevin Mitchel to get a lot more sincere interest moving forward.

Safety: This one is up for debate because some think this is where Petties and Shannon could end up at. However Avery Walls is worthy of mention as well. This is a very unique position to try and follow and breakdown.

How does Trey Metoyer compare to Malcolm Kelly?

- Joe

We'll start with the areas I see in common, both are quite impressive in the air, they are dynamic as receivers and do an incredible job high-pointing the passes of quarterbacks. They also aren't track stars but are quite impressive at stretching the field and honest play a lot faster than you might expect them to run.

Now where they deviate is Malcolm was much more of a strider than Trey who is a guy who is more creative in the open field. I think it made Malcolm more of a vertical threat than Trey is but it also gives Trey the flexibility of not having to be stuck outside he can be used in a lot of different ways whether it's vertical, going across the middle, screens, etc.

Finally, Malcolm was just a bit bigger in height, frame, although Trey is a sturdier guy at the same point in his high school career.

They are comparable in being elite receivers but as you break them down there are probably more differences than similarities.

What are the chances that SiKS will be typing "KS kids rock" due to another a Sunflower State prospect choosing to spend his college years in Norman, OK?

- Heath

To me the only realistic possibility is Jordan Phillips and I think with Oklahoma's success in Kansas if they can get him on campus and let him talk to guys like Geneo Grissom, Marshall Musil and some various guys from Kansas to get a feel for why they chose Oklahoma over Kansas State it might play a big role in pushing him to look farther South.

I would say Oklahoma has about a 40-percent change of landing Phillips, it's going to be tough to overcome the Wildcats but there are some things working in their favor.

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