Last week, 2018 IMG Academy cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles announced a top 5 that includes Nebraska, Texas, Notre Dame, UCLA and your Oklahoma Sooners.
April 7, 2017
While Nebraska is considered the favorite for the four-star talent, Oklahoma does have one big thing going for it, and his name is T.J. Pledger.
BOOMER https://t.co/32enxLh8hL— TJ Pledger (@uno_tj) April 4, 2017
Just know @longlivee14 and @Bookie_44 will end up in Norman with me... #ST2k18— TJ Pledger (@uno_tj) April 4, 2017
In that second tweet, Pledger singles out IMG teammates Brian Hightower and Radley-Hiles. To be fair, online declarations like this are common in modern recruiting and should be taken with the grainiest of grains of salt. Hightower is already committed to Miami and presumably pretty happy with the class The U is pulling down. But those are just two of OU’s eight other IMG offers, so unless they just happen to be Pledger’s close friends, Pledger obviously thinks the Sooners have a good shot with them.
And of course, the Sooners are still in the mix for Curtis Dunlap, Reuben Unije and Joshua Moore, though all three seem more likely destined for Florida schools at this point.
With his strong interest in schools like Nebraska and Texas, Radley-Hiles obviously isn’t worried about staying in Florida (he’s from California originally, so that makes sense).
At just 5-10, 183 pounds, receivers like Jeffery Mead could give Radley-Hiles problems. But in the Big 12, cover corners of all shapes and sizes can find a role. Radley-Hiles will need to work on his tackling technique, but he’s a big and fearless hitter for a kid his size and often makes plays that begin nowhere near him.
Getting one IMG recruit this cycle is great news, but getting more could be truly trend-setting as I discussed last month.
In other news, 2018 three-star athlete Vernon Jackson has put OU in his top five as well.
#BoomerSooner #GoFrogs #SicEmBears #RollTide #gigem pic.twitter.com/t6icp8NgMx— action_jackson™ (@vjackkk) April 9, 2017
Jackson was on campus in February and could play several different roles for the Sooners, including on special teams. I’m thinking the Texas schools are in the lead here, particularly A&M because of its proximity to his home in Boling, Texas. But he must have enjoyed his visit to include the Sooners here, and is worth keeping an eye on.