Sooners add depth in 2009 class

With a group of prospects that could play as many as 10 different positions, Oklahoma built its roster in both quality and depth on Wednesday, the first day of the college football letter of intent signing period.

The class includes 22 total signees, 12 on defense and 10 on offense, most of whom are highly touted by various recruiting services.

“We approached recruiting like we do in most years,” said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. “If a player isn’t leaving this year, it’s possible that he’ll be gone in the next one or two so it’s important to maintain depth across the board.

“The caliber of these players will allow us to continue to compete at high level. We like their skill, their football intelligence and their character. All classes are better judged two or three years down the road, but this one certainly gives every appearance of being one that gives us a very solid group of players and individuals.”

Texas produced the most signees with 10 followed by Oklahoma with five, Kansas with two and Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

“(The geographic part of recruiting) isn’t real important to me,” said Stoops, who played high school football in Ohio before attending college at Iowa. “This is the United States of America. Schools and recruits need to pick the people and places that are the best fit. Naturally, we like recruiting the top players from Oklahoma, but we have to be open-minded about what is best for our program and recruit the players we feel give us the best chance to win.”

Nineteen of the recruits are from the high school ranks with three from junior colleges.

“We’ve been very happy recruiting from the junior colleges,” said Stoops. “Looking back on players like Phil Loadholt, Brandon Walker, Lance Mitchell, Torrance Marshall and others I don’t think there’s any question that those players have been very good for us. We approach junior college very similarly each year, not signing so many that it impacts our numbers negatively, but addressing specific needs.”

By position, the greatest emphasis came at defensive back, linebacker and offensive line with four each.

“We’ll still have a need at linebacker as we look for prospects next year,” Stoops said, “but this group of players is one that we anticipate being very good for the program. On the line, we still have a number of players in the program that should be ready for more playing time, but we did lose four up there so we needed to replenish our numbers and we did that with a talented and good-sized group.

“In the secondary, we signed an athletic group that also has good size, a fact that makes it possible for us to look at them getting on the field more quickly.”

Oklahoma also signed three defensive ends, two wide receivers and one each at running back, quarterback, tight end, defensive tackle and fullback.

With signing day conclude, OU’s football program now turns its sites towards spring practices. Those are slated to begin March 3.

... OU ...

2009 Oklahoma FGootball Signees

Josh Aladenoye
Offensive Line | 6-6 | 340 | Mesquite, Texas | North Mesquite HS

SuperPrep No. 54 player in the Southwest region 2008 … First team all-class, all-star “Super Team” compiled by Texas Football magazine … No. 36 offensive tackle prospect by Scout.com … No. 42 offensive tackle by Rivals.com … No. 76 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … PrepStar All-Midlands Region team … Nike training camp offensive lineman MVP award … two-time all-district … recorded 80 pancake blocks as a senior … graded out at over 90% … bench presses 335 lbs and posses a 23-inch vertical … boasts a 3.4 GPA.

Drew Allen
Quarterback | 6-6 | 210 | San Antonio, Texas | Alamo Heights HS

PrepStar All-American top 250 nationally … SuperPrep No. 38 player in the Southwest region … No. 38 quarterback prospect by Scout.com … No. 15 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com … No. 56 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … EA Sports Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge winner … threw for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2008 … rushed for over 400 yards … held a 56% completion percentage his senior year … threw for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2007 with 254 yards rushing and five TDs … clocked at 4.7 in the forty … bench presses 265 lbs, squats 345 lbs, and power cleans 250 lbs … boasts a 3.8 GPA.

Jaydan Bird
Linebacker | 6-3 | 230 | Conway Springs, Kan. | Conway Springs HS

No. 12 middle linebacker prospect by Scout.com … No. 23 inside linebacker by Rivals.com … No. 3 player in Rivals’ Kansas Top 15 … SuperPrep All-American and No. 26 linebacker … SuperPreps No. 16 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region … led Conway Springs to the Class 3A state title … Sunflower State’s Small School Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-state selection … Kansas Football Coaches Association First Team All-State selection … Vype Kansas football Player of the Year … clocked at 4.5 in the 40 … accounted for 115 tackles, 12.5 for a loss, and three interceptions in 2008 … also rushed for 2,435 yards and 27 touchdowns … finished high school career with 225 tackles and 4,701 yards rushing with 56 touchdowns despite missing most of his junior campaign with an injury.

