MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

February 6, 2014

Sugar momentum boosts Sooners to notable haul

Oklahoma built on the momentum from its Sugar Bowl win over Alabama by pulling in a top-notch recruiting class.

“I believe it’s one of our better recruiting classes that we’ve had through the years,” coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday. “Hard to compare when you’re looking at 15 years of doing it, but I feel this ranks right up there with any of them.”

The top player is 6-foot-2, 216-pound Joe Mixon, listed as Rivals.com’s No. 1 running back and 247sports.com’s No. 1 all-purpose back. He ran for 1,704 yards and 23 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 383 yards and seven touchdowns last season at Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif. Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M and USC were all believed to be interested in Mixon.

“He has a physical running style,” Stoops said. “Tough, very elusive and really smooth out in space catching the football.”

Stoops said Mixon was also one of  OU’s best recruiters.

“Players recruit players, and Joe did an awesome job connecting with a great number of players,” Stoops said. “Guys he knew or really, didn’t know, he got to know.”

Stoops said 5-foot-11, 238-pound running back Samaje Perine is an incoming freshman who looks ready to play.

“He was here just a week or two ago,” he said. “You would have thought he was a junior in college. Just a really strong, physical player.”

The Sooners added height at wide receiver — 6-foot-6 Jeffery Mead of Tulsa Union, 6-foot-6 Mark Andrews of Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., and 6-foot-5 Dallis Todd of La Mirada (Calif.). Stoops said 6-foot slot receiver Michiah Quick should be good, too.

Defensive back Steven Parker of Jenks High School committed Tuesday and signed Wednesday. Courtney Garrett, a 6-2, 280-pound defensive lineman from Saint Augustine High School in New Orleans considered Notre Dame after committing to Oklahoma, but the Sooners reeled him back in and he signed. Orlando Brown, a 6-foot-8, 340-pound offensive tackle from Duluth, Ga., was a late addition.

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