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November 21, 2012

Rewind: Commit Leads Wild Weekend

When one of the state's most highly-talented prospects makes a commitment to Oklahoma before Christmas of his junior year it's more or less impossible to start anywhere else in our weekly Recruiting Rewind.

As such we won't try and drum up something else to take precedent over the commitment of Broken Arrow, Okla. four-star running back Devon Thomas late Saturday night.

At almost the exact same time that Oklahoma was sealing up a dramatic 50-49 win over West Virginia Thomas tweeted out news that Sooner fans were hoping for since he was offered just short of a year prior.

"Well, i have decided.... im gonna commit to the university of Oklahoma," said Thomas late Saturday night, when he became the second earliest Sooner in-state commitment ever, behind only class of 2011 quarterback Kendal Thompson.

Since then Thomas has been impossibly quiet and has made almost no comment about his decision other than to confirm that he will be attending the Bedlam game this weekend - along with a rapidly growing number of Sooner commitments, offers and targets..

However there have been numerous questions surrounding the surprise commitment. Has Oklahoma now wrapped up their 2014 running back recruiting? Where does Thomas stand for the Sooners after a tumultuous junior season? After a sophomore year where Thomas looked like a potential five-star his junior year fell well short of the leap many had anticipated - what exactly caused the falloff?

As with so many recruiting questions it's impossible to know at the current time but things will be sorted out with Thomas in the coming months and perhaps even this weekend when he has a chance to sit down in-person with Sooner running backs coach Cale Gundy.

Thomas' senior year, in which he will have the added focus of being an Oklahoma commitment, will be an intriguing study about one of the state's premier talents. Was 2011 a fluke, or was it 2012?

Then There Were Three:

Another piece of news from the weekend was Justin Manning's announcement that he has cut his list to a final three choices of Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas A&M following his team's playoff opening win over Dallas Bryan Adams. Manning, long-thought likely to follow in the footsteps of his brother Demarcus Granger continues to publicly play things close to the vest.

So far Manning has had little to say about his potential choices but his decision may not be far away as he has taken his official visits to each program and has seen the others during many other visits. So what else could there be for the Sooners, Horned Frogs, and Aggies to show him?

Some feel it's just a continuing development of relationships though in the end it may be simply a matter of Manning needing a logical stopping point to his recruitment. Such a chance could present itself on Jan. 5 at the Army All-American bowl where he could, on national television, make his choice. Manning has been adamant that's not a big deal to him but perhaps just the chance to be done with it in a clear cut way could mean something to him.

It's worth remembering that his brother committed to Oklahoma on television almost five years ago.

NOTES:

*Oklahoma hasn't been able to catch a break in the recruitment of Laquon Treadwell. The nation's No. 1 wide receiver was planning to visit for Oklahoma's spring game before the word that tornadoes were coming scared off the Crete (Ill.) Monee prospect. Then he had set his official visit for the Notre Dame game but due to his team's game being scheduled on Saturday had to cancel. He had hoped to make it to Oklahoma's Bedlam meeting this weekend however his team made it to the state championship game and as such will, again, not be able to make it to Norman as planned.

*A new name we've come across in Oklahoma's growingly impressive 2014 in-state recruiting class is Tulsa Memorial's Mike'Quan Deane. At around 6-foot-3, and 210-pounds the big frame prospect shows ability to grow into a flex tight end with elite ability as a downfield receiver and a weapon across the middle. Keep an eye on him at a position that Oklahoma needs in the 2014 class.



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