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July 10, 2006

Box rocks Oklahoma list

Last year the state of Oklahoma sent 42 players to the Division I level - it's highest high water mark in almost 10 years. While this year's crop of talent won't be able to stack up as far as numbers, there are still plenty of high-quality players in the Rivals.com Oklahoma top 20, which is lead off by Rivals100 four-star linebacker Austin Box.

Box, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound outside linebacker, has already committed to Oklahoma and from all indications he's ready to carry on the great linebacker tradition the Sooners have built under Bob Stoops.

What separates Box from the rest of the players in state is his size to speed ratio. He has excellent size and great range. He really does a nice job of reading patterns and breaking on the ball. He's especially strong at running the alley really well and gets a lot of knockdown blows on running backs and receivers.

Box definitely has built a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in Oklahoma, and it's something he plans on carrying with him to Norman to play for the Sooners.

The No. 2 and No. 3 slots are held down by two more four-star prospects - offensive tackle Matt Romine and cornerback Ryan Broyles.

Romine just missed a spot on the Rivals100 and with him playing for one of the marquee programs in the state, he could easily move into the top 100 with a solid senior season. Broyles blew up at the College Station NIKE Camp and has not looked back since, racking up offer after offer.

At No. 4 in the state is a future potential four-star prospect, athlete Gerald Jones of Oklahoma City Millwood. The 6-0, 185-pound Jones likely projects as a receiver or a running back in college, but to help his high school team out he plays quarterback a lot. He's electric with the ball in his hands, which allowed him to come in just ahead of De'von Bailey of Lawton Eisenhower. Bailey is another explosive athlete that, too, could project at a number of different spots.

Oklahoma State picked up a very solid commitment from the state's No. 8 player, defensive tackle Quinton Prince. The 6-3, 298-pounder looked very good on tape and impressed at the NIKE Camp, too. It was exciting for the Cowboys to snag a solid in-state prospect to go along with all the success they have in the Lone Star State.

Former Oklahoma standout Seth Littrell is now an assistant at Texas Tech, and he's using his Oklahoma roots to become more and more of a factor for recruits inside the Oklahoma state line. The Red Raiders and Littrell have already snagged two pledges from the top 20 - Millwood receiver Tramain Swindall and Enid offensive lineman Kody Cooke.

Both have the potential to be very talented players for the Red Raiders on the next level. Cooke had a solid junior campaign and impressed at Oklahoma's summer camp. In most years he would have gotten an offer, but with scholarships so limited for the Sooners this year, it allowed Tech to come in and snag one of the state's best.

Arkansas and Wyoming have also landed players from Oklahoma. The Hawgs picked up a commitment early in the process from Jenks linebacker Tim Dial and Wyoming recently landed Eisenhower quarterback Chris Stutzriem.

The Rivals.com Oklahoma top 20


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