Much like drafts in pro sports, slapping objective "grades" on recruiting classes as soon as the ink dries on the letters of intent is somewhat pointless. That doesn’t mean we can’t come up with a few snap judgments in the wake of what is being hailed as hell of a haul for Bob Stoops and his staff.
Story of national signing day: Zip
OU received all of its LOIs before most of you probably got the office. The most optimistic Sooner fans may have sat around waiting for the news that a couple defensive studs were heading somewhere other than Norman, but the word of the day for Crimson and Cream recruitniks was "anticlimactic."
Story of the year: No. 8
That’s OU’s 247Sports Composite class ranking. The Sooners haven’t finished that high since 2010, when they came in at No. 4 overall.
I realize that I opened this by proclaiming that an afterglow grade on a recruiting classes is worth about as much as a scholarship offer from Nick Saban. Still, I'd admit that when you land a class ranked that highly, it does suggest you’ve brought in a lot of pound-for-pound talent.
Instant impact, offense: Marquise Brown, WR
The more I look at the state of OU’s receiving corps, the more confident I am that Brown will lead the team in receiving next season. Our buddy Josh McCuistion of SoonerScoop.com likens the dynamic JUCO transfer to Desean Jackson, and I don’t think he’s too far off.
(Don’t be shocked if wideout CeeDee Lamb sees the field right away, too.)
Instant impact, defense: Levi Draper, LB
I could come up with a fairly lengthy list of offensive players in this class who are likely to contribute in the fall. Defense is far more difficult.
I suspect Draper gets time sooner than later if for no reason other than the reality that OU’s inside linebackers are painfully thin. Speaking of which…
The whiff: Inside linebacker
Never a good thing when you’re essentially relying on freshmen to contribute right away at a position. The Sooners find themselves in said position at inside linebacker, and even with a glaring hole, they signed just one in this class in Draper.
Five-star ‘backer Jacob Phillips jilted inside linebackers coach Tim Kish late in the game. That’s not Kish’s fault, but not having more prospects on deck is. It only added to his lackluster track record on the recruiting trail. I’ll let Brandy handle this one:
Best position group: Offensive line
Other acceptable answers here include receiver and, ironically, outside linebacker, but the big uglies get the nod.
OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh signed a potential cornerstone at offensive tackle in Adrian Ealy and two talented maulers to fill out the interior, Tyrese Robinson and Maquis Hayes. OU also protected its borders by keeping Shawnee center Creed Humphrey from venturing south to College Station.
Collect your bonus, Bedes.
To-do list for 2018
Stoops and Co. already have three pledges secured for next year's class. Most of the heavy lifting going forward will need to come on defense. Specifically, the Sooners have to stockpile some contributors at inside linebacker and all over the defensive line. Kish and DL coach Calvin Thibodeaux should get cracking.