Oklahoma is off to a great start with the 2018 recruiting class – not quite as hot as 2017’s start, but that may impossible for OU to ever duplicate.
OU held a junior day event right before national signing day. A very good mix of kids from Texas, Oklahoma and the region attended. A second junior day is coming in two weeks on February 18th.
2018 verbal commitments
*Brey Walker, OL – 6-6, 300, 5.0
Four stars, Rivals top 50.
*Cameron Rising, QB – 6-3, 195, 4.7
Four stars, Rivals top 50.
*Jordon Austin, DB – 6-1, 180, 4.4
Walker and Rising are starting to turn up their Twitter recruiting efforts.
2018 players to watch
*TJ Pledger, RB – 5-9, 185, 4.4 (California)
Holds an OU offer and is very interested in OU. Would be the perfect speed back to complement Trey Sermon, Abdul Adams and Rodney Anderson. Could be a powerful California contingent in 2018. Top 20 player per Scout who seems to really like OU.
*Anthony Cook, DB – 6-1, 170 (Houston)
Visited OU last fall. A major priority for Kerry Cooks. It’s going to be a battle with most of the SEC and Big 12. Will probably end up a Rivals five star.
*Jalen Preston, ATH – 6-2, 220, 4.5 (Texas)
Could play any number of positions in college. Receiver seems like the most obvious place. In Scout's top 20.
*Michael Thompson, DL – 6-4, 290
Trevor Trout, DL – 6-4, 300
Two impact defensive tackles from the St. Louis area. Trout seems to be friends with OU guard Marquis Hayes. Thompson seems very interested in OU as well. Everyone in CFB is after these guys, but OU figures to stay involved. Top 50 players according to almost every recruiting service.
*Calvin Avery, DL – 6-3, 295
Keondre Coburn, DL – 6-2, 310
Bobby Brown, DL – 6-5, 270
The three highest-rated DTs from Texas right now. All visited Norman last fall. Defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux needs to grab at least one of these players. All are ranked somewhere in the top 100 or top 150 by every service.
*Alston Orji, ILB – 6-2, 215, 4.65 (Texas)
Orji has already visited OU twice. He’s a top 50/top 100 player right now. He’s also the best inside linebacker prospect in Texas in a very weak year for ILBs in the state and nationally. After DT, ILB is OU’s number one recruiting priority, so Orji’s value to the Sooners is greater than his ranking. He may be the No. 2 overall player on OU's big board after the DT OU likes most.
*Josh Proctor, DB – 6-2, 190, 4.5 (Oklahoma)
The latest in a recent line of top in-state safety prospects, Proctor probably has more than 20 national offers. OU was first and has made Proctor a priority. It’s a great year for safety prospects regionally and nationally. I could see OU signing at least two top 100-type kids.
*Terrace Marshall, WR – 6-4, 190 (Louisiana)
Brennan Eagles, WR – 6-3, 205, 4.5 (Texas)
Brian Hightower, WR – 6-3, 185 (IMG Florida)
Everyone keeps asking why OU has not offered in-state WRs Sean Shaw and CJ Moore. The answer is that OU is in great shape with these top 10 WR recruits.
*Darrell Simpson, OL – 6-7, 320, 5.3 (Texas)
After only signing one OT last year, OU is definitely looking for a bookend to go with Brey Walker. Simpson has visited OU several times, but this appears to be a big battle with Texas A&M for his services. Right now, Simpson is the clear second option at OT, but more offers are being made.
*Verone McKinley, DB 5-10, 175, 4.45 (Texas)
McKinley has been to Norman multiple times. Early offer by OU. It’s a very good year for CBs in Texas, and OU has made McKinley a focus.
And a few off-the-radar prospects:
*Ron Tatum, DL – 6-5, 260, 4.7 (Oklahoma)
Offered last fall, Tatum’s junior year film is great. He looks like the best DL prospect in the state since Gerald McCoy. Others have noticed, too, as offers from Alabama and Texas have showed up recently.
*Daniel Carson, DL – 6-5, 270, 4.8 (Missouri)
Carson visited for OU’s junior day and received an offer. He's physical and fast with a huge frame to add weight. His recruiting will likely blow up now that OU offered.
*Jalen Redmond, DE/OLB – 6-4, 230. 4.6 (OKC)
His offer list in the last four weeks just exploded. OU has offered as well. Similar to 2017 Sooner signee Isaiah Thomas, Redmond is more of a hoops guy learning football right now. The elite physical skills are all there, and he flashes all of them in the highlights.
*Miles Emery, DE/OLB – 6-5, 235, 4.65 (Kansas)
Another prospect who got his OU offer at the recent junior day. Emery is somehow a three-star prospect, but like Carson, he won’t remain that way long. He boasts a long frame with an excellent first step to get to the QB.
*Cam Jones, DB – 6-2, 190, 4.45 (Texas)
Part of this great safety group regionally. Visited for the OU junior day. Four star. Rivals250 prospect.
*Reese Moore, OL/TE – 6-6, 260,4.7 (Texas)
It’s hard to not see some comparisons between Moore and former Sooner Lane Johnson. Moore has a great frame and will easily end up outgrowing the TE spot. He shows nice hands and an ability to get open, so it’s easy to see him as a goal line TE option while he adds the weight to play OT. OU offered him at the first junior day.
*Keaontay Ingram, RB – 6-0, 195, 4.45 (Texas)
Like watching Demarco Murray early in his career. Elite moves and change of direction. OU has offered Ingram, but a host of offers are incoming.
*Chasen Hines, OL – 6-3, 310, 5.3 (Texas)
Recently visited for OU’s junior day and received an offer on that visit. Athletic, big-bodied mauler for the interior. He’s rated just outside four-star range right now.
Here's an effort in reading the tea leaves. Let’s project a class size of around 22.
QB (1): Cam Rising
RB (2): T.J. Pledger, Keaonty Ingram
WR (2): Brennan Eagles, Jalen Preston
TE (1): Mustapha Muhammed
OL (4): Brey Walker, Chasen Hines, Darrell Simpson, Reese Moore
DT (2): Calvin Avery, Trevor Trout
DE/OLB (4): Ron Tatum, Miles Emery, Jalen Redmond, Daniel Carson
ILB (2): Alston Orjii, Byron Hobbs
CB (2): Jordon Austin, Verone McKinley
S (2): Josh Proctor, Cam Jones