Now that #SoonerSquad17 is signed, sealed and delivered, Bob Stoops and his staff can take a nice, restful vacay as they gear up for spring football.
Lol. Just kidding.
No, Oklahoma has been piling up offers and getting ready to woo its next class since before this last one was even inked. The Sooners famously had 18 commits in the ‘17 class before football season even began, and most of their best recruits were already part of it. Clearly the Sooners believe in accumulating the talent early, holding onto it tight and letting the class be its own best advocate for more players.
#SoonerSquad17 might not mean much if OU can’t follow it with another wave. Last year OU started stacking commits right around this time, so the next few weeks will be crucial. Currently, the 2018 class sits at three guys: California QB Cameron Rising, Oklahoma O-lineman Brey Walker and Dakota Austin’s younger brother Jordon, also a DB.
Here’s a few of OU’s top targets to add to the class in the weeks ahead:
WR Brennan Eagles, Houston (TX) Alief Taylor
Brennan Eagles is a big ol’ receiver who will be coveted by schools throughout the country, but he’s expected to visit Norman this weekend for junior day per Brandon Drumm.
At 6-3 and 214 pounds, the Sooners see comps for Eagles in guys like A.D. Miller and Mark Andrews. It would be an absolute coup for Oklahoma to lock Eagles down before the season, and they’ll have stiff competition from SEC programs and schools like Texas. Still, Eagles is obviously interested. He’d be a great addition.
DT Calvin Avery, Dallas (TX) Bishop Dunne
Avery will visit Norman yet again this weekend — he’s obviously taking a hard look at OU. He’s an explosive pass rusher and run stuffer who will work in whatever defensive front the Sooners happen to be using, and would be a great addition to a defensive line unit that many consider OU’s weakest link right now.
Oklahoma’s competition for Avery is solid but unspectacular — the Big 12 usual suspects and Nebraska are taking a hard look. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Avery is one of OU’s spring commits. Calvin Thibodeaux will be eager to prove his recruiting chops this season, and Avery would be a great place to start.
LB Alston Orji, Rockwall (TX)
At 6-2 and 214 pounds, Orji is about the size of Kapri Doucet and is likely to stay outside if the Sooners do move to a 4-3. There would be guys ahead of him on the depth chart, but Orji has visited Norman several times and seems serious.
Texas is the other major player to watch in Orji’s recruitment. If the Sooners can pitch him a vision of a defined role and playing time, though, they might be able to land him before the first snap of the season.
S Cam Jones, Euless (TX) Trinity
Like Orji, Jones won’t be on campus this weekend but has visited Norman several times. He liked his January junior day trip so much, apparently, that he was willing to put Oklahoma in his top four.
No order just of today moving on the top 4 schools im looking into ( that has offered ) pic.twitter.com/SKNHOnw6Qs— Cam Hollywood (@camgonework15) February 2, 2017
If you look at the other schools on that list ... yeah, I’d say OU’s got a good shot.
A wild card would be if Jones suddenly picked up an offer from another big-time program. If that doesn’t happen soon, Jones might be willing to commit to Oklahoma before the season and be done with it. After all, his Twitter cover photo (which, given his proficient tweeting, I have to believe he takes quite seriously) is him posing in OU digs. They’re probably in the lead.
RB T.J. Pledger, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy
It never hurts to be on the radar with IMG Academy guys, but Pledger’s OU interest seems very real and very mutual. Though the Sooners obviously recruited some dynamic talent this year, Pledger likely sees OU’s running back position as open enough to make some noise in.
At 5-9, Pledger’s one of those speedy, shifty guys who finds cutting lanes that no one else knows about. He’s a good pass-catcher, too. While running back won’t be a huge priority for this OU class, the Sooners can always attract talent to the position and there’s no reason Pledger can’t be that guy. He’d be a great change of pace for the big bruisers Stoops just brought in.
Count OU squarely in the mix for Pledger with schools like USC, Notre Dame and Michigan.
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