Although the Oklahoma Sooners didn’t make the cut for four-star IMG Academy wide receiver Joshua Moore, they may now be the leader in the clubhouse for ankle-breaking playmaker Jaylen Waddle. According to The Football Brainiacs, OU wide receiver coaches Cale Gundy and Dennis Simmons have been in pursuit of Waddle for some time after the wideout/returner visited Norman last summer with Episcopal teammate Marvin Wilson. Simmons, who coaches outside receivers to Gundy’s on the inside, reportedly visited Waddle Monday and could have moved the Sooners into pole position to land the 2018 star talent.
Waddle has the Sooners firmly in his top five along with Texas, Florida State and Oregon. After Tom Herman flipped the nation’s top athlete prospect and Florida State commit Justin Watkins to Texas and the Seminoles still in pursuit of the ultra-talented Josh Moore, Waddle could be leaning toward the Sooners now more than ever. The 5-10 barn burner, ranked 63rd overall on the ESPN300, is expected to make another visit to Norman within the next month and could become the first wide receiver to join the OU class of 2018.
The Sooners will have their work cut out for them, as many other top programs outside of the aforementioned around the nation are still on the heels of Waddle. But with the persistent and timely efforts of Simmons, Gundy and the recruiting staff, OU could now very well be leading the pack for the electrifying, four-star Texas native. In fact, Demetric Warren of Varsity Preps, forecasts Oklahoma as Waddle’s eventual landing spot in his crystal ball predictions.
Waddle is a versatile and dazzling athlete with a skill set tailor-made for the Oklahoma offense. He has the explosive burst and open-field speed to excel on the outside, as well as the hands, lateral quickness, elusivness and precise route running to take an inside screen or slant to the house. One look at his film and Waddle’s comparisons to former Oklahoma and NCAA greats Ryan Broyles, Jalen Saunders and to some extent Mark Clayton and Sterling Shepard, start to become apparent, with Scout’s Gabe Brooks labeling him “one of the more fun players to watch in the 2018 class.”
He even displays the ability to make some very impressive, contested catches up high for a player his size. Although he could stand to add more bulk to his frame, Waddle already resembles the next potential slot receiver phenom to star at Oklahoma. It’s no doubt Simmons, Gundy and Lincoln Riley have mentioned the above names and don’t need much hyperbole to showcase the program’s proven track record of developing these types of pass catchers into NCAA record setters and future NFL Draft picks.