Massive shakeups in Oklahoma's recruiting since the last update. Let’s break down the body blows and look at how they impact OU.
Cam Rising bolts
Basically, Kyler Murray’s spring game pushed the quarterback's exit. Rising bailing on OU hurts mainly because of the QB recruiting cycle: Lincoln Riley has not been recruiting QBs in this class since Rising verbaled last summer, so Riley is way behind every other top program looking to lock down the QB spot.
OU needs to sign a QB every year, skipping a year always has come back to hurt OU down the road. OU doesn’t need a body either.
The new name appearing to have some buzz is Adrian Martinez (6-2, 200), who gave up his commitment to California. Based on Martinez's film, if Riley could get OU involved, then it looks like a push talent-wise. OU is trailing a bunch of schools, but Martinez plays at Caleb Kelly’s high school, so there is a connection that could help.
Generally, I really think Cam Rising has made a terrible mistake in choosing an offensive fit. When you think of the QBs at Houston and Ohio State, Rising is not the prototype QB. Casey Thompson more fits that mode.
Josh Proctor chooses Ohio State
A surprise, but that chatter has been out there. Proctor is buying into the whole NFL defensive back factory that Columbus has become as of late. Simple as that.
A blow, but it’s a great year for safeties in the region and nationally. OU also has good depth here.
Ron Tatum to UT
WTF??? Seriously. OU badly needs defensive linemen and just lost the best DL in-state kid since Gerald McCoy.
Tatum had been a lean to OU for months, but UT pulled out some bizarre marketing about his NFL DL future under position coach Oscar Giles. The optics in losing him to UT are just awful.
Two 2019 verbals decommit
Both recruits in the 2019 class have received probably 20 offers since their verbal commitments to OU. Their desire to reassess nearly two years before signing day makes sense. Before you panic too much, both kids could easily come back to OU just like CeeDee Lamb did, especially Theo Wease.
The good news
OU got a verbal commitment at the end of April from on-campus visitor Miguel Edwards, a DB from Florida. Edwards is from the same high school as Sooner alum Stocker McDougle. Edwards could be a CB, nickelback or free safety in OU's scheme.
The one thing that leaps out from his highlights is Edwards' ability to look back and make plays on the ball or roam center field and close on the football. It’s a trend with OU’s recent offers at DB. Secondary coach Kerry Cooks wants interceptions and passes defended, which means DBs with ball skills.
Edwards had a nice set of offers and is a four-star/top 250 recruit by Rivals.
2018 verbal commitments
*Brey Walker, OL – 6-6, 300, 5.0
Four stars, Rivals top 50.
*Jordan Kelly, DT – 6-3, 290, 5.0
*Patrick Fields, S – 6-0, 190, 4.5
*T.J. Pledger, RB – 5-9, 190, 4.4
Four stars, Rivals100.
*Miguel Edwards, DB – 6-0, 170, 4.5
Four stars, Rivals250.
*Jordon Austin, DB – 6-1, 180, 4.4
2018 players to watch: Offense
Let's recap how things are shaping up with the prospects on offense and follow up in another post with a look at the other side of the ball.
Sounds as though OU is zeroing in on one target at QB.
*Adrian Martinez – 6-2, 200 (California)
Pledger gives this RB class the big name that it badly needed. Does OU take a second RB? Here are some names still indicating that OU is in touch. Two of them are bigger backs in the mold of Jeremiah Hall.
*Mychale Salahuddin – 5-11, 200, 4.4 (D.C. area)
Speed and more speed. Parnell Motley and Abdul Adams might be providing a pipeline into the D.C. area.
*Tavion Thomas – 6-2, 227 (Ohio area)
Three stars. Big back or a fullback? Grabbing a big talent from Ohio seems unlikely, but OU keeps lurking around.
*Vernon Jackson – 6-3, 235 (Texas)
Three stars. Big back or DE/OLB?
*Lyn-J Dixon – 5-11, 180, 4.4 (Georgia)
Three stars. Again, speed and more speed. OU keeps aggressively offering Georgia kids trying to build some momentum.
Two or three spots are probably available.
*Brennan Eagles, WR – 6-3, 205, 4.5 (Texas)
Four stars and is probably close to five-star range. Would be an ideal flanker to complement Lamb and Charleston Rambo.
*Jalen Preston, ATH – 6-2, 220, 4.5 (Texas)
Unreal athlete who has visited OU twice. Is he a big inside receiver?
*Jaylen Waddle – 5-10, 170, 4.4 (Texas)
Four stars. Waddle makes the most sense right now at slot WR.
*Kam Babb – 6-1, 175, 4.4 (Missouri)
Four stars. Another big-time slot WR target. The Missouri high school talent could play a massive role in OU’s eventual class.
*Tommy Bush – 6-5, 190 4.45 (Texas)
Four stars. Bush had a huge spring on the camp circuit. He's a big WR who has shown amazing agility and speed.
OU might wait for the 2019 class and sign two prospects then.
*Mustapha Muhammed – 6-4, 230, 4.6 (Texas)
Four stars, Rivals250. Muhammed visited OU as a junior, but have not heard much since then.
*Kyle Pitts – 6-5, 225. 4.7 (Pennsylvania)
Three stars. Penn State already has one elite TE committed, so there may be a window for OU to grab this athletic big WR/TE.
Three open spots. The Sooners have one of the top five offensive tackles in the country by just about every recruiting service. In fact, of all the positions, OL recruiting seems to be in the best shape, even with the loss of Bryce Bray to Oklahoma State.
*Darrell Simpson – 6-7, 320, 5.3 (Texas)
Four stars. The best OT in Texas for 2018, and OU appears to have grabbed a big lead. Texas A&M is the major competition, but a Sooner verbal by mid-summer seems to be very possible. Would give OU a great pair of bookend HS tackles.
*Anthony McKinney – 6-8, 320 5.2 (Iowa)
A JUCO All-American last year, McKinney received an OU offer back in January. That's something the Sooners rarely do with JUCO targets, and especially not OL. Getting the January graduate would lessen the presumed loss of Orlando Brown to the NFL.
*Curtis Dunlap – 6-5, 360, 5.4 (Florida IMG)
Four stars. Just a massive prospect at offensive guard with shocking mobility for his size. He has had OU in his top four for more than a year. Getting him on campus early for an official visit will be key.
*Marcus Jenkins – 6-4, 325, 5.2 (Alabama)
Four stars. Could OU go into the heart of SEC territory and grab an elite lineman?
*Rueben Unije – 6-6, 300 5.2 (Florida IMG)
Four stars. If OU skips a JUCO OT and grabs a third tackle out of high school, then Unije would be a great target. He’s interested in OU.