Since the March update, Oklahoma’s impressive recruiting momentum has continued. Let's start with one defection, though.
Cedarian Lamb decommitted from OU because of his desire to take more visits. OU might still be in this race, or a quick commitment to LSU could happen. Better that it happen now than three days before signing day, and it’s at a position, wide receiver, that is loaded with talent in Texas and nationally.
Anyway, OU now stands at 12 verbal commitments. Ten hold a grade of four stars by at least one service, with nine members of the Rivals250. The Sooners are so far ahead of their pace from last year that it’s no longer worth tracking.
Using Rivals’ published methodology, OU’s 2017 class score is now 1442 points, good for second place in the nation. OU finished last year with 1968. A top 10 class needs to have about 2,400 to 2,500 points.
2017 Verbal Commitments
Projected class size (Approx. 25): 1 QB, 3 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE, 4 OLs, 3 DLs, 3 OLBs/DEs, 2 ILBs, 3 CBs, 2 safeties
Chris Robison, QB – 6-2, 185 (Texas)
Four stars, Rivals100, top 10 in Texas.
Levi Draper, LB – 6-3, 225, 4.6 (Oklahoma)
Four stars, Rivals top 150, No. 1 prospect in Oklahoma.
Robert Barnes, S – 6-3, 195, 4.6 (Texas)
Four stars, Rivals250, top 30 in Texas.
Tyrese Robinson, OL – 6-5, 300, 5.2 (Texas)
Four stars, Rivals100, top 10 in Texas.
Trajan Bandy, DB – 5-10, 180, 4.5 (Florida)
Four stars, Rivals top 150, top 50 in Florida.
Justin Broiles, DB – 6-0, 175, 4.5 (Oklahoma)
Four stars, Rivals250, No. 2 prospect in Oklahoma.
Tre Brown, DB – 5-11, 175, 4.4 (Oklahoma)
Four stars, Rivals250, No. 3 prospect in Oklahoma.
Marcelias Sutton, RB – 5-10, 190, 4.4 (JUCO)
Charleston Rambo, WR – 6-2, 175. 4.45 (Texas)
Four stars, Rivals250, top 30 in Texas.
Jalen Reagor, WR – 6-0, 185, 4.4 (Texas)
Four stars, ESPN's top 100 players.
Grant Calcaterra, WR/TE – 6-4, 210, 4.7 (California)
Trey Sermon, RB – 6-1, 210, 4.6 (Georgia)
Four stars. Rivals' top 150 players.
No worries at receiver
A big reason why Lamb’s defection is absorbed so easily is that OU gained WR verbals from Jalen Reagor and Charleston Rambo.
Reagor right now is under-ranked by Rivals, but on film he looks to be a real playmaker. Comparisons lean towards former USC WR Nelson Agholor. Playing in the slot, he could be an absolute terror to defenses.
Reagor is a Texas Tech legacy and actually committed to the Red Raiders before his offer list blew up to over 20. Pretty much every big-time regional and national program has offered him.
Rambo could be a slot receiver or play one of the outside spots. He’s very smooth and versatile.
Rambo’s been a big-time target since last fall, and OU’s new approach of offering much earlier paid off big time. He’s been an OU lean since November.
OU’s struggles at WR recruiting appear to be officially over.
Back to Cali
Grant Calcaterra continues to strengthen OU’s presence in California. He was a heavy OU lean after visiting Norman and a bunch of other schools this spring. Calcaterra has over 20 offers and figures to be a Mark Andrews type – a big slot weapon. He’s 6-4 and can easily carry 225 to 230 pounds. Trent Smith might be a good comparison.
In his highlight reel, Calcaterra does a great job working the middle of the field in the gaps between LBs and safeties. He will be the move-the-chains security blanket for future OU QBs as well as a red zone weapon.
With the receiving spots stockpiled along with a future QB, the Sooner offense was missing one big gap: RB, especially with the expected departures of Samaje Perine and Joe MIxon.
Early target J.K. Dobbins committed to Ohio State, so OU started to focus on prospects out side of Oklahoma and Texas. Trey Sermon is probably the best back in Georgia, and OU had targeted him last year.
Sermon is a big power back with good speed and good receiving skills, and he’s recovering from back injury, which hampered him during his junior year. He’s rated in the top 150 by Rivals now, but with a stronger senior season could easily find himself ranked in the top 100. He recently dominated a Rivals camp.
2017 Players to Watch
The top prospects “leaning” to OU. With this group, OU is probably ahead or at the top with another school or two. Obviously, with 12 verbals, this list keeps getting shorter.
