Enrolling early is a major advantage for recruits who are mentally ready to skip their final semester of high school and begin a college curriculum and weight training program. Additionally, enrolling early allows the recruit to become acclimated with the program and participate in spring practice -- a major leg up on the other incoming players who must wait until the summer to start school.
Oklahoma is welcoming just two early enrollees for the 2014 recruiting class, which consists of 21 members, including six four- and five-stars.
Devante Bond, a three-star outside linebacker out of Sierra College in California, has a short time to play at OU because of the time he spent at junior college, so enrolling early will be a big help in his quest to earn a starting position. Bond chose Oklahoma over Nebraska, though he originally committed to Miami in December 2012. He should provide immediate help to the linebacking corps given his size and strength at 6'3 and 230 pounds. Bond was rated as the No. 7 outside linebacker and the 127th junior college player nationally.
Bond will be joined in Norman by Isaac Ijalana. Ijalana is an impressive tight end recruit out of Pierce College in California. Ijalana is rated three-stars by the 247sports composite -- a combination of the four major recruit rating services, and is rated the No. 6 tight end recruit nationally. He also held offers from Florida Atlantic, Purdue and West Virginia. Read up on his somewhat odd recruitment here.
Still to come
Oklahoma also holds non-binding verbal commitments from several star recruits it hopes to sign on Feb. 5, National Signing Day.
The best of the unsigned commitments for Oklahoma is Joe Mixon, a five-star running back recruit out of Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif. Mixon chose the Sooners over offers from just about every prominent football program in the country. He is the No. 18 prospect nationally and the No. 1 all-purpose back. Here is SB Nation's scouting report on Mixon:
Mixon is at his best when he is able to hit a seam and get going downhill, although he will bounce outside on occasion in an effort to use his speed. He runs with good velocity in between the tackles and finishes runs aggressively, but will need to fill out his 6'2, 195-pound frame due to his slender build in order for that attribute to fully translate to the college level. While the power element of his game is still evolving, the main ingredient of his skill set (and what has attracted such an impressive amount of suitors) is his ability to consistently win footraces in the open field.
Mark Andrews is another stud playmaker committed to Oklahoma. A four-star wide receiver out of Arizona's Desert Mountain High School, Andrews has the size and speed at 6'6 and 230 pounds to be a real weapon in Bob Stoops' offensive attack. He is ranked as the 104th-best prospect nationally, as well as the No. 16 wide receiver. He chose the Sooners over the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and others.
Remaining targets -- Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst
One of the top remaining targets for Oklahoma is safety Steven Parker, a native of the Sooner State. This is what I had to say about Parker recently when I tried to predict the top-25 recruits:
Steven Parker is a four-star safety from Jenks (Okla.) High School. He is considered the 119th-best player in the class, as well as the ninth-best safety and the second-best player in Oklahoma. Listed at 6'2 and 188 pounds, he claims offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Alabama and Ohio State. Bob Stoops does not lose too many battles for top Oklahoma players, and the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama certainly doesn't hurt the Sooners' chances here.