It remains very unclear what Oklahoma's incoming recruiting class will look like next season, but it is clear that its biggest piece no longer wants to be part of it. Five-star small forward Damion James from Nacogdoches, Texas, officially asked for his release from his letter-of-intent earlier today.
James, who is ranked the No. 17 prospect in the class of 2006, was the highest-ranked member of the five-man class that former Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson signed in November before he left for Indiana and was replaced by Jeff Capel. The group was ranked the nation's No. 4 class according to Rivals.com.
Since Capel took over, OU-signee Scottie Reynolds has asked and received his release, although he is still considering the Sooners. Another signee, Jeremy Mayfield has reportedly asked for his release as well.
"It's just not the same Oklahoma as before for Damion," Nacogdoches assistant coach Bonifacio Lucero told Rivals.com Tuesday afternoon. "Coach Capel came to see Damion and they had a good conversation and they liked him and obviously someone with that background commands a lot of respect.
"But, in the end Damion met with his family and decided it just wasn't the best situation for him."
Lucero said that James doesn't know what other schools he would be interested in yet. He committed to the Sooners more than a year ago over scholarship offers from Arizona, Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M.
"Hopefully we will get the release soon so we can see who is interested in him," Lucero said. "Damion is committed to taking his time with the recruiting process the second time around and the coach won't play as big a role this time either. He is more mature now and wants to look at all the factors before making a decision."
The longer it takes to get that release, the shorter time James will have to consider prospective schools. The late signing period ends May 17.
Return to Rivals.com in the coming days to find out more on James and this developing story.