Kevin Brent
Defensive Back | 5-11 | 196 | Dallas, Texas | South Oak Cliff HS

No. 67 nationally by Emfinger … No. 77 in PrepStar Dream Team top 100 … No. 81 nationally in Athlons’ consensus top 100 … No. 5 safety and No. 78 player overall by Rivals.com … No. 105 nationally by ESPN and the No. 13 safety in the country … SuperPrep All-American and No. 26 defensive back … SuperPrep No. 14 player in the Southwest region … No. 16 safety prospect by Scout.com … No. 11 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … 2008 second team all-class, all-star “Super Team’ compiled by Texas Football Magazine … Texas third team all-state selection … Selected to participate in the Army All-American game … bench presses 285 lbs and power cleans 310 lbs … clocked at 4.42 in the 40.

Jarrett Brown
Defensive End | 6-4 | 245 | Arlington, Texas | Bowie High School

No. 49 defensive end by Rivals.com … Named 2008 District 4-5A Defensive MVP … Clocked at 4.70 in the 40 … Also played basketball for Bowie High School.

Justin Chaisson
Defensive End | 6-5 | 265 | Las Vegas, Nev. | Bishop Gorman HS

SuperPrep All-American and No. 19 defensive lineman … SuperPrep No. 14 player in West region … No. 1 on Rivals Nevada top 20 … Ranked No. 41 nationally by Emfinger … No. 73 player nationally and No. 5 strong-side defensive end by Rivals.com … No. 75 nationally in Athlons’ consensus top 100 … No. 100 player nationally and the No. 8 defensive end by ESPN … No. 111 nationally and the No. 14 defensive end prospect by Scout.com … PrepStar All-American top 250 nationally … Selected to Participate in the ESPN Under Armor all-star game … recorded 45 tackles and 10 sacks in his senior year … had 103 tackles with 23 sacks as a junior … timed 4.70 in the 40.

Tyler Evans
Offensive Line | 6-5 | 280 | Strafford, Mo. | Strafford HS

No. 47 offensive guard prospect by Scout.com … No. 52 offensive guard by Rivals.com … first team Missouri Class 2A all-state selection … SuperPreps No. 61 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region team … graded out at 85% on the offensive line throughout high school career … also played defensive line … had 69 tackles, three fumbles forced and one fumble recovered in 2008 … finished high school career with 206 tackles with 32 for loss and 13 sacks … bench presses 330 lbs. and squats 500 lbs.

Terry Franklin
Defensive End | 6-4 | 210 | Mansfield, Texas | Legacy HS

SuperPrep No. 107 player in the Southwest region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region team … No. 59 defensive end by Scout.com … No. 35 weak-side defensive end by Rivals.com … No. 96 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … had 59 tackles, 12 for loss, five sacks, five forced fumbles and one defensive TD in 2008 … also had two TD receptions as a tight end … bench presses 235 lbs, squats 370, power cleans 235 and possesses a 31 inch vertical.

Javon Harris
Defensive Back | 6-0 | 180 |Lawton, Okla. | MacArthur HS

No. 12 safety prospect by Scout.com … No. 17 safety by Rivals.com … No. 8 player in Rivals’ Oklahoma Top 35 … SuperPrep All-American and No. 23 defensive back … SuperPrep No. 17 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region … recorded 83 tackles and two interceptions on defense despite missing half of senior year with an injury … rushed for 1,078 yards and 20 touchdowns … caught 33 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns … racked up 92 tackles and five interceptions on defense and over 1,000 total yards and 13 touchdowns on offense as a junior … bench presses 280 lbs. and squats 380 lbs.

DeMontre Hurst
Defensive Back | 5-10 | 170 | Lancaster, Texas | Lancaster HS

No. 33 player in Rivals' Texas Top 100 … No. 37 cornerback by Rivals.com ... SuperPrep No. 56 player in the Southwest region … No. 42 defensive back by Scout.com … Prepstar All-Midlands Region … had 75 tackles, three fumble recoveries, one fumble caused and five interceptions with one going back for a touchdown in his senior season … also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns … 2008 District MVP … finished his junior season with 50 tackles and one fumble recovered … benches 225, squats 365 and has a 34-inch vertical jump … recorded a 4.5 40.