1. Anthony Hines, LB – 6-3, 220, 4.6 (Texas)
The No.1 ILB prospect in Texas and a three-year recruiting target for OU. Hines has been to OU at least twice this spring. OU’s made him a huge focus, and he seems very comfortable with the #SoonerSquad17. Hines and Draper would form the best ILB class in the country.
2. A.J. Davis, RB – 6-0, 185 4.4 (Florida)
With a power back in Sermon committed, OU will now focus on adding a second RB who is more of a change-of-pace back with receiver skills. Davis would be ideal for that role. He’s probably going to take official visits this fall, but expect OU to be in this battle for the long haul.
3. Addison Gumbs, OLB – 6-4, 215, 4.6 (California)
Gumbs is awesome in pass coverage in addition to being a terror off the edge. OU needs a big OLB who is not a liability in coverage to counter the spread-to-run attacks in the Big 12. Gumbs visited Norman in the spring, and it looks like OU is firmly in his top three. As the NFL draft just showed, edge rushing OLBs are at a premium.
4. Omar Manning, WR – 6-3, 200, 4.5 (Texas)
In a great WR class from Texas, Manning might be the best big WR of the group – that elite flanker OU needs. Does he fill the spot vacated by Lamb?
5. Creed Humphrey, OG – 6-5, 300, 5.2 (Oklahoma)
Humphrey has seen his recruiting blow up in the last 30 days. He now holds offers from multiple SEC schools and Big 12 programs. There’s a good chance Humphrey could move into four-star range by the fall.
6. Deiontae Watts, DT – 6-3, 300, 5.0 (Texas)
The No. 2 DT in the state of Texas behind Marvin Wilson. Huge offer list. Watts visted Norman during spring, but he seems ready to wait until signing day. Family is originally from Oklahoma.
7. Isaiah Thomas, OLB/DE – 6-5, 230, 4.6 (Tulsa)
Thomas will probably be the fourth four-star kid in Oklahoma once all the services really evaluate him. He’s not in a hurry to make a decision, but then again neither was Broiles. An elite athlete who could stay at OLB or grow into a DE role.
With the next group, it's hard to say OU is leading, but the Sooners are definitely involved with this set of elite recruits.
Marvin Wilson, DT – 6-5, 320, 5.1 (Texas)
The big prize. OU is staying involved. A summer visit is needed to start building some momentum.
Jeff Okudah, DB – 6-1, 200, 4.5 (Texas)
OU is chasing Ohio State, and the gap may be closing. Okudah could play any of the five DB spots for OU. Want to bet he’s in Norman on Sept. 17?
Deangelo Gibbs, DB – 6-2, 200, 4.45 (Georgia)
If Okudah is 1A, Gibbs is 1B for the last DB spot.
Baron Browning, OLB – 6-3, 230 (Texas)
OU is trailing TCU and Texas. December decision.
Austin Deculus, OT – 6-6, 310, 5.2 (Texas)
OU trailing LSU.
Hunter Echols, OLB – 6-5, 220, 4.6 (California)
Visited this spring. Family in Oklahoma City.
Jacob Phillips, ILB – 6-3, 225, 4.6 (Tennessee)
Visited in the spring and a return trip is very likely.
Cary Vincent, CB – 5-11, 180, 4.5 (Texas)
Could OU turn down another elite CB?
Isiah Buggs, DE – 6-5, 270, 4.7 (JUCO)
OU’s in the hunt for the impact transfer at DE.
Chuck Filiaga, OT – 6-6, 320, 5.3 (Texas via California)
OU will get a visit this fall.
Deangelo Gibbs, DB – 6-2, 210, 4.4 (Georgia)
Return visit to OU is likely.
Greg Rogers, DT – 6-4, 300, 4.9 (Las Vegas)
Summer visit should happen.
D.J. Johnson, DE/OLB – 6-5, 250, 4.6 (California)
Summer visit should happen. Johnson could easily be a 6-5, 280 pound DE with speed in a year or two.
Fred Hansard, DT – 6-3, 310, 4.9 (New Jersey)
A highly ranked DT. OU visit seems very likely.
J.K. Dobbins, RB – 5-10, 195, 4.45 (Texas)
Will he stay with the Buckeyes?
Wyatt Davis, OT – 6-5, 320, 5.3 (California)
Is OU still in his top five?
Finally, a reminder: OU’s going to sign at least one or two players that I haven’t mentioned at all so far. If the Sooners have a big fall starting with wins over Houston and Ohio State, recruiting could be a little crazy, with big names wanting in and a limited number of open spots.