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January 12, 2014

Five Sooner Commitments Get off to Fast Start in Norman

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Just moments after the completion of his team's 45-31 win over Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl Bob Stoops was mentioning recruiting and his excitement over the prospects his program was still in pursuit of.

And though many heard the comments and focused on potential commitments to come it'd be foolish to think he wasn't already considering the five talented prospects who would be in Norman in just over a week's time. Now that time has passed and four of the Sooners 2014 commitments have now made their way to Norman.

On Sunday Rivals250 Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen and future fullback Dimitri Flowers of San Antonio Churchill made their way to Norman.

"I'm driving up to Dallas on Saturday to see some of my family and then on to Norman on Sunday," Flowers said earlier this week.

Flowers almost immediately steps into Oklahoma's two-deep behind incumbent fullback Aaron Ripkowski although it would seem Flowers figures into the plans as well due to bringing a very different skillset than Oklahoma's former walk-on fullback.

While Flowers could factor into things very early Hansen walks into a near-certain redshirt situation as he begins his career at the school he grew up following. Hansen, a near ideal fit for Oklahoma's Sugar Bowl offense, will be running plenty of scout team and fighting for snaps on an offense that currently has four returning quarterbacks including bowl MVP Trevor Knight.

Joining them in Norman on Sunday are junior college early enrollees Devante Bond and Isaac Ijalana.

Bond, a powerful outside linebacker who is seen as a player capable of playing opposite of Eric Striker when the Sooners go with true 3-4, or 50 fronts, signed with Miami in the class of 2013. However, due to a few classes not transferring the 6-foot-3, 245-pound prospect was unable to enroll and went back on the market for the 2014 class as an early enrollee who wasn't able to play last year after starring for two seasons at Roseville (Calif.) Sierra C.C.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Ijalana also made a pair of commitments before ending up at Oklahoma.

Interestingly both of those commitments were to the Sooners. Ijalana committed Oklahoma initially on the Sunday of his Nov. 17 visit weekend and was all set for Norman. However, after further evaluation there was thought to be a problem with Ijalana's classwork transferring to Oklahoma and he backed away from his decision. After spending a few weeks in flux, including a trip to Purdue, Ijalana then recommitted to Oklahoma and along with Bond signed with the Sooners on national junior college early signing day - Dec. 15.

The last piece of the five commitments enrolling early is La Mirada, Calif. four-star wide receiver Dallis Todd. Todd won't be arriving at the same time as his fellow January enrollees but that's not to say that the 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver has anything to worry about.

"I actually don't report until the last weekend of (January) due to my semester ending," Todd explained.

Assuming all goes to plan Todd has a chance to get some snaps in the 2014 season.

The Sooners have brought in more prospects at midterm before but with the lofty ratings of Todd and Hansen along with the reality that Bond, Ijalana, and Flowers all fill distinct needs within the class it's clear this January group will have an early and potentially big impact on the 2014 season.

NOTE: Shortly after this story was released Todd announced he would not be enrolling at semester and would be headed to Oklahoma in the summer with the remainder of the class of 2014.



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