Gabe Ikard
Tight End | 6-4 | 240 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Bishop McGuiness HS

No. 14 tight end prospect by Scout.com … No. 15 tight end prospect by Rivals.com … No. 14 player in Rivals’ Oklahoma Top 35… First Team Tulsa World All-State … SuperPreps No. 37 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region team … MaxPreps medium school first team All-American tight end … No. 18 ranked tight end on ESPN … Daily Oklahoman’s District 4-A Defensive Player of the Year at defensive end … accounted for 29 receptions for 542 yards and nine touchdowns in 2008 … also recorded 68 tackles and two interceptions, including six sacks and one defensive touchdown … Oklahoman First Team All-State … Tulsa World First Team All-State … Oklahoman Little All-City Defensive Player of the Year … Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State … District 4A-1 Defensive Player of the Year … also played basketball.

Tavaris Jeffries
Offensive Lineman | 6-5 | 320 | Memphis, Tenn. | Coahoma CC

Listed by The Clarion Ledger as one of the top 25 Juco prospects in the nation.

Gus Jones
Linebacker | 6-2 | 220 | Wagoner, Okla. | Wagoner HS

No. 34 middle linebacker prospect by Scout.com … No. 39 inside linebacker by Rivals.com … No. 11 player in Rivals’ Oklahoma top 35 … SuperPreps No. 29 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region … clocked at 4.6 in the forty … bench presses 300 lbs. and squats 420 lbs. … voted district Most Valuable Player … Oklahoma all-state in 2008 … recorded 138 tackles his senior year along with five forced fumbles and six sacks … rushed for 1,016 yards with 26 touchdowns … racked up 170 tackles and 15 sacks and added almost 1,000 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on offense as a junior.

Cameron Kenney
Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 195 | Dacula, Ga. |Garden City CC

No. 16 junior college player nationally and No. 3 wide receiver by Rivals.com … No. 17 junior college player in SuperPrep JUCO 100 … first team All-Jayhawk Conference in 2008 … named 2007 All-Jayhawk Conference as a receiver, returner and punter … 2007 Jayhawk Conference special teams player of the year … had 40 catches for 580 yards (14.5 avg.) and five touchdowns … also rushed the ball 12 times for 55 yards, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass, converted 11-of-13 extra point attempts, made 8-of-9 field goal opportunities (three longest were 40, 41, and 52) and punted for a 47 yard average … 46 passes for 633 yards and three touchdowns in 2007 … clocked at 4.48 in the 40 … only played one year of varsity football in high school.

Ronnell Lewis
Linebacker | 6-3 | 220 | Dewar, Okla. | Dewar HS

No. 1 player in SoonerScoops Sooner State top 40 … SuperPrep All-American and No. 2 linebacker … SuperPrep No. 16 Elite 50 nationally … SuperPreps No. 3 player in the Midlands region … Ranked No. 41 nationally and the No. 2 strong-side linebacker prospect by Scout.com … No. 71 nationally in Athlons’ consensus top 100 … No. 44 player nationally by Rivals.com and No. 4 outside linebacker … No. 84 nationally by ESPN and the No. 7 outside linebacker … No. 94 nationally by Emfinger … PrepStar All-American top 250 nationally … No. 2 player in Rivals’ Oklahoma top 35… first team Tulsa World All-State … unanimous first team Oklahoma all-state on both sides of the ball … selected to Participate in the ESPN Under Armor All-Star game … first annual small school Mr. Football Oklahoma … rushed for 2,219 yards on 150 rushes with 33 touchdowns in 2008 along with 156 tackles … picked off 11 passes on defense and added 2,000 yards and 40 rushing touchdowns as a junior.

Gabe Lynn
Defensive Back | 6-1 | 180 | Tulsa, Okla. | Jenks HS

No. 20 nationally and No. 1 cornerback by Scout.com … No. 23 nationally in Athlons’ consensus top 100 … SuperPrep All-American and No. 4 defensive back … Superprep No. 29 player nationally in Elite 50 … SuperPrep No. 4 player in the Midlands region … No. 40 in PrepStar Dream Team top 100 … rated the No. 43 player nationally by Rivals.com and the No. 8 cornerback in the country … No. 44 nationally by Emfinger … No. 81 nationally by ESPN and No. 8 safety … No. 1 player in Rivals’ Oklahoma top 35 … selected to participate in the Army All-American Game … selected to All-USA first team defense… selected first team All-Football by Vype High School Sports… Oklahoman First Team All-State … Tulsa World First Team All-State … led team to the Class 6-A State Championship … has a 30-inch vertical jump … recorded 47 tackles (35 solo) his senior year … recorded 4.5 tackles for loss senior season … Jenks head coach, Allen Trimble, said that teams only threw to his side “eight or nine” times all season … runs 4.50 in the 40.

