The Sugar Bowl win just kept getting sweeter and sweeter for the OU football program. Not only did they take down mighty Alabama, but in the process landed one of their best recruiting classes in years. In this article, I'm going to introduce you to the newest Sooners, what we expect from them, and a former OU player comparison to the player. Feedback always welcome. These names will be in no particular order.
Orlando Brown – OT – 6'8" 340 – Duluth, Ga – Peachtree Ridge High School
Orlando Brown is one of the most intriguing players Oklahoma signed in 2014. Brown was originally committed to Tennessee, but flipped on National Signing Day to join forces with the Sooners. Orlando's name might sound familiar. His dad played in the NFL for many seasons. Orlando Brown, Sr. played for the Ravens and Browns and was part of the Art Modell move from Cleveland to Baltimore. He was found dead in 2011 due to diabetic complications. His son, Orlando Jr, may end up being an NFL prospect as well. He's a fierce, intimidating presence (similar to Phil Loadholt). If looks could win championships, Orlando would have OU covered on the offensive line.
What we expect: We expect Brown to contribute to Oklahoma sooner than later. I can see a redshirt year, followed by a start in his redshirt freshman season. He's got a lot of work to do. He must work on his lateral footwork. He's too big and has too good of a pedigree not to figure in as a starter in his OU career.
OU Football Comparison: Phil Loadholt
Michiah Quick – ATH – 6'0" 170 – Fresno, Ca – Central East High School
This was one of the crown jewels of the 2014 class, and I believe, this is in direct relation with the Sugar Bowl win. Quick was recruited by everyone OU had, including another recruit that we'll get to in a little bit. Quick is one of those guys you need on your side. He's fast, shifty, elusive and has a knack for scoring. He comes from the same area as current Sooners Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore. That played a major role in getting Michiah as well. If you watch his highlights, it'll make you want September to be here even faster.
What we expect: We expect Michiah to play in his freshman year. This could be a special teams role or a WR role. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see him quickly take over for the absence of Jalen Saunders. He'll have to adjust to the speed of the defenders, but OU fans will remember Michiah Quick for a long time.
OU Football Comparison: Jalen Saunders
Joseph Paul – OL – 6'4" 325 – New Orleans, LA – St. Augustine High School
Again, another BIG body for Coach Bill Bedenbaugh to work with. Joseph is a tough, hard nosed, grind it out player, who is not afraid to take on a bull rush. Paul wasn't given but 2 stars on the heralded Rivals.com, but he was recruited by a lot of top programs in the country, including Florida State and Texas. Paul is known for his physicality, and not so much for his shiftiness. He's a power blocker and is good at what he does. He will be asked to do much more in OU's scheme, and we think he'll get it at some point.
What we expect: We expect Joseph to redshirt. He will need to learn a lot of things. He may be moved inside to guard at some point. I think the main thing is figuring out whether he can protect the QB, or keep the pocket pushed forward. Once his position is figured out, everyone will know more.
OU Football Comparison: Akim Millington
Natrell Curtis – OL – 6'3" 325 – Phoenix, AZ – Mountain Pointe High School
Bill Benenbaugh continues to load up on massive offensive lineman. Natrell Curtis was another product of the Sugar Bowl win, in my opinion. Curtis is a load. He's just about everything you'd want in an offensive lineman. He's quick for his size. He gets off the ball and initiates contact with the defender. He is a great seal blocker and rarely allows a defender to get past him. He gets low during contact and has great fundamentals already. Really the only thing that could possibly keep off the field is the learning curve from high school to college.
What we expect: We expect Natrell to have a long playing career with Oklahoma. I can see him playing some this year. I can see him moving around the offensive line to plug in where needed. I expect Natrell to be a guard at Oklahoma, but he has the size to move to tackle if needed. If he's redshirted, it means the offensive is a lot better than we thought.
OU Football Comparison: Bronson Irwin
Dallis Todd – WR – 6'5" 210 – La Mirada, CA – La Mirada High School
Dallis Todd is a huge receiver. He's got one thing that's hard to find in a receiver. Soft hands and always bigger than the opponent he's up against. He runs a 4.5 40 yard dash. Combine that with his size and we have ourselves a man child if he develops. The major focus that Jay Norvell will keep his eye on is his development. Oklahoma runs a complex route running scheme, and quite frankly, some receivers never truly understand it. One that comes to mind is Jameel Owens. Owens had all the tools, but never truly broke through at Oklahoma before he quit football. Dallis will come in and work hard and hopefully see the field before his tenure at OU is over.
What we expect: Dallis Todd will have a chance to fit into the rotation early. We can see him in the red zone creating mismatches on the outside for the quick fade in the back of the end zone. I can't see Dallis a primary weapon, but we are open to being proven wrong. I can see a redshirt season for sure, followed by situational downs. I honesty think he can become that nightmare in the endzone for opponents.
