In the recruiting game, certain weekends stand out. There aren’t too many bigger than the annual spring game.
But Oklahoma has been doing things differently during this entire 2013 recruiting period. It is possible this weekend could be an eventful one for the Sooners. If it is, though, it will be because the OU coaches are ready to strike.
The staff has stressed to recruits to take their time with their decision and hasn't pressured them for commitments. It has led to mixed results as you could argue the Sooners have missed out on some top targets. The approach, however, also has endeared the staff to some recruits.
When it comes to this weekend, it is the Sooners who will have the power. Several top targets will be in Norman, Okla., this weekend but none are expected to commit.
Expected, of course, is the key word there. Running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) didn’t expect to commit to the Sooners two weeks ago, but he did.
The intriguing part of the weekend isn’t so much that non-regional prospects like wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) or cornerback Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) will be in town, but how many top prospects will be on hand that are on the cusp of getting an offer.
The quarterback situation will not be decided as all three targets -- Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) and Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) -- will not be in attendance. OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel told them it’s not necessary because he needs to evaluate them in person. He already has quality relationships with all three of the recruits.
It is clear that defense is the focus of the 2013 class, but OU only has one commitment so far, defensive end Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy). If OU were to offer a few spring game attendees this weekend, that could change.
Starting with the line, a prospect to watch is defensive tackle Hardreck Walker (Houston/Westfield). Walker has seen his interest pick up dramatically in the last month following a quality showing at the NIKE Football Training Camp event three weeks ago. Walker was at OU’s first junior day in February and has mentioned the Sooners as being one of his favorites despite the lack of an offer.
Safety George Baltimore (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) is another prospect to watch. When he was at OU’s first junior day, he had less than a handful of offers, but he returns to Norman with 11 of them. Following OU’s junior day, Baltimore’s avatar on Twitter featured him in an OU jersey for a couple of weeks. An offer this weekend could go a long way in securing his commitment.
Another recruit that has blown up nationally since being at OU’s junior day is cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central). It is unclear if Taylor will be at OU’s spring game because of a track meet, but he really wants to be there.
Taylor now has double-digit offers but is still waiting for one from the Sooners. He broke his ankle during the first game of the 2011 season and missed the rest of the year. Now 100 percent healthy, Taylor is starting to separate himself from most of the rest of the in-state prospects.
• Another factor in this weekend’s Red-White spring game has been the ACT. Several top 2013 prospects are using this weekend to take the required college entrance exam, and it has hurt the number of out-of-state attendees who will be at OU.
Safety Kameron Miles (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite), tight end Christian Morgan (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) and tight end Jeremiah Gaines (Red Oak, Texas/Red Oak) are just some of the top recruits who wanted to see the Sooners but now will have to find another time.
For in-state prospects, it has been a little different. Most are going to try to pull the double. With the ACT scheduled to end at noon, some recruits are going to attempt to drive straight from the test to Norman to be there for the game.