Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we look at Oklahoma’s need to re-establish itself as a recruiting force in Texas.
Oklahoma strengthens Texas ties
In 2016, the Oklahoma recruiting class looked like a United States map. The Sooners signed three Californians, including 5-star linebacker Caleb Kelly, to go with 4-star quarterback Austin Kendall from Waxhaw, N.C. The class brought in players from 11 different states and the District of Columbia.
In some ways, it was a byproduct of the Sooners’ ability to recruit nationally. But it was also a sign Oklahoma’s grasp on its traditional recruiting backyard — Texas — started to loosen.
It showed in Oklahoma’s No. 19 ranking in the 2016 247Sports composite — the Sooners’ lowest during former coach Bob Stoops’ tenure.
In its last two classes, however, Oklahoma has gone back to its roots. The Sooners have signed 17 Texans in those classes, whatever tempered enthusiasm for the Sooners a couple years clearly having changed.
Dominating the Big 12 the last three seasons helps. But Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley believes the College Football Playoff appearances in 2015 and last season changed the narrative, as well.
“I think that myth is starting to fade away a little bit. It feels good to get the guys we have,” Riley said. “The success that we’ve had, three straight Big 12s, being in the College Football Playoff two of the last three years, they see that they can come here and accomplish anything that they want. This is one of the premier programs in the country without a doubt. There’s unmatched stability here. There’s unmatched consistent success. That is very appealing to a lot of these guys.”
The Sooners’ appeal in their traditional backyard shows in the 2019 class, as well. Oklahoma holds five commitments for 2019. Three of them — 4-star tight end Austin Stogner (Plano), 4-star wide receiver Trejan Bridges (Carrollton) and 4-star running back Isaiah Spiller (Spring) — are among the best in Texas.
The junior day this coming Saturday will also be heavy on highly recruited Texas prospects. Four-star receivers Theo Wease and Garrett Wilson plan to join Bridges in the Norman. Four-star defensive end Marcus Stripling (Katy) plans to attend, as does is 4-star safety Jamal Morris.
Expect more prospects to flow up to Norman throughout the spring.
Is a St. Louis recruiting pipeline under construction?
The signing of 4-star defensive linemen Ronnie Perkins and Michael Thompson in 2018 could be the start of a recruiting pipeline from St. Louis to Norman.
Oklahoma has extended offers to four prospects from St. Louis in the 2019 class — 5-star receiver Isaiah Williams (Trinity Catholic), 4-star safety Jalani Williams (Parkway North), 4-star linebacker Shammond Cooper (Trinity Catholic) and 3-star offensive lineman Jack Buford (Trinity Lutheran).
Williams, Cooper and Buford have a trip scheduled to Norman on Saturday.
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