OU Football Comparison: Quentin Chaney
Kenyon Frison – OL – 6'6" 285 – Salt Lake City, UT – Granger High School
This was a big deal for OU fans on signing day. OU fans were hoping Kenyon would choose Oklahoma over UCLA, among a few others. Frison is a freak, point blank. He blocks until the whistle blows every down. He will often times block defenders 15-20 yards off the ball. I read on a blog somewhere where Kenyon hasn't allowed a sack in 2 years at his high school. That's impressive. High expectations for Kenyon immediately at OU, which I don't think he will shy away from. He's got some filling out to do, but it won't take long. One thing OU is getting with Kenyon is his love for the game. Sooner Nation is excited to have Mr. Frison on campus.
What we expect: We expect Kenyon to compete for playing time right away in an OU uniform. He may not start, but I can't see him redshirting. He will have a chance to play every down. A lot of that has to do with the development of Derek Farniok, who is already on campus with playing time. There will be a big battle between Frison and whoever he's trying to unseat/replace. Frison will find his way on the field in 2014 for Oklahoma.
OU Football Comparison: Trent Williams
Mark Andrews – WR – 6'6" 220 – Scottsdale, AZ – Desert Mountain High School
Again, another huge wide receiver for Jay Norvell. Some think Mark will wind up at tight end at OU, which is very possible. He's got a nice frame already, but if he wants to, could bulk up and be a huge target in the middle of the field for Trevor Knight. I don't see a losing situation for Mark. The biggest question is whether he wants to line up at wide receiver, or if he wants to move to tight end. I think the coaches will figure it out pretty quick and put him where he wants to be. Mark possesses great hands and a great work ethic. He was rated the 25th overall prospect at wide receiver in the 2014 class.
What we expect: We expect a redshirt season for Mark. This is mainly due to where he'll end up playing. In my gut, I think he'll stay at WR, but you never really know. Either way, he could be exactly what we talked about with Dallis Todd; a nightmare in the red zone. There's not a corner in the country who could cover him 1 on 1 in the red zone.
OU Football Comparison: Dejuan Miller (thicker version)
Jeffrey Mead – WR – 6'6" 190 – Tulsa, OK – Union High School
Jeffrey is tall and lanky. He had a very productive career at one of the most premiere high schools in all of the country, Union High School. Jeffrey is capable of going up for the ball at any given moment. Jeffrey has had games where he looks like Calvin Johnson, then games where he looks like a D2 player. Consistency is where he'll need to improve the most. Also, he needs to put on a little weight to go along with his tall frame. Potential is through the roof, but it'll take a lot of work and coaching. Mead is just another example of the huge receivers Jay Norvell coveted in this recruiting class.
What we expect: I can't see a reason in the world Jeffrey doesn't redshirt. He's the classic example of what a redshirt year can do. He can bulk up, he can work on his routes, and he can learn from an already established receiver core. I can see him playing in his career, but it won't be in 2014.
OU Football Comparison: Adron Tennell
Carson Meier – TE – 6'6" 235 – Tulsa, OK – Union High School
Carson Meier is a tall target, with great hands. He took some shots during his senior season and is not afraid of contact. He's a hair on the light side for a starting Tight End at a major D1 University at only 235 pounds. With the correct eating habits and workout regime, he'll bulk up in a hurry. Carson will have to adjust to the physical style of high level football. Often times, Carson would line up in the slot and be a pass catcher only. At OU he'll have to learn how to play with his hands in the dirt more. He's a very smart kid and will learn whatever he needs to. Carson is a great all around kid.
What we expect: Carson will red shirt. It's almost a guarantee on our end. Blake Bell has said he will move to Tight End, and for him to do that, you almost have to assume with his experience on the field, he'll start. Carson will have a veteran to watch and learn from. He could see some significant playing time, but not in 2014.
OU Player Comparison: Brody Eldridge
Samaje Perine – RB – 5'11" 238 – Pflugerville, TX – Hendrickson High School
The one word to describe Samaje: physical. Samaje is the classic example of north/south runner. There will never be a wasted step in Samaje's carrying of the ball. He will initiate contact and will win the extra yard battle. Samaje is one of the more physical backs I can ever remember OU recruiting. He's not shifty, he's not nimble. He runs with a purpose and will make sure you know who just carried the ball. He possesses the physical side of Adrian Peterson, without the blazing speed or sick spin moves. He hits the hole and he will run hard. He could wind up a fan favorite in Norman based on his style of play alone.
What we expect: Perine will play. I'm not sure when. He could be used for a short yardage situation in 2014, but with Keith Ford and Alex Ross already on campus, and another recruit we'll talk about in a few minutes, it may be in Samaje's and the coaching staff's best interest to red shirt in 2014. He's got the physical tools. Now it's just about learning how not to take a beating every time he touches the ball.
OU Player Comparison: Donta Hickson
Jonathan Alvarez – OL – 6'3" 301 – Mesquite, TX – Horn High School
No one was happier than Jonathan's family after the Sooners made their offer official to him. Jonathan is said to be a great kid and was beyond excited to receive his offer from the Sooners. Where he'll play, when he'll play, and how he'll play is yet to be determined. I can easily see Jonathan being an inside guy at guard. He's got a long road to go become elite, but his willingness to come in and work should work in his favor. He's not one of the heralded signings the Sooners inked, but he's one that truly wants to be wearing the Crimson and Cream.
