SoonerScoop - Stripling Likes OU's DNA
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Stripling Likes OU's DNA

There was a time right as the calendar turned to 2018 where it looked like Oklahoma was about to land a massive defensive lineman prospect for the 2019 class.

Houston Mayde Creek defensive end Marcus Stripling had been one of the Sooners top targets for a while, but was it really going to over already? Was it really going to be this easy?

As it turns out, no, not at all. Stripling never committed to OU and now the Rivals100 prospect has all five of his official visits planned although the dates aren’t locked down just yet.

“I’m going to lock in now and focus on my high school football season,” Stripling said. “As the season goes, I’m then going to start taking my official visits. OU, LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and Alabama.”

Pretty impressive group of five.

From the outside looking in, it appears to be a two-team race between the Aggies and the Sooners. Problem is Stripling simply hasn’t been able to get to Norman.

It’s not from the lack of trying. There have been multiple times where Stripling has had intentions to visit the campus, but for whatever reason, things have always fallen through.

“It has been kind of (frustrating),” Stripling said. “I’ve been trying to get out there for a long time, but it hasn’t worked out. I’m going to get out there soon.”

Despite the lack of quality time in Norman, the Sooners are still in a strong position because of the work done by defensive ends coach Calvin Thibodeaux.

“We have a really good relationship,” Stripling said. “He texts me like every day and lets me know how big of a priority I am for them.”

The recruiting dead period in the summer has always been a time when prospects have absorbed all the information and many have announced their commitments. With the recruiting calendar now including spring official visits, the dead period announcements have only increased this year.

But not Stripling. Don’t expect him to change it up to appease anybody. That’s not going to be how he handles this process.

“I’ll know when I know,” Stripling said. “I see the other kids, but I’ve talked with my family and we’re not rushing anything. I’ve earned it so I’m going to take my time and find the perfect fit for me.”

Stripling said all five schools are aware of his desire to make an official visit but said none of the five trips have been locked down at this point.

OU has fared well in its pursuit of defensive linemen for the 2019 class. Thibodeaux and Ruffin McNeill have been able to land some of their top targets to where they can be patient and play the game with Stripling. A spot is certainly open for Stripling, and OU figures to be a factor until the very end.

“It’s that touch,” Stripling said. “That DNA. They’ve got that DNA.”