June 27, 2012

Notebook: Sooners Making Strides in Texas














DALLAS - As the Soonerscoop staff was able to make it out to Cedar Hill, Texas for the Mike Adams Camp of Conquerors (CoC) 7-on-7 tournament, which had multiple Oklahoma targets in attendance. Out of the teams in attendance the one team that it was hard to look away from was Lancaster, Texas with two 2014 prospects already holding Sooner offers.

Nick Harvey, the 5-foot-11 and 180-pound cornerback who may be the top defensive back prospect in the state of Texas for the 2014 class was in attendance. Harvey picked up an offer from the Sooners back on May 31 and also already holds offers from Arkansas, Baylor, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Virginia.

When Harvey heard about his offer from Oklahoma he wanted to make sure to not get too excited about it but willingly admitted they are a team he is going to strongly consider.

"I was pretty happy but at the same time I have to stay humble," Harvey began. "It will be a school that will be in my decision."

Defensive coordinator/secondary coach, Mike Stoops and defensive tackles coach, Jackie Shipp are the ones handling the recruitment of Harvey.

Harvey talked about what he likes about Stoops so far and it is the style of his defense that has grabbed his attention.

"I like his defense," he stated. "They are very aggressive and they make plays."

Lancaster's "Do it All" guy has some schools that are recruiting him harder than other at the moment and that includes the Sooners.

"LSU, OU, West Virginia, Virginia, Baylor and Texas A&M," he replied about who is recruiting him the hardest currently.

This summer Harvey plans to take a few visits he says but is not sure at this time where they will be. Harvey says does plan to get back to Norman but hasn't decided when that will be.

It may be extremely early in the process for Harvey but the Sooners can't be too upset about where they stand with him.

"They are in my top five," Harvey said about Oklahoma.

There is quite a bit of hype surrounding Harvey going into next season. One question that people have is will he play corner or safety at the next level? After watching him this past weekend it appears cornerback is where his future lies. Harvey showed good foot-work and an overall natural feel for the position while shutting down one side of the field.

Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie was the NFL coach for Lancaster during the tournament and was heard telling the opposing teams not to disrespect his boy Harvey by throwing to his side of the field.

2014 Lancaster WR 'Happy' About OU Offer

The other 2014 Lancaster product in attendance that recently picked up a Sooner offer was Nick Alexander, the Tigers 6-foot-3 and 185-pound wide receiver. Alexander wowed on-lookers during his time in Norman including wide-receivers coach, Jay Norvell and was impressive at the CoC Tournament as well.

Back in early June before Alexander headed home from Norman Alexander was informed that there was a spot open for him within the Sooner program.

"I was happy," Alexander said about the news of the offer.

Norvell spent time with Alexander during the camp and it left a positive impression on Alexander about how Norvell is passionate coach.

"He looked like a fun and an exciting dude. It looked like he wanted to come to work everyday. And he looked like a fun person to be around," he said.

The Lancaster product said that his time in Norman was exciting and fun. Norvell taught him some techniques and moves Alexander can use next season when he steps on the field as a junior.

Alexander knows what he is looking for in a program at the next level and summed it up quite quickly.

"A good program that wins championships," Alexander said.

The Oklahoma offer was Alexander's first but there will most likely be plenty more to follow. From the sounds of it the Sooners are sitting in a good spot for both 2014 prospects.

Heupel Likes Another Guyer QB

All the talk surrounding the Oklahoma quarterback targets for the 2014 class seems to be solely focused on Justice Hansen and Coleman Key. A third prospect who should not be forgotten though is Jerrod Heard out of Denton (Texas) Guyer.

The 6-foot-2 and 180-pound Heard stepped onto the recruiting scene during his sophomore year when he finished with 2,286-yards passing, 28-touchdowns and 10-interceptions along with 650-yards on 136-carries and five more touchdowns.

Heard was in Norman back in early June for the summer camp and talked about it being a great experience for him.

"I thought it was great, great experience. I got to get some one on one time with the coaches," Heard replied about the camp.

Heard had a pretty good showing at the Sooner camp while working with offensive coordinator/quarterback's coach, Josh Heupel.

"He is a great coach," he stated. "He taught me a lot like keeping my balance over my front leg when I'm throwing and how to generate more power, so it was good."

Heard replaced former Rivals100 four-star quarterback, J.W. Walsh after he graduated and signed with the Oklahoma State Cowboys back with the 2011 class. Heard's offer list so far looks a lot like Walsh's did with LSU, Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, and Baylor being the programs that make up his list so far.

Sooner fans know Heupel's strategy of focusing on offering one quarterback at a time as does Heard. But it sounds like Heard has a chance to be that certain quarterback.

"He said he really likes me. And Oklahoma is always going to be a top school and it was a real nice school," he explained.

Heard got to go on a tour with his dad as well as the coaches and pointed out the fact that he really likes the small town feel of Norman. And it sounds as though this won't be the last time Heard is seen in Norman moving forward.

"Oh yeah," he responded when asked if he plans to get back to Norman sometime. "I would definitely like to go up there and visit a couple more times and if they have another camp I'd do it again."

Heard admitted to growing up rooting for any school in the state of Texas and even though Oklahoma is obviously not apart of that group they are still in a good spot with the signal caller.

"They are up in the top," Heard said.

Jefferson's Hoping for an Offer

Trying to figure out the number of receivers the Sooners will be bringing in with the 2013 class because of multiple reasons. One reason being the uncertainty surrounding the 2012 JUCO wide receiver signees, Courtney Gardner and Lacoltan Bester and when they will arrive in Norman. Secondly, because of the recent revoking of two current receiver's scholarships due to disciplinary reasons.

The Sooners currently have two receiver commitments for the 2013 class in Jordan Smallwood and Austin Bennett. Denton (Texas) Guyer three-star wide receiver, Ellis Jefferson is a big receiver at 6-foot-4 and 190-pounds with offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan St., Mississippi State, Purdue and San Diego State.

Jefferson was in attendance at the summer camp with Heard and says he felt comfortable working one-on-one with Sooners co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, Jay Norvell

"It went real good. I liked him. I liked his personality and everything. I felt comfortable with him," Jefferson replied.

Norvell let Jefferson know that a key part of his game that he needs to work on is his acceleration to help him get separation from the defender. An offer is not out of the question for the Nation's No. 92 ranked wide receiver but it will depend on the numbers.

"He didn't tell me much he just said that it is all about the numbers right now. We will just have to wait and see," he stated.

Jefferson talked about where the Sooners currently stand on his radar.

"They are really high right now. I was waiting for an offer," he replied.

Three schools that are strong on Jefferson's mind at the time being are Colorado, Michigan State, and Arizona State but he does not have an idea of when a decision could be decided.

Jefferson is thinking about getting back up to Norman in the future for an official he said. Since leaving the camp though Jefferson has contacted Norvell to ask for more coaching.

"I messaged him and said 'what do I need to work on?' and he told me some stuff. He said I did a real good job and that he will see me soon," Jefferson said.

A lot more has to play out it appears in order for there to be room for the Sooners to offer Jefferson but it doesn't sound like it is completely out of the question.

Last season as a junior Jefferson finished the year with 38-catches for 676-yards and five-touchdowns.



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