What we expect: Learning curve is going to be key for Jonathan. Will the game come to him, will it be too fast, or will he simply be depth that every major D1 school needs? That's all yet to be determined. I think a red shirt season is a must, where he can get reps on the practice squad and figure out what position he'll be the best fit at. Jonathan is one of those guys every school needs. A willingness to do whatever.
OU Player Comparison: John Flynn
Alex Dalton – OL – 6'4" 280 – Troy, OH – Troy High School
Alex was a guy Bill Bedenbaugh chased throughout the recruiting process. Alex possesses excellent athleticism. He moves like a running back on the offensive line. He's not constricted like a lot of lineman. He possesses quickness and a knack for getting off the ball in a hurry. I think Alex will have to fill out a little bit before he hits the line full force, but he's a guy we think can eventually get there and make a serious impact. What Alex brings is a quick, elusive style lineman, compared to big, constricted at times, lineman OU has added to this class. It'll be interesting to see where he fits. Center isn't out of the question in my opinion.
What we expect: I may be way off my rocker, but I think Dalton could actually see playing time in 2014. With a little added strength and muscle to his already impressive frame, I can see him taking meaningful snaps in 2014. Where and when is totally unknown, but I just have a hunch he could be a pretty good player for OU.
OU Player Comparison: Vince Carter
Dimitri Flowers – FB – 6'3" 219 – San Antonio, TX – Churchill High School
In comes Dimitri Flowers. All he's hearing is how he's the next Trey Millard. If the people saying this are correct, we have ourselves a steal in the 2014 class. Dimitri will be a fullback, but I can see him even being an H-Back and Tight End. He possesses all the traits you'd want in a "football player". Good speed, good hands, good football IQ and a good high school coach. Flowers wasn't highly recruited out of high school, but the OU coaches saw something they really liked, and most of the people in Sooner Land would agree. He's one of, if not the, most intriguing prospect Stoops and company brought in.
What we expect: I fully expect Flowers to play right away. If nothing else, I can see him playing special teams and figuring out where he'll spend most of his snaps during his career at OU. I see him being an every down fullback in time, but maybe not in week 1 this season. That being said, I have a hunch people will remember Dimitri Flowers' name for a long, long time.
OU Player Comparison: JD Runnels
Isaac Ijalana – TE – 6'5" 250 – Mount Holly, NJ – Pierce College
Isaac is a hard working football player. He's got a brother that plays for the New York Jets. He's got a good pedigree. Isaac has a long road ahead. He's got a chance to develop into a solid player, but won't have as much time as others as he only has 2 years of eligibility left. He could contribute right away on special teams, but with Blake Bell set to play TE, as it would seem, Isaac will have to really work hard to see the field. He provides great size and a great work ethic, so only time will tell.
What we expect: I think Isaac will be a special teams player at OU with some snaps in the future. I don't see him being an all Big 12 type player, but I can see him being fairly solid when his name is called. If he can master blocking schemes, he could see the field a lot more than we all think.
OU Player Comparison: Lance Donley
Justice Hansen – QB – 6'4" 215 – Edmond, OK – Santa Fe High School
Justice Hansen is a guy that every fan in Sooner Nation has their eyes on. He's a local product, good size, good accuracy and a quiet kid. Sound familiar? I'm not comparing Justice to Sam or Jason just yet, but he possesses all the tools they had coming out of high school. Tremendous athlete, quicker than the eye makes it seem, and a gamer. Justice was involved in the state playoffs every year he played at Santa Fe. His senior season was cut short due to an ankle injury suffered midway through the season. He won't play right away, especially with the way Trevor Knight played in the Sugar Bowl, but I think it's a matter of time before we see Justice take the field by storm in Norman.
What we expect: Redshirt in 2014. He will learn and practice and be right where he needs to be when his name is called. Justice has a lot of room to fill out in his frame, but is already pretty good size for a college quarterback. I will predict Justice will start for Oklahoma in 2016.
OU Player Comparison: Sam Bradford
Joe Mixon – RB – 6'2" 210 – Oakley, CA – Freedom High School
And we arrive at the prized possession for the 2014 OU signing class. Joe Mixon. Some say Adrian Peterson, some say Demarco Murray, some say a complete bust. Only time will tell for Joe, but you can't deny his skills. He was the MVP of the Army All American game, as was AD. He's fast. He's shifty. He's elusive. He has great hands. He has everything you want in a running back and then some. He will make you miss, make you fall down and run you over. There's not much Joe can't do. He's the number 1 rated running back in the class of 2014 as said by Rivals.com. Most of Sooner Nation is on the edge of their seats awaiting his debut.
What we expect: He'll play right away. I don't see him being the 90% carry guy, but I can see him splitting the carries with Keith Ford. By the end of his freshman year, he will be getting the bulk of the carries. He'll also split out wide and play some receiver, I'd imagine. This is truly one of the best players OU has recruited since, well, Demarco Murray, I'd say.
OU Player Comparison: Demarco Murray