Jamarkus McFarland
Defensive Tackle | 6-3 | 285 | Lufkin, Texas | Lufkin HS

Parade All-American … Parade All-America top lineman nationally … No. 2 player nationally by Emfinger … No. 22 in PrepStar Dream Team top 100 … SuperPrep All-American and No. 3 defensive lineman … SuperPrep No. 9 player nationally … SuperPrep No. 3 player in the Southwest region … No. 13 nationally in Athlons’ consensus top 100 … No. 36 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 5 defensive tackle in the country … No. 7 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … No. 55 nationally by ESPN and the No. 6 defensive tackle in the country … No. 11 nationally and No. 3 defensive tackle by Scout.com … 2008 first team all-class, all-star “Super Team’ compiled by Texas Football magazine … second team Texas all-state selection… named Texas Academic all-state … selected to participate in the Army All-American Game … accounted for 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks in 2008 … bench presses 365 lbs. and squats 485 lbs … has a 4.85 40.

Jonathan Miller
Running Back | 6-0 | 186 | Garland, Texas | Naaman Forest HS

SuperPrep No. 42 player in the Southwest region ... PrepStar All-Midlands Region team ... 2008 first team all-class, all-star "Super Team' compiled by Texas Football Magazine ... No. 30 running back by Rivals.com ... No. 41 player in Rivals' Texas Top 100 ... 5A-10 Offensive District MVP ... All-District Team ... second team all-area ... Texas all-state honorable mention ... broke district records in career rushing yards (4,457) and touchdowns (51).

Marshal Musil
FB/Athlete| 6-3 | 220 | LaCrosse, Kan. | LaCrosse HS

No. 4 player in Rivals’ Kansas Top 15 … No. 65 safety prospect by Scout.com … No. 49 athlete by Rivals.com … SuperPreps No. 82 player in the Midlands region … PrepStar All-Midlands Region … Sunflower State’s first team All-State selection … Kansas Football Coaches Association first team All-State selection … Featured in Sports Illustrated: Faces in the Crowd … rushed for 1,271 yards on 110 carries and 21 touchdowns in 2008 … also had 27 receptions for 465 yards and six touchdowns … defensively, recorded 92 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions … four-time unanimous Prairie League All-League selection … three-time National Honor Society member … Kansas state qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles and on school’s 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.

Jaz Reynolds
Receiver | 6-3 | 182 | Aldine, Texas | Eisenhower HS

PrepStar All-Midlands Region team … No. 92 wide receiver prospect by Scout.com … No. 93 wide receiver by Rivals.com … Had 31 receptions for 620 yards with five touchdowns his senior year … Sat out most of his senior year due to an ankle injury … had 20 receptions for 500 yards as a sophomore.

Jeff Vinson
Offensive Line | 6-8 | 350 | Lancaster, Pa. | Lackawanna CC

No. 52 junior college player by Rivals.com … No. 73 junior college player in SuperPrep JUCO 100 … two-year starter at and collegiate teammate of current Sooner Mike Balogun at Lackawanna CC … two-time Northeast Football Conference All-Conference … did not begin playing football until sophomore year of high school.

Tom Wort
Linebacker | 6-1 | 210 | New Braunfels, Texas | New Braunfels HS

No. 57 prospect nationally by Emfinger … No. 86 nationally by ESPN and the No. 3 inside linebacker … No. 86 nationally and the No. 5 weak-side linebacker prospect by Scout.com … No. 7 inside linebacker and ranked No. 117 nationally by Rivals.com … SuperPrep All-American and No. 13 linebacker … SuperPrep No. 12 player in the Southwest region … PrepStar All-American top 250 nationally … 2008 First team all-class, all-star “Super Team’ compiled by Texas Football Magazine … Texas all-state honorable mention … No. 14 player in Rivals’ Texas Top 100 … Selected to participate in the ESPN Under Armor all-star game … clocked at 4.45 in the forty … bench presses 315, squats 405 and power cleans 275 … recorded 213 tackles of which 118 were unassisted in his Junior Season (2007)… despite playing in only seven games in 2008, recorded 62 tackles and had two interception returns for touchdowns … had over 200 total tackles as a junior adding 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions and one interception returned for a touchdown as a junior … clocked at 4.45 in the 40.


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