Tulsa Recruited Great Athletes at Every Position

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:11 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Feb 4, 2011 9:58 PM CDT

Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Reporter

TULSA, Oklahoma – Golden Hurricane head coach Bill Blankenship said he was excited about every player he and his staff signed on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. He said he liked the class’ overall speed and strength, as well as the championship pedigree many of the incoming players bring to Tulsa.

But he says there are a few guys that really get him salivating.

“Really, (we have) some just straight-up, good athletes,” he said. “I want the guys that are supposed to be here. We know the kind of guys that are going to be successful here. We’ve accomplished that with this signing class.”

This year’s class has spunk. It’s fast and has plenty of promise. Keyarris Garrett brings size and soft hands at receiver. ESPNU rates him as the 152nd-ranked receiver in the nation.

“I think playmaker-wise, I love the fact that Keyarris Garrett is at receiver,” Blankenship said in a phone interview. “Here’s a guy that is 6-foot-4, has speed and playmaking ability that’s probably different than anybody else we have right now.”

Garrett isn’t the only receiver on Blankenship’s Future Star list. In all, the Golden Hurricane signed four pass catchers.

“Zach Epps brings a 6-4 ?, another receiver,” said Blankenship. “Gary Owens is a little guy much like Damaris (Johnson), but he’s lightning in a bottle. He’s the guy that can make things happen any time he touches it.

“Then you add Conner Floyd ? who is just a play maker. Those guys can all make plays.”

The departure of Charles Clay to the NFL will hurt the Tulsa backfield. Clay scored nearly 40 touchdowns in his college career and was a large percentage of both the rushing and receiving game plan for Tulsa.

The 2011 signing class may help lessen the blow of Clay’s loss.

“Michael Sorrells from Austin, and Zack Langer from Jenks,” Blankenship said, listing his new running back toys. “They’re two really, very different backs.

Sorrells is a big back is kind of in the same frame as Willie Carter and Charles Clay. Langer is one of those guys who comes from a big program. All he knows how to do is score touchdowns.”

Two players whose positions are still up in the air are Kwame Sexton and Derek Patterson. Both starred in the Oklahoma prep ranks and have outstanding athletic ability.

Blankenship had planned to hold a press conference to discuss his first signing class as the Tulsa head coach, but had to postpone that due to the winter storm that blanketed the state during the week. There is no word on when, or if, that gathering will take place.