Tulsa Football completes class on National Signing Day
Tulsa finished the 2021 recruiting cycle with eight additions to the program.
On the first day of the regular signing period, Tulsa added the final piece to its 2021 recruiting class. TU had already signed six high school prospects in the early December signing period along with a Division 1 transfer at the start of the spring semester.
The Golden Hurricane signed four players on offense (two receivers, one quarterback and one running back) and four on defense (two linebackers, one lineman and one safety).
“We had to be very selective this year with the numbers that we have,” said Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery. “We needed to really isolate in on our depth and identify areas of need not for just now but in the future. We feel like we’ve addressed that.
"It’s a unique year when it comes to recruiting. We’ve obviously signed a smaller class, but we have quite a few of our seniors coming back.”
This Friday, Tulsa plans to announce the seniors who have elected to return in 2021 for an extra season of eligibility. Those likely to return on offense are running back Shamari Brooks, receivers Keylon Stokes and Josh Stewart, and linemen Dylan Couch and Tiller Bucktrot. On defense, likely returning are linebackers Treyvon Reeves, Robert Revels and Yohance Burnette, linemen Cullen Wick and Tyarise Stevenson, along with defensive backs Allie Green, TieNeal Martin and Cristian Williams.
Tulsa's one addition on Wednesday was Holland Hall DL Owen Ostroski, who we featured last week. The 6-2, 245-pounder helped his team to a 12-0 record and state title as a senior. He recorded 94 tackles, including 41 for loss, along with 15 sacks and three blocked punts as a senior.
“Owen is an explosive player. He has a great first step and a tremendous motor. He’s all over the field," said Montgomery. "He does a great job with his hands and is very physical. Owen is one of the strongest guys that you’ll see coming out of high school.
“We love the energy and level of play Owen brings. He’s a great student-athlete. He’s a player who fits our system and we think will be a special player at Tulsa.”
At mid-semester, Tulsa also added Oklahoma transfer Jon-Michael Terry to the linebacker group. Terry played in a total of 42 career games at OU with 8 starts.
“We’re extremely excited about John Michael Terry. He’s a local kid who has been a great student-athlete at Oklahoma," said Montgomery. "He has his degree but was looking for a new opportunity. He can be a vital part of what we have going on.
“Obviously with the departure of Zaven Collins, Jon-Michael is a guy who brings in collegiate experience at the linebacker position and has played in some big-time games. For him, he was looking for the opportunity to make an impact, and it seemed to be the right fit at the right time for both sides."
Tulsa signed three high-school prospects from Texas and one each from Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee and Louisiana. The Hurricane beat out numerous Power Five schools for three of its early signees, as laid out below.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, recruiting has been much different than in the past.
“Obviously, with COVID and the issues it brought, this has been a very unique year in everything, but especially recruiting," said Montgomery. "Most of these kids haven’t been able to step on campus or been able to be around us. As coaches, we haven’t been able to go on the road, haven’t been able to be in homes, so the amount of faith they have in us as coaches and this university is big.”
Stay tuned to Inside Tulsa Sports in the coming months, as we focus on the 2022 recruiting cycle.
Below is a closer look at Tulsa's signees. Click on the player card in order to be taken to full profiles with highlight videos, offer lists and more.
2021 TULSA FOOTBALL EARLY SIGNEES
Scottie Alexander was recently rated as the No. 38 prospect in Tennessee. He chose Tulsa over offers from Tennessee, Wake Forest, Memphis, Kansas, Coastal Carolina and others. Collierville finished 6-4 this season, and Alexander totaled 27 catches for 406 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 100 rushing yards and two scores on 20 carries. As a junior, he had 25 catches for 446 yards and six scores.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Scottie is a big physical receiver. His mixture of size and speed make him unique at his position. Scottie gets in and out of cuts, stretches the field, and is dangerous with the ball. Brings the ability to make big plays at big moments."
Braylon Braxton led Frisco Independence to the Bi-District championship on December 10 with a 58-10 over Wilson. Independence moved to 5-4 and will face 9-0 Highland Park in the Area playoff. Braxton has completed 99 of 180 passes for 1,639 yards with 21 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has also rushed for 800 yards and 13 scores on 96 carries, averaging 8.33 yards per rush. The 3-star QB chose Tulsa over 15 other offers, including Arizona State, Memphis, Hawaii, New Mexico, Marshall, Coastal Carolina and others. After watching Braxton in November, Rivals analyst Sam Spiegelman said, “Braxton was under duress throughout the night, but came up with some impressive darts. He has good arm strength and is capable of delivering accurate, catchable balls.”
