All posts by Blake Mills

I have always had a passion for sports in all categories, maybe except hockey. Even recently, I've taken an interest in some soccer. I am a nerd for weird stats, news and the ever popular "where did he go to school" game. I just want to use this website with my cohort in crime to vent and let you know what we think about everything. I currently reside in Yukon, OK. Now, we would like to share our arrogance, ignorance and intelligence with you! Enjoy the Crimson Slate! We look forward to the feedback.

Injury Train Rolls Through OKC

Whatever is in the water in Oklahoma City needs to be purified. Over the summer and into training camp, the injury train has slammed the Thunder. Most notably, Kevin Durant. KD injured, and ultimately, broke a bone in his right foot. Since then, Durant has undergone surgery and is slated to miss approximately 6 weeks. That puts him out until at least the second week of December.

Continue reading Injury Train Rolls Through OKC

Durant is not the only missing link. Promising rookie Mitch McGary is also sidelined for 6 weeks after suffering a fracture to his left foot. McGary stole the show at the Orlando Summer League where he showed off a silky mid-range game as well as the ability to create his own shot. Most notably, NBA analysts were impressed with his ball handling skills creating his own fast break after a defensive rebound. Most of the Thunder front office expected McGary to step in and immediately contribute.

The injury train continued to maul through the Thunder roster. Just this week, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb suffered a twisted ankle and back injury, respectively. Jackson, to many, was considered to be a leading scorer for the Thunder and possibly even be inked into the starting lineup. Jeremy Lamb is in his “make or break” year with the Thunder. He was the centerpiece to the James Harden trade and he hasn’t lived up to the hype yet. After this set back, Thunder fans have to wonder if he will ever pan out.

OKC opens up their season tonight (10/29/14) in Portland on national television. Here’s a breakdown of their active roster tonight, which will also be their roster against the Clippers tomorrow night. Yes, a back to back to start the season. Lovely.

PG – Russell Westbrook
SG – Andre Roberson
SF – Perry Jones III
PF – Serge Ibaka
C – Steven Adams

Sebastian Telfair
Nick Collison
Kendrick Perkins
Lance Thomas

There weren’t any omissions. That is it. These are the 9 guys who will be in uniform tonight when the Thunder open their 2015 campaign against a very good Portland team, and tomorrow night against the Clippers, who some say are the favorites in the Western Conference.

Is it time to push the panic button already in Oklahoma City? Or will this group hang around and be right in it when full strength? I think the fate lies in the return of Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb. These guys will provide valuable minutes at the guard position. No one expects these two to miss significant time. If the Thunder can go .500 while Kevin Durant rehabs his toe, this could be a special season.

I can’t remember a time where a team took this big of a blow to start the season, but whom else would you rather have than Russell Westbrook to lead the charge while the league MVP waits in the wings.


Is the Title Window Closing for the Thunder?

In every sport, there is a championship window. This window may stay open 10 years, 15 years, or as soon as 3 years, depending on the players, salary cap and drafts. We saw the Lakers window stay open recently for over 12 years, then emphatically SLAM shut. We saw the Atlanta Braves in Major League Baseball stay open much of the 90’s and 2000’s, then SLAM shut – partially open again, now. We can go on and on. Yankees, Heat, Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners, USC Trojans, really the list can go on and on. We can add the Oklahoma City Thunder to this list at the current time.

Since 2010, the Thunder has had a “real” chance to win the NBA title. The Thunder have boasted a 4 time scoring champion in Kevin Durant, the 2012 Finals runner-up, and the emergence of Serge Ibaka as a real member of “The Big 3”. All this sounds great, so why the panic?

Continue reading Is the Title Window Closing for the Thunder?

In 2011, LeBron James stunned the world and “headed to South Beach” to join forces with Dwyane Wade, and later Chris Bosh, to form a “big 3.” We saw how that panned out. Over 4 years, the Heat’s “window” stayed open for 4 years where the Heat brought Miami 2 titles and 2 other finals appearances. Since then, multiple NBA players have joined forces with other stars to form these “mega teams.” Before LeBron, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce in Boston forming a “big 3.” That theory also brought a title to Boston. This offseason, Pau Gasol joined Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in Chicago forming another “big 3.”

Now, why do I spend so much time prefacing? Because the fear in OKC is that Durant is gone after this contract to go join Wall and Beal in DC, his hometown, forming a big 3 with the Wizards. Let’s say this happens. This means, theoretically, the Thunder have 2 more years of “the window” to win the NBA title. Once Durant is gone, and maybe he won’t be, the title window closes.

This brings me to my next point. The NBA Draft. The last 2 drafts, OKC has owned 2 first round picks. Let’s go back and revisit these two.

