TULSA — "I think we've gotten bigger and more physical in the offensive and defensive lines," said Blankenship. "We feel really good about the three offensive guys upfront that we signed -- Rob Boyd, Blake Mejia and Zach Uhles."
"The defensive line was a point of emphasis in this recruiting class. We really needed to grow some depth there, and I think we did that with guys like Lionell Phillips, Jesse Brubaker and Zach Webb. You put those three interior guys with Dalton Rodriguez and Frankie Davis, two local kids, and we think we have really helped ourselves on the defensive front," added Blankenship. Phillips and Brubaker jump the border of Texas to come play at Tulsa, while Webb, Rodriguez and Davis are all from the Tulsa metro area.
The Hurricane also needed to add depth at the cornerback and linebacker positions.
"We needed some depth at corner and got two kids out of the Dallas area, Will Barrow and Ray Crockett, Jr., who are really going to help us in that area," Blankenship said. "They have the ability to be real special at cornerback, and two Oklahomans Joe Bean (Hooker, Okla.) and Kerwin Thomas (Wagoner, Okla.) come into the secondary. Both Joe and Kerwin are really athletic guys. Joe can be a Marco Nelson type of player, while Kerwin is another athlete who could even move over to the offense."
"We brought in a couple of linebackers that were really highly rated on our board. Devin Rolan is a guy that we have been on for a couple years from McAlester (Okla.). He's a big, physical inside linebacker who can really run and then C.J. Gooden, from Ashdown, Arkansas, is another guy that can really run. These two guys bring some speed with physicality to the table. We're fortunate to get a third linebacker, Jake Hanks from Colorado, who's a big, strong and physical guy," said Blankenship.