Monday, January 30, 2012
Updated: January 31, 5:17 PM ET
Signing day storylines for Oklahoma
By Bob Przybylo
NORMAN, Okla. -- With less than 24 hours remaining until national signing day, there are many issues concerning Oklahoma's 2012 class.
Here are five storylines to watch for from now until the end of Wednesday:
The Green-Beckham Sweepstakes
There is little reason to believe that Oklahoma is in the hunt for wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest) but stranger things have happened.
After appearing like Arkansas was in the lead, Missouri has made a strong late surge and now most people feel like the race for Green-Beckham's signature is between the Razorbacks and Tigers.
OU was the only one of the four finalists to not get an official visit. Green-Beckham, ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 150, visited Texas in November and Arkansas and Missouri in the last two weeks.
The drama will be over early on signing day as Green-Beckham intends to announce at 9:15 a.m. CT on Wednesday on ESPNU.
|Dorial Green-Beckham's long-awaited decision will be made public on Wednesday.|
The junior college barrage
OU didn't sign any juco recruits in its last two recruiting classes. And now it's possible the Sooners end up with five in 2012. OU already has three signed in tight end Brannon "Moose" Green (Altamont, Kan./Fort Scott CC), defensive end Chaz Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Garden City CC) and cornerback Kass Everett (Philadelphia/Pierce College).
Now the Sooners are in line to add running back Damien Williams (San Diego/Arizona Western College) and wide receiver Courtney Gardner (Reno, Nev./Sierra College). Both are considered among the top in the nation at their respective position.
Williams is down to OU and Texas Tech. Gardner, an Arkansas commit, is expected to make the switch to the Sooners on signing day and will be signing at his old high school in Reno. OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell has made a huge impression on Gardner in the last month.
Defensive back decisions
OU has won its fair share of the head-to-head battles in the last week, but the Sooners could clean up if they can land some of their top targets on signing day.
Oklahoma is in the hunt for two cornerbacks in Colin Blake (San Antonio/Brandeis) and Gary Simon (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs).
Blake recently de-committed from Texas A&M and is considering OU, TCU and Florida State. San Antonio Brandeis coach John Campbell said Monday that Blake knows where he is going right now but won't tell anyone until 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday.
As for Simon, OU seems to be in the driver's seat. The Sooners charged late, while Iowa State has been around the longest. Arkansas is also in the race, but the Cyclones and Sooners feel like they're in the best spot.
Protecting the home front
Entering Tuesday, OU only has two in-state commitments in running back Alex Ross (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall), but defensive end Michael Onuoha (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) remains in play.
Onuoha will decide between OU and Missouri and announce his decision on Wednesday. He said after his official visit on Sunday that he was still "50/50."
A more unlikely switch would be Kevin Peterson (Wagoner, Okla./Wagoner) switching back to OU from Oklahoma State. Peterson switched Bedlam allegiances last week. Ryan Broyles was a last-minute steal after going back-and-forth, but don't expect it from Peterson. Peterson, however, seems like he is ready to be a Cowboy.
|Junior college running back Damien Williams will decide between Oklahoma and Texas Tech on Wednesday.|
Any last-minute switches?
Nobody is going to enjoy signing day more than Tony Brooks. The father of OU commit Daniel Brooks (Rockdale, Texas/Rockdale) has been deflecting rumors the last few months about his son's commitment.
The Brooks family has never looked anywhere but OU, however, there have been rumors of Brooks looking at TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas in recent months.
The only other concern has been the academic standing of Ross. But Ross has been adamant that he is going to qualify and will be good to go.
The commits have become a close-knit group because of social media, and it makes it that much more unlikely to see someone decide to sign somewhere else. Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) is still being pursued by Missouri, but he says he won't be switching to the Tigers.
Bob Przybylo covers football and basketball recruiting for SoonerNation. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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