Back in March, fans of the Oklahoma Sooners were ecstatic to learn that four-star running back T.J. Pledger had committed to their favorite school. The all-purpose playmaker seemed destined to join a long line of blue-chip running backs to play college football, but it’s finally official. Pledger has signed his National Letter of Intent and plans to enroll at OU for the spring semester.
TJ, the next chapter begins now -— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) December 20, 2017
Welcome to the fam! #ST2K18 #BoomerSooner @uno_tjhttps://t.co/jrqj3fFSu8 pic.twitter.com/uldpy53kj1
Pledger is listed as the No. 3 APB in the class of 2018 and the No. 83 prospect overall according to the 247Composite Rankings. The 5’8”, 190-pound back out of IMG Academy received offers from schools such as Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas, UCLA and USC. However, Nebraska always seemed to be Oklahoma’s biggest challenger. There was talk of a potential flip to the Huskers around the time of a July unofficial visit to Lincoln (which was shortly after Bob Stoops’ retirement), but OU was able to ride out the storm and keep him committed. Sooner fans should be glad that he never truly wavered because OU is getting an exceptional football player with a pretty high ceiling.
But how will he fit in once he enters the fray? Well, Pledger figures to play a vital role in the passing game due to his ability in the open field. He’s exceptionally fast a has a knack for making people miss, and he also has pretty decent hands. That isn’t to say, however, that he’s not someone who can do some damage between the tackles at the collegiate level. He’s a pretty strong back for his size, and he’ll likely bulk up a bit more after spending a spring in a collegiate program. All in all, I think he’s someone who will compliment the current backs quite nicely in the short term and could potentially be a star down the line.