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Monday, November 18, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12

By Damon Sayles


While Kansas broke its recruiting slump, Oklahoma managed to pick up two players on Sunday. One of them filled a huge need.

There were several other updates involving Big 12 targets from this weekend, including one four-star athlete announcing when he will make his final decision. That player said he most likely will end up in the Big 12.

Here are some of last week’s highlights:

Biggest commitment: Oklahoma and Kansas each scored much-needed commitments. Oklahoma got two on Sunday in junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College) and Dwayne Orso Jr. (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood). With Oklahoma’s defensive lineman situation, Orso is a huge get. The Sooners only had one defensive linemen committed -- three-star defensive tackle Brandon Glenn (Irving, Texas/Ranchview) -- and Orso comes as a much-needed pledge for the Sooners, who are looking for depth at the position.

Kansas was in need of a commitment or two for multiple spots, and it got one in junior college defensive end Damani Mosby (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa Community College). Prior to Nov. 12, the Jayhawks hadn’t received a verbal commitment in more than six weeks. Mosby is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound end who has 32 tackles and 7.5 sacks on the season for Mesa, ranked No. 12 in the latest NJCAA poll. Mosby gives the Jayhawks nine commitments for the 2014 class.

Biggest offer: ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Marquise Overton (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) has offers from Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and others -- but it’s no secret that the 6-foot-1, 301-pound athlete had been longing for an Oklahoma offer. Last Friday, Overton, the nation’s No. 86 overall player and No. 13 defensive tackle, finally added an offer from the Sooners. Overton, who also is the No. 2 in the state of Oklahoma in the class of 2015, isn’t expected to make a quick decision, but know that the Sooners are very high on his list -- and always have been.

Best performance by a commit/target: Some have asked if wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) is ranked too high in the ESPN Junior 300. After Saturday’s performance, the counterquestion might be, “Is he ranked too low?” Lodge had nine catches for 246 yards and two touchdowns -- all in the second half -- to lead Cedar Hill to a 39-35, come-from-behind playoff win against Temple (Texas) High. Lodge, ranked No. 41 in the ESPN Junior 300, has offers from Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Texas Tech, UCLA and others.

Most important visit: Any time the No. 1 player in the country wants to visit your school, it’s a big deal. Five-star running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) made an unofficial visit to Texas to watch the Longhorns play Oklahoma State. LSU and Alabama are the frontrunners, but the Longhorns aren’t out of the race. Will an official visit be next for Fournette?

Biggest answer: Will four-star defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) make a decision soon? Henderson said Saturday that he is planning on announcing where he’ll play Dec. 9. Henderson, a former TCU commit, said he will choose either Texas, Baylor or Texas Tech. All three schools can use the 6-1, 318-pound run-stopper.

Biggest question: Will TCU’s slump cause commits to look elsewhere? The Horned Frogs have lost four of their last five games, the latest a 33-31 setback at Kansas State. TCU has 10 commitments, but four-star linebacker Jimmie Swain IV (Olathe, Kan./Olathe North) has taken an official visit to Arkansas, and players such as four-star quarterback Foster Sawyer (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) and high three-star offensive lineman Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) are still in high demand.