1) Steven Parker-Safety-Jenks
No question, Parker is the top prospect in this talented class that has not committed yet. Boy does he have options. The 6’2 safety already holds offers from the top college programs in the country. Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, OU, Texas and Texas A&M have offered among many others. Needless to say, (although I’m going to anyway) Parker is going to be able to go anywhere he wants. Instead of playing AAU basketball Parker is focusing on getting better on the gridiron this summer. Parker has all the tools to be an impact player at the high division 1 level. Not playing basketball has given Parker the ability to hit the weight room to work on his strength. Parker needs to continue to get better on his open field tackling. His speed will make up for that in high school. His closing speed on passes is very impressive. Parker might also get some time on the offensive side of the ball for the Trojans and he has the ball skills to make some plays for Jenks. From talking to Parker it sounds like he will take his time with his commitment and could be a guy that waits until National Signing Day in February. I can sum up Parker in one statement. When talking about the greatness of the 2014 class in Oklahoma, I was asked if a player in this class that could make it all the way to the NFL. The first player that came to my mind was Steven Parker.
2) Dylan Harding-Safety-Jenks
Is anybody going to be able to pass the ball on the Jenks defense? The two top safeties in this class both reside in the defensive backfield at Jenks. While Harding doesn’t have the offers that teammate Parker does, Harding will have his options and he shouldn’t be overlooked. Harding is better than Parker in some aspects, Harding in my opinion is the better tackler. He’s working on his speed this summer and it’s starting to show. Harding is currently holding offers from four BCS schools. (Arizona State, Iowa State, Oregon State and Texas Tech). Tulsa is also listing Harding as a very high priority in their recruiting. Harding impressed at the OSU camp in early June and he’s hopeful his performance leads to a scholarship offer from the Cowboys. Harding recently decided his first official visit will be to Arizona State. The Jenks safety wants to announce his commitment before the start of the football season.
3) John Cole Neph-Wide Receiver-Owasso
Going into this project I told myself I would not make a reference to “Sunshine” from Remember the Titans. Not gonna happen, the Owasso receiver looks ridiculously similar to Ronny Bass from the famous movie starring Denzel Washington. The long hair is a dead giveaway. However Neph is a wide receiver for the Owasso Rams but he’s also a playmaker similar to “Sunshine”. Okay, got that out of my system. Down to business. Neph is without a doubt the fastest rising recruit in Oklahoma today. He currently holds three offers from division 1 schools including one from Kansas State. Neph will not blow you away with his speed, he’s the first to admit that. What he lacks in speed he completely makes up for in route running, hands and physicality. Also a starter on the basketball team, he takes his physical play in the paint to the gridiron and is not afraid to hit or get hit. I’m a firm believer that Neph will be a playmaker at the next level. He’s the typical possession receiver and I believe he’ll make an impact. Wherever he goes, he’ll make plays. Other schools will look back on this class and wonder how they didn’t know about John Cole “Sunshine” Neph.
4) Lawrence Evitt-Running Back-Wagoner
If I’m ranking these kids based on their nicknames, Lawrence Evitt is on top. The “Red Dirt Mamba” comes in at #4 on this list. Two questions will hamper Lawrence Evitt from getting some offers from D1 schools. Is he too small? Can he get his grades and test scores up? Evitt is only 5’7 and 165 pounds and it’s debatable Evitt will be able to be durable enough to play big time college football. Grades are starting to concern college coaches along with the questions of his size. You cannot deny the stats that Evitt put up last year as a junior. Evitt exploded on the scene last year and ended his junior season just 20 yards short of 3000 in 13 games. The “Red Dirt Mamba” reached paydirt 35 times last year. Evitt’s biggest game came against Oologah where he ran for over 400 yards and 6 touchdowns. Evitt is a big play guy as well. In that game against Oologah, 4 of his 6 touchdowns went for over 50 yards including 3 that went over 70. It is key to contain Evitt, if he gets into the open field and gets by you he’s gone. The questions about his size and grades definitely raise a question and could drop him lower on this list. Despite those questions I’m going with the mamba here at #4. He’s a playmaker that requires everyone on a defense to be on the same page in containing him. I believe he can make plays at the D1 level.
5) Tramal Ivy-Defensive End-Muskogee
I am absolutely shocked more schools are not on this explosive force from Muskogee. Don’t get me wrong, Ivy has two D1 offers and most kids would be ecstatic about that. Kansas State and Memphis have offered Ivy. I will now openly admit something. I have not seen Ivy on the football field in person. I’ve watched film on him but what impressed me the most is about Ivy as a football prospect is what I’ve seen from him on the basketball court. Ivy is extremely athletic and physical. I would be surprised if Ivy doesn’t pick up some more offers before the summer is over. Ivy is another one of those guys that may not be highly recruited right now but I believe can make an impact at the next level.
6) Cameron Oliver-Tight End-Owasso
Oliver is starting to gain some attention on the recruiting circuit. Oliver looks the part, he’s a big body guy who has shown the ability to make some plays. Oliver is not that fast but just like teammate John Cole Neph, the tight end has shown the ability to run good routes and run people over. Rutgers has offered the Owasso tight end. This class of 2014 has some nice tight ends with Union’s Carson Meier, Norman North’s Payton Prince and Carl Albert’s Trenton Ball. Oliver belongs with those guys on that list.
7) Jeremy Smith-Defensive End-Berryhill
Similar to Dylan Harding from Jenks, Jeremy Smith finds himself a very high priority for Tulsa coaches in recruiting. Smith is 6’4 but only 215 and would need to put on some weight to continue to play on the line at the next level. Most seasons Smith would be a very high ranked prospect in the state. I’ve made no secret about it, this class is special. Most of these guys who would normally range in the top ten of the class are going to be ranging from 15-35. Four years from now we’ll be able to look back and I believe that many of those players will be gems and we’ll really know how special this class is. Smith is apart of that group of guys that I believe will be a gem.
8) Mike’Quan Deane-Defensive End-Memorial
Deane also plays tight end for the Chargers but he believes he will probably be on the defensive side of the ball when it comes to his college future. Deane is very similar to the other defensive ends on this list. Deane isn’t as explosive as Ivy but he’s a close second. Just like the Muskogee DE, Deane has shown his ability to take his physical play in football to be a force down in the post for the basketball team. Deane helped lead the basketball team to a state championship in March. Deane believes that he’s very close to getting an offer from Tulsa. He currently holds an offer from Northern Colorado and a few other smaller schools.
9) Damian Howard-Defensive Back-Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow might be the team that has the most kids in football go D1 in February. The Tigers already have 4 D1 commits in Coleman Key, (Colorado State) Gyasi Akem and Devon Thomas, (Oklahoma State) and Keaton Baggs (Lousiana Monroe). Damian Howard could be the next Tiger to commit to a D1 school. Howard will be one of the top defensive backs in the Tulsa metro area. Howard won’t be as highly recruited as some of the other defensive backs in this class but he’ll be another one of those guys that has the ability to make a name for himself at a smaller level D1 school.
10 Coleby Evans-Linebacker-Union
Evans will be the heart and soul of a very young Union defense this fall. Evans cored the winning touchdown in the 2011 state title game as a sophomore. Last year he had 98 tackles. Evans will be relied upon this year to really lead the defense as they have several new starters. Evans is your typical Union defensive player. He’s got decent speed and strength. He’s a little undersized to play linebacker at the next level but I think if he could move to another position and get faster he could play at the D1 level. I believe Evans will probably be a better fit for a non BCS school. It would not surprise me if Tulsa started recruiting Evans and consider changing his position similar to former Redskin and current Golden Hurricane Luke Snider.
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