2013 NBA Draft:
Round 1, Pick 12: Steven Adams
Round 1, Pick 26: Andre Roberson

Assessment: I really believe Steven Adams will evolve into a 12pt, 10reb type center, which is a luxury in this day in age. Will he be an all-star? Not likely, but possible. Will he be able to be a part of a “big 3”? Again, not likely. Is he a perfect role player? Absolutely. He compliments the scoring of KD, Russell and Serge great, but will never have his number called to put on a scoring display.

Andre Roberson was supposed to replace Thabo Sefolosha, and he’s gotten a LOT better over the past year. Again, could he ever be part of a “big 3”? Probably not. Will he be a great compliment to an already established “big 3”? Possibly. I truly think the jury is still out, but as for now; these guys are role players who would go around KD, Westbrook and Serge.

Overall, the jury is still out. These guys could turn into legit NBA players who are household names.

2014 NBA Draft:
Round 1, Pick 21: Mitch McGary
Round 1, Pick 29: Josh Huestis

Assessment: I’ll keep this short. No one knows how this will turn out, but on paper, you have to think these guys won’t really have a thumbprint on the next 2 years. McGary has a chance to be pretty good. He played really well in Orlando in Summer League. I think Huestis is a complete project at this point, and for a first rounder, you hate to see that, unless it’s an International player with crazy upside.

Since Sam Presti has joined the Thunder as General Manger, he has made 1 mistake. Kendrick Perkins. Other than that, you have to appreciate his work. Getting Durant to drop in his lap behind Greg Oden, picking Russell Westbrook 4th overall, drafing Serge out of the blue, James Harden, Reggie Jackson, etc. So I’ll stick with “In Presti We Trust”.

It’s hard to imagine the Thunder could persuade big name NBA free agents to join OKC, being a small market, and not willing to enter luxury taxes. This being said, the draft and trades are the only feasible way the Thunder can get stars to align in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. So, Thunder fans, hope Adams, Roberson, McGary and Huestis pan out. If not, the window will be sealed shut if KD truly decides to head back home to DC.

In closing, I think the Thunder need to make serious noise in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, before the window will likely close.

If KD and Russell stick around, I reserve the right to delete this article. Until next time, THUNDER UP!

Whatever It Takes

In sports, we recognize players, sometimes, based on their positions alone. We associate Sam Bradford as the starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. We recognized Adrian Peterson as the starting running back. At times, we get caught up in where players play, instead of what they actually do on the field.

A lot can be said of Blake Bell, former quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. In high school, Bell was a 5-star quarterback recruit as recognized by He was a physical specimen standing over 6'5” weighing in over 230 pounds at the time. Bell waited, and waited, and waited behind Landry Jones. 

Continue reading Whatever It Takes

In comes Trevor Knight, a scout team superstar the past season at Oklahoma. Coaches raved, players raved, fans wondered. Then, on August 31, 2013, Knight took the field as the starting quarterback vs the ULM Warhawks, leaving Bell waiting, again. You can only imagine the heartbreak from once the guy who was going to change the way Oklahoma played football on offense, to the guy who had to wait some more.

Knight struggled early, giving Bell a chance to play. Bell, not too long into the season, became Oklahoma's starter, and he played very well. Against Tulsa, he was 27-37 for 413 yards and 4 touchdownsThen, a week later in South Bend, Indiana, Bell was 22-30 for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both of these games were 2 touchdown or more wins. Bell had finally hit his peak. He had found his time. He had cemented himself as the next guy who could possibly have his statue held erect outside the east walls of Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium.

And then, after a lackluster performance against TCU, struggles became mighty. 

Against Texas, Bell played quite possibly the worst game by an Oklahoma quarterback vs Texas since Rhett Bomar in 2005. It was as bad as it could have been. Something switched off. Something just didn't seem right. Was it the game plan? Was it nerves? Was it too much pressure too soon on the first year starter? We may never know. What we did know is that Bell wouldn't be the answer much longer for the Sooners.

In the coming weeks, Bell's play continued to be less than stellar. 131 yards passing at Kansas. Yes, Kansas. A week later, he played a little better at home against Texas Tech, but nothing short of just average. He piled up 249 yards that night, and OU squeaked out a win. 

The game at Baylor finalized Blake Bell's career as OU's starting quarterback. He threw 2 interceptions. One right before the half that allowed Baylor go go up 24-5 at half. A deficit far too steep to come back on, against a top 10 team, on the road, on national television.

In comes Trevor Knight, again. Against Iowa State, Knight dazzled the crowd with his legs. He had a moxy about him that Bell never did. He was amazing at getting the crowd hype. From there, it was no looking back. Knight led OU to 2 straight wins, then around halftime of the Bedlam game, Knight injured his arm. In comes, again, Blake Bell. He led one of the best drives in OU history, giving Oklahoma a 27-24 lead in the final seconds on a perfectly throw ball to Jalen Saunders in the back northwest corner of Boone Pickens Stadium. 

