Oklahoma State has started their underclassmen recruiting of the '22 and '23 classes off to a hot start, being ranked just outside the top 10 in 2022, with three current commitments. While the class of 2023 does not hold any commitments to date, the offers they have sent out have not been lacking.
The first of the four is 2022 prospect, Micheal Ibukun-Okeyode, an extremely long and agile defensive end out of Rowlett High School in Rowlett, Texas.
Ibukun-Okeyode stands at a stout 6'5 and 220 pounds. He is a true defensive end, so you will always see him with his hand in the dirt, coming off the edge. On film, you can see very clearly he already has a pass rush arsenal at his use. Other than his raw power, you will see him use his hands effectively to shed blocks and angle blockers where he wants them, in pursuit of the quarterback or ball carrier.
Due to his size and pass rush abilities, blockers essentially have no chance at laying a good block on him, often whiffing on any attempts. On tape, you will see a few sacks, but even on plays where he may not show up in the stat sheet, he has effected the play in a major way, often pressuring the quarterback to make a quick throw or simply throw it away.
Oklahoma State is bukun-Okeyode's second offer, only to Kansas, which was just two days prior.
The second of the four offers was sent to another 2022 prospect, Tre Emory, a defensive tackle, from Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, Texas.
Emory, who is 6'3 300 pounds, is a very athletic and strong interior lineman. Whether its pass or run, Emory plows through blockers and into the backfield, causing disruption of the highest degree.
Normally, when an interior lineman charges through a line, the quarterback or ball carrier will redirect, only to get tackled by another defender. Not Tre Emory. He makes sure he gets the man himself. He is very nimble and very athletic in pursuit. His strength is also very clear as he makes one arm and one hand tackles like it's nothing.
According to MaxPreps, Emory has totaled 34 tackles, 3 sacks and 1 fumble recovery in only 5 games. On his Hudl account, it is reported that Emory runs a 4.89 40-yard dash, which is extremely impressive for his size and age. Outside of the Cowboys, Emory currently holds offers from Arkansas, Tennessee and UTSA.
The third offer, also a 2022 prospect, is a Dylahn McKinney, a cornerback from Colleyville Heritage in Colleyville, Texas.
McKinney is a very smart and physical corner. When I say smart, I mean in his instincts and feeling out plays and routes. He often takes over the route for a receiver and makes a play on the ball. In coverage, McKinney is very technically sound and glues himself to his receiver, making it nearly impossible to get a ball into hands of the man he is covering.
Something that corners often lack that is clearly visible in his game is his overall physicality as a defender. He is afraid to put himself in front of a ball carrier and lay the boom. He is a very good tackler and shows speed and good angles in his pursuit. He was the Texas District 4-5A first-team selection at CB as a sophomore in 2019, where he totaled 22 tackles, 6 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
He currently holds the offers of Arkansas, Kansas and Northern Arizona joining the Cowboys.
The fourth offer, which was a 2023 offer, went to Tausili Akana, an outside linebacker, from Heber City, Utah's Wasatch High School.
To simply put it, Akana, who is 6'3 210 pounds, rushes the passes like a defensive end, runs and hits like a linebacker, and covers like a defensive back. I love the way he looks on tape because you can tell he is not playing off guesses but is reading the play and reacting quickly.
His tackling is great, quick bringing ball carriers to the ground. He also brings a ton of energy to the field, which I love to see from linebackers. His motor is high and he does not give up on plays, even if he is out of it. Even though he is a 2023 prospect, he looks extremely advanced in his development and football IQ. Because he is so young, that only means there is still untapped potential from him.
Along with the Cowboys, he holds offers from Arizona State, BYU, Hawaii, Oregon State, Utah, Utah State and UNLV.