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Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

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Tisdale and Griffin

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Bradford Wins Heisman

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Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Rivals.com Teaming Up

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Malcolm Over The Middle

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Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

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Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

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Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

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Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

OU will miss Sampson

OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

Sooners eye stretch run

Haskell remains a lost treasure

Boomer Bio: Patty Gasso

Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

Recruiting: Dominique Franks Q&A

Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

Next Stop Division I

Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick

Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

Stoops talks about OU's 36-30 win

OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

Recruiting: Derek Burton

Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

Recruiting: Ugo Chinasa

Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

Recruiting: Adron Tennell

Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

Sooners open fall practice

Brent Venables Q&A

Sooner single-game tickets go on sale Monday

Questions about Sooners' aura not surprising

Joseph talks about summer workouts

OU at Big 12 Media Days

Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

New Sooner Nic Harris excited about new digs

2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

OU inks JUCO point guard

OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

White and Vermeil talk about first day of rookie camp

White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at Newsstands Now!
Top Shelf: Austin Box
Enid standout and state’s top recruit anxious to live his dream of playing for Oklahoma

Oklahoma will be playing with a limited number of scholarships during the upcoming recruiting season. As things stand now, the Sooners figure to narrow their want-list down to only 15 prospects to complete their 2007 recruiting class.

Those numbers could potentially go up depending on defections and/or possible academic casualties. But it’s clear the Sooners had to be much more selective in their approach to scholarship offers when the spring evaluation period began April 15.

One player the Sooners had no hesitations in offering was Austin Box, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker prospect from Enid, Okla. Likely to be tabbed the No. 1 player in the state heading into his senior season this fall, Box recently became Oklahoma’s second verbal commitment of the spring.

“I’ve been a huge Sooner fan my whole life and it’s been my dream to play there ever since I can remember,” said Box. “I just think they’re the best fit for me, being my position coach is Coach (Brent) Venables.”

Venables appears to be finished with his next linebacking class. Previously, OU had received a verbal from Mike Reed, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound linebacker from Yuma Community College in Marysville, Calif.

“Coach Venables has gotten his two linebackers out of the way for this class so he’s very excited about it,” added Box.

A dual threat athlete and one of the top baseball players in the state, Box helped lead his team to an American Legion World Series Championship last summer. So far this spring, he is sporting a .500 batting average.

When it comes to his future, however, Box has left little doubt about the fact he wants to be on a college football field next year.

“I’d just like to concentrate on football in college,” said Box. “There’s still always the option (of doing both in college), but I don’t think so.”

Box attended camp at Oklahoma last summer and was one of the more noticeable participants due to his size and athleticism. The relationships he built during his time in Norman have continued to grow, particularly with Venables.

“I’ve gotten to know Coach Venables really well. I talk to him most of the time and I’ve talked to Coach Stoops a few times, so that’s gone real well,” said Box, whose name has been making the rounds on college campuses across the country.

In fact, Box had scholarship offers from most of the top Big 12 programs and he has received major interest from national powers such as USC, Miami, Tennessee and Michigan.

“I got a lot of interest,” said Box, prior to his commitment. “There’s probably about 10 or 11 top schools that are recruiting right now that I’m hearing from. Right now, it’s going really well. It just kind of blew up all of a sudden. I had no idea it would be like this four or five months ago.”

But after the interest heated up, Box was ready to shut everything down. He knew he wanted to be a Sooner, and he didn’t want to waste anyone else’s time, especially his own.

“I thought the recruiting process was fun for a little while, but I just got tired of it. I knew in the back of my mind that OU was where I wanted to be,” said Box.

“A lot of people said I made the right decision by getting it out of the way. I just don’t have to worry about it and I won’t have to talk to a whole bunch of other coaches and reporters from different websites.”

One of the interesting things about Box is his position, or his eventual position in college. He is Enid’s starting quarterback and also starts at free safety on defense — but with his size, most colleges see him as a natural linebacker at the next level.

“I’ve kind of come to terms with it because that’s kind of how I saw myself as a college athlete,” said Box of playing linebacker at for the Sooners.

Sooner coaches have discussed what role Box could play in the OU defense and it appears he’s been recruited to take over a spot at the weakside linebacker position. That’s the same position played by Rufus Alexander this year.
Prior to making OU his choice, Box said Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Kansas and Michigan State were among his favorites. With national interest increasing from Miami, USC, LSU and Michigan, the Sooners are more than happy to have the talented linebacker committed.

Soon, Box will turn his focus to watching the current Oklahoma team and finding out where he might fit in before the start of the 2007 season. With so many talented youngsters at linebacker, Box won’t shy away from competition.

“It didn’t scare me off at all. I’ve always wanted to play there and it’s a dream to do that. I’ll be able to work hard and I’ll try to get a starting position as soon as I can,” said Box. “(Redshirting) doesn’t scare me, but I really want to work to play a big role my freshman year — maybe not a starting job, but I’d like to play a role in some way.”

As for now, Box will continue distinguishing curveballs from sliders. And he’ll keep up with the latest recruiting rumors and talk on the Internet along with his dad, even though he has made his choice known to the college football world.

Life for Austin Box, it seems, is seen through crimson-tinted glasses. That’s great news for Oklahoma football fans, and not so much for everyone else.

THE EARLY OFFERS

Oklahoma isn’t blanketing the nation with offers. So far it’s the cream of the crop and the biggest needs that are receiving major attention from Oklahoma recruiters.

The Sooners look to sign a top quarterback every year, but with a young starter in Rhett Bomar, that may be a difficult proposition in 2007. The top name to know for any college recruiter right now is Jimmy Clausen, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Oaks Christian High School in West Village, Calif.

Closer to home, the Sooners are looking at highly touted Ryan Mallett, a 6-foot-7, 235-pounder from Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, and G.J. Kinne, a 6-foot-3, 207-pounder from Canton (Texas) High School.

At wide receiver, the Sooners have a lot of options close to home as Texas will produce several top-flight receivers in the 2007 class. One of the biggest targets available is Terrance Toliver, a 6-foot-5, 180-pounder from Hempstead (Texas) High School. The Sooners are also targeting Dez Bryant, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder from Lufkin (Texas) High School.

The offensive tackle position will also be considered an area of need. One of the biggest names to know is Tray Allen, a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder who is one of the nation’s top high school offensive lineman prospects. Dallas Skyline’s Terrael Williams, who measures in at a whopping 6-foot-7 and 407 pounds is another possibility, while locally, the Sooners have already offered what appears to be the state’s top offensive tackle prospect in Matt Romine, a 6-foot-6, 275-pounder from Tulsa Union High School.

The Sooners may be deep at defensive end heading into this fall, but those bodies will disappear quickly. That’s why it will be important for Chris Wilson to restock with players like Richetti Jones, a 6-foot-3, 234-pounder from Dallas Lincoln High School. Jones is already considered a preseason top-100 player in the country, according to Rivals.com. Another Rivals.com preseason national 100 player with an offer from Oklahoma is Sidell Corley, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder from McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala.

It is not clear whether the Sooners will recruit the defensive back position too heavily after a banner signing class at that position in 2006, but if Bob Stoops’ staff does start handing out more scholarships to defensive backs, keep an eye out for Ryan Broyles, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound cornerback prospect from Norman High School. Broyles is already listed as a Rivals.com preseason national top 100 recruit, and he’s the second best prospect in the state behind Enid’s Box.

(Editor's Note: This story appears in the Spring Issue of Sooner Spectator, on sell now at statewide newsstands.)