Something happened in the weeks leading up to the All State Sugar Bowl. Knight evidently won coaches over and he was given the nod vs mighty Alabama and the vaunted SEC powerhouse defense. 

What happened that night would never overturn Bell's future. Knight, again, vs the "best defense ever to take the field," lit the Tide up, leading Oklahoma to a Sugar Bowl win vs Alabama. Knight led the sooners to 45 points. He was 32-44 for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns. Bell was again, watching. Supporting. Cheering. Leading.

Then came the bombshell. 

On Feb 8, 2014, Bob Stoops announced Blake Bell would transition to Tight End. Wait? What? I think the entire Sooner Nation had 2 thoughts. 

1 – This is going to be awesome. He's going to be incredible with his athleticism. He's going to make Trevor Knight even better. He's going to become an NFL tight end.

2 – Wait. Has he ever played Tight End? Ever? 

I was more of number 2. Then I remembered. Bell has waited. He's played. He's waited again. He's played again. He's been the definition of a team player. Not one time, ever, has he complained. He's never questioned the coaching staff. I expect more of the same this time around as well. 

Bell was a receiver in high school, before transitioning to quarterback. He has incredible athleticism. I don't think the speed of the game will give him too much trouble. The only concern I have is this. Is he going to take so much of a beating that he can't backup Knight in a pinch? Will OU have a viable backup quarterback plan? 

I think we have seen some of the most selfless athletes at OU. Paul Thompson anyone? 

Look for Bell to do whatever it takes to bring number 8 to Norman next January. 

Til next time, BOOMER SOONER!

2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Signing Class – Part 2 – Defense

In Part 1 of the Sooners 2014 Signing Class, we focused in on the offensive side of the ball. Now let's dig in and take a closer look at the defensive signings. 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.

Continue reading 2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Signing Class – Part 2 – Defense


Curtis Bolton – LB – 6’2” 215 – Murrieta, Ca – Vista Murrieta High School

Curtis is a fast linebacker. He works extremely hard and isn’t afraid of contact. He will mix it up with anyone. He’s got a mean streak and relies on his speed to make the sure tackles. He’s a little bit small for his size, but the OU strength and conditioning department will make sure that’s all taken care of. There’s a lot of of room for development, but Curtis is that guy that won’t give up and he will make the coaches happy they’ve recruited him.

What we expect: A redshirt season is coming. It will do Curtis a lot of good to watch and learn the first year, and add a few pounds to make sure he has the pad level and strength to take on full backs and interior offensive linemen. He’ll make it to the field. The question is, when?

OU Football Comparison: Lewis Baker



Jordan Thomas – DB – 6’1” 180 – Klein, Tx – Klein High School

Jordan Thomas is a rangy cornerback. He possesses the speed you want at corner. He is also a ball hawk. He thrives on making big plays and has the length to contest any throw. He won’t be pushed around in the red zone and will make every play tough for the defender. Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops has raved about Jordan since day 1. It seems like Jordan was that diamond in the rough that the coaches wanted all along. Jordan isn’t a 5 star guy, but he has a great game.

What we expect: We expect Jordan to see some playing time. It would be likely he’d see time on the kickoff team and other special teams duties. A year to sit and watch Zack Sanchez and the other corners will do him good. However, there is an open spot at corner, so you never know. He’ll get some reps either way, we believe

OU Football Comparison: Lendy Holmes



Tito Windham – DB – 5’9” 174 – Gulfport, Ms – Harrison Central High School

Tito is undersized. There’s no way to put it. He’ll have to work really hard to be an every down corner. Where he lacks in size, he makes up for his football IQ. He has a knack for the ball and will throw his body around like he’s the biggest guy on the field. He can’t do anything about his height, except pray he gets bigger, but what he can do, is figure out a way to get on the field. Whatever it takes. He’s fast and he’s aggressive. Those are two things you can’t teach. 

What we expect: We expect Tito to redshirt. It wouldn’t surprise us if he ended up being a nickel corner and provide that extra body Mike Stoops defenses like. He can be that 5th moves to nickel, he’ll play later in his career. We don’t see him being out on an island every down, though. We love to be proven wrong in times like these.

OU Football Comparison: Marcus Trice (later transferred) defender in the 2nd level. 



