Oklahoma gets good haul on signing day

Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- National champion Oklahoma made a nice haul of high school football stars from in the state and across the Red River on Wednesday, the first day players could sign letters of intent.

Oklahoma State and its new coach Les Miles, meanwhile, fielded a list of signees that lacked marquee value. Second-year Tulsa coach Keith Burns signed 24 players, but failed to snag one of the state's top prospects who was considering going to the school.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said as last season progressed that recruiting was going very well, and that proved to be the case. The Sooners, who won their seventh national championship by beating Florida State in the Orange Bowl, dominated among in-state players.

They also signed 15 players from Texas, nearly double OU's total from last year.

Oklahoma's biggest prizes from Texas include running back Donta Hickson of McKinney, receiver Brandon Jones of Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, and defensive linemen Tommie Harris of Killeen Ellison and Brett Rayl of Lewisville.

Oklahoma signed eight defenders and seven offensive players from Texas, counting a kicker. Last year, the Sooners signed eight players from the Lone Star state.

The Sooners got every in-state player they went after. Heading the list were running back KeJuan Jones and defensive back Bobby Klinck of Jenks, running back Seymore Shaw of Shawnee, defensive back Avery Shine of Eufaula and linebacker Mike Wilson of Tulsa Washington.

Oklahoma went four over the 25-player limit, expecting some recruits not to qualify academically.

Miles was hired Dec. 6 to replace Bob Simmons, and since then has scrambled to put together a coaching staff and a recruiting class. The Cowboys, who have had three straight losing seasons, signed 25 players, including quarterback Josh Fields of Stillwater and athlete Paul Duren of Del City. OSU also nabbed punter Ryan Wimberly of Houston, Mo., a USA Today first-team pick.

Tulsa was spurned by Tulsa Union receiver Jerome Janet, who was rated by national recruiting services as Oklahoma's premier recruit. Kansas State had not released its list of signees by Wednesday afternoon.