Rivals250 TE Jalin Conyers commits to Oklahoma
Jalin Conyers was torn between announcing his commitment by the end of the summer or announcing it at the adidas All-American Bowl in January. On Thursday, we received our answer.
Conyers, a Rivals250 tight end out of Gruver (Texas) High School, committed to Oklahoma. Ohio State and Georgia finished right behind the Sooners in this race.
The four-star tight end keeps Oklahoma's recruiting momentum in full swing this summer with a decision following that of other Rivals250 prospects in Bryson Washington and Andrew Raym. A big-time prospect out of the Northwest Texas Panhandle, Conyers also gives the Sooners yet another sought-after commodity from the Lone Star State. He's the 10th member of Oklahoma's 2020 recruiting class out of neighboring Texas.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
For a while, Conyers' recruitment boiled down to a one-team race.
The Northwest Texas native is a Texas Tech legacy and was frequenting Lubbock throughout the spring. That was his initial Power 5 overture and nobody would have been surprised to see the talented tight end wind up playing close to home for Coach Matt Wells.
That was until Conyers' stock took off during the spring evaluation period. He garnered 20-plus offers over multi-week stretch, including offers from aforementioned Oklahoma in addition to Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona State and just about every other college football blue-blood program in the country.
Conyers eventually narrowed the field down to six -- Oklahoma, Texas Tech, LSU, Arizona State, Georgia and Ohio State. He made unofficials visits to Norman and Lubbock at the tail end of the spring, then summer stops at LSU, Ohio State and Georgia to open the month of June. Upon his return home, Conyers whittled his list from six down to a top three of Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia and made official visits to each of his final three schools.
Conyers settled on the Sooners after those three official visits. It boiled down to proximity to his home in Gruver, Texas and being a part of an offense catered to the tight end. For months, Lincoln Riley and co. had Rivals100 athlete Drew Sanders committed at tight end before he flipped to Alabama in the spring. Oklahoma found another uber-athletic piece to replace Sanders in the class in Conyers, who figures to have a high ceiling in the Sooners' passing attack.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"Being close is a big thing for me, especially with my family. I've been talking with Coach Cale Gundy and Coach Lincoln Riley and I've had some good conversations with both of them," Conyers told Rivals at the start of the summer. "They want me there and I could see myself playing there. I wanted to see myself there, being successful, and I could be a big asset on the team. The coaches have said the same thing. Being close to a school I grew up hating is one thing, but when I got there (to campus), I thought: 'Wow, this is really cool. It's not what I thought it would be like.' It changed my mind and I could see myself there one day."
Conyers initially debuted on the Rivals rankings as an athlete because he wears multiple hats in the Gruver High School offense. Ultimately, we believe he's best suited to line up as a pass-catching tight end or jumbo-sized receiver to plug into the slot and create mismatches all over the field.
At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Conyers has a fantastic frame to build on. He should tower over opposing linebackers and safeties, and his speed should allow him to get a step on would-be defenders. Conyers moves and bends well and runs downfield very fluidly. He's been recorded in the 4.7 range for 40 times, which is certainly above-average for most tight ends.
Conyers does his best work after the catch, meaning Riley and his offensive coaches will have a field day getting the four-star the ball in short- and intermediate passing situations and allowing the athletic tight end to make plays in the open field. He's an excellent route-runner that's able to find holes in the defense and look for the ball and does so with relative ease.
Conyers moves well laterally, which is shown when he lines up at outside linebacker and quarterback on film. He has strong hands and is a reliable pass-catcher, necessary qualities for a tight end who could see a heavy volume of targets in a Big 12 offense. He's a 50-50 ball mismatch and what stands out even more is his athleticism and catch radius, as well as his ability to bring in those sorts of grabs while also absorbing contact from defenders. That same physicality is evident in his runs after the catch as he picks up extra yardage regularly.
Perhaps the biggest question mark in Conyers' game is his ability to block. He's not asked to do much in that department for Gruver and is utilized more so as a receiver and jack-of-all-trades on both sides of the ball.