Courtney Garnett – DL – 6’2” 285 – New Orleans, La – Saint Augustine High School

Mr. Garnett possesses everything you hope for in a defensive lineman. He’s big, strong, quick and aggressive. Courtney was highly recruited and it came down to signing day for OU Nation to breathe a sigh of relief when his letter of intent was faxed to OU. The one thing I’ve noticed about him is he’s always smiling. Every single picture I’ve seen of him has been with a big smile on his face. Courtney is extremely talented on the football field, but also seems to be of high character off the field. This reminds us of someone else who’s been here before. See below.

What we expect: We expect Courtney to play right away. He may not get the starting nod, but we feel he’ll be in the rotation from day 1 in Norman. Courtney will bolster the front 4 of OU’s defense in big ways in the next 3-4 years.

OU Football Comparison: Gerald McCoy 



Marcus Green – DB – 6’1” 180 – Cedar Hill, Tx – Cedar Hill High School

Marcus is an underrated defensive back. He loves the game of football and will do nothing but get better in his time in Norman. Earlier this week, LJ Moore decided to transfer, creating even more of a void at the 2nd corner position. We are unsure if he’ll stick with playing corner, or if he will go a hybrid route and line up at safety as well. Marcus had a great high school career in Cedar Hill and we can see his instincts making him a player at Oklahoma as well.

What we expect: Marcus will most likely redshirt. If anything, he will see some time in mop up duty or on special teams. He’s a tall defensive back player, so his size will make him a front-runner if he’s in a battle with another vying player. Marcus will end up playing significant time at OU.

OU Football Comparison: Desmond Jackson



Vontre McQuinnie – DB – 6’1” 204 – DeSoto, Tx – DeSoto High School

Vontre is big. He’s a huge corner, in fact. At 18 years old, he’s over 200 pounds and stands at least 6’1”. He’s already got the body. If his game comes around, he could play sooner than later. The one knock we’ve heard about him is he likes the big hit and has had times of difficulty wrapping up. This could be here say as we haven’t noticed it much on highlights. Bob Stoops said in his press conference that Vontre could be a key factor in defenses to come at OU. We kind of expect the same. 

What we expect: We expect Vontre to be a safety for the Sooners. There will be a hole in at least 1 position at safety this fall, and Vontre could very well make a name for himself sooner that we all expect. There’s been a lot of true freshman line up in OU’s secondary, especially during Mike Stoops’ days. 

OU Football Comparison: Nic Harris



Tay Evans – LB – 6’2” 200 – Allen, Tx – Allen High School

Tay Evans has been talked about a ton in Norman this year. We feel one of the main reasons is the program he’s from. Allen boasts one of, if not THE best high school stadium in the country. If anyone is ever near Allen, Tx, go by and see it. It’s quite impressive. Tay is undersized, but makes up for it with his speed. He’s got a nose for the ball and will get there in a hurry. He’ll need to add a few pounds before he’s ready to star at linebacker, but he’s got the tools and pedigree necessary to get the job done. He’s one of those rare finds. If he were 220 pounds, he’d have handpicked where he wanted to go. A big kudos goes to OU for offering Tay a scholarship. 

What we expect: Tay is one of those guys you want to root for and you want to see do well. He’s got the physical tools. Now we just want him to bulk up. Special teams is written all over Tay and maybe a few reps here and there on defense as well.

OU Football Comparison: Corey Nelson



Devante Bond – LB – 6’3” 240 – Roseville, Ca – Sierra College

The lone JUCO transfer is Davante Bond. Devante is a freak of nature size wise. If you get a chance, go check out his highlights on YouTube. I realize he’s been playing down competition wise, but he’s made the most of it. He’s dominated offenses. He’s sacked the QB, he’s picked off passes, he’s defended the run. There’s not much he hasn’t done in 2 years at Sierra College. He has elite speed and makes the tackles violently. Devante has one of the more impressive highlights I’ve seen in a long time.

What we expect: If Devante catches on to the scheme of the defense, he’ll play right away. Imagine Eric Striker at 240. That’s what we see. I expect Devante to play these last 2 years and be drafted in the NFL following. He’s that guy.

OU Football Comparison: Eric Striker (plus 30 pounds)



Dwayne Orso – DL – 6’6” 275 – DL – Birmingham, Al – Homewood High School

Dwayne was a late addition. He went unnoticed by local schools, such as Alabama and Auburn. Dwayne has a great frame. He needs to learn to use it better, and then find a spot he wants to play. Is it DE or DL? That’ll be the burning question in Norman. He’s not quite fast enough to rush the passer every time, but he’s not quite strong enough to play in the trenches yet. He’s a project and could end up being pretty good if he gets it. 

What we expect: We see a redshirt year for sure. He needs to get his body figured out and also figure out a spot to play on the defensive front. 

OU Football Comparison: Pryce Macon

2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Signing Class – Part 1 – Offense

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.

Continue reading 2014 Oklahoma Sooners Football Signing Class – Part 1 – Offense


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, 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 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