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Braylon Braxton is a strong, athletic dual threat QB. Love Braylon’s competitiveness, athleticism and mindset as a QB. Braylon will look to throw first and has ability to extend plays and pick up yards. His leadership will be a key attribute."
Roderick "Zion" Hopes excelled as a senior, but Jefferson struggled to a 3-7 record this season. From his safety spot, Hopes collected 80 tackles (including 50 solos), eight pass deflections and two interceptions. He also returned eight punts for a 27.1 yard average. Hopes also kicked extra points for his team and handled punting duties. In his junior season, he totaled 60 tackles, two pass deflections and an interception return for a touchdown. Hopes chose Tulsa over offers from Hampton and Valparaiso.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Zion is an extremely athletic safety. Zion brings a lot of energy to the field and can play downhill or cover in the passing game. True ball hawk."
After a few games were canceled due to COVID-19, Cardinal Ritter finished 4-4 on the season. Bill Jackson only played in the final six games, but still put up impressive numbers. As a senior, he rushed for 742 yards and six touchdowns on just 73 carries, averaging 10.2 yards per rush. He also averaged 67 yards on three kick returns. In six games as a junior last year, Jackson carried the ball 76 times for 847 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 11.1 yards per rush. He also caught six passes for 69 yards. Jackson committed to Tulsa back in May over offers from Nebraska, Arizona State, Purdue, Kansas, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas State and others. He is rated as the No. 15 overall prospect in the state of Missouri.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Bill is an explosive runner. He’ll fit into our offense very easily. Definitely has the speed to go the distance but runs strong between the tackles. Bill will flourish in both the run and pass game."
Jaden Moore committed to Tulsa in July over offers from Southern Miss, UAB, Louisiana-Monroe and several others. Last week, North Texas offered Moore as well. Shreveport Green Oaks finished 7-3 this season, and Moore was a beast. In nine games, he racked up 86 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Moore had a breakout season as a junior last year, amassing 120 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four QB hurries, three sacks and two interceptions, helping his team to the second round of the playoffs.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Jaden is an aggressive linebacker who plays sideline to sideline. He has a nose for the ball and a great understanding of the game. Jaden fits all the traits we look for in a linebacker."
Owen Ostroski became Tulsa's top defensive line target in the fall. He originally committed to Army over offers from Hawaii, Navy, New Mexico, Penn, Princeton and others, but reopened his recruitment in early January due to his recruiting coach leaving the Black Knights staff. Tulsa had offered in late October, and Ostroski committed to TU on January 12. His father Jerry, is a member of TU's Athletic Hall of Fame. Jerry Ostroski was an All-American offensive lineman at Tulsa before a lengthy pro career with the Buffalo Bills. As a senior this year, Owen Ostroski led Holland Hall to a 12-0 record and a state title. He totaled 94 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, 41 QB hurries, five forced fumbles, three blocked punts and one fumble recovery.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Owen is a kid that's got a ton of ability, played a lot of different positions in high school. As an explosive defensive lineman, he's going to add to the mix of guys we already have on campus. He's great with his hands, he's got unbelievable strength about him. That first step, that get-off is probably his biggest weapon, and then just size and strength as he comes across the line of scrimmage. He plays with a great motor and runs around all over the field making plays."
Katy Tompkins is 9-0 and faces Cy-Fair in the Area Championship on December 18. While Marquis Shoulders was recruited as a receiver, he has played mostly at running back this season, amassing 969 yards and 15 touchdowns on 117 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per rush. He also has 13 receptions for 184 yards and two scores. As a junior last season, Shoulders had 1,513 total yards and 16 touchdowns. He chose Tulsa over offers from New Mexico State, Louisiana, Cornell, Penn, Yale and Lehigh.
Coach Philip Montgomery's take: "Marquis has top end speed like no other. He’s played multiple positions but will play receiver for us. Runs great routes and has the next gear you look for. Marquis is a game-breaker who will contribute in numerous ways at Tulsa."
2021 MID-TERM TRANSFER
Back in the 2016 recruiting cycle, Tulsa coaches didn't have to go far to recruit Jon-Michael Terry. A 6-3, 220 pound linebacker at the time, Terry played his high school football at Tulsa (OK) Victory Christian.
The 3-star prospect ultimately chose the Oklahoma Sooners over TU, Oklahoma State, TCU, Washington and others. After playing four seasons at OU, Terry entered the transfer portal, and on January 13, announced his intention to transfer to Tulsa.
Terry played in 10 games for Oklahoma this past season with two starts, finishing with 23 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, a pass breakup and two QB hurries. He started the first six games of the 2019 season before missing the remainder of the season with an injury.
Terry was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in both 2019 and 2020, and he will help ease the loss of All-American linebacker Zaven Collins at Tulsa.