The Oklahoma Sooners head into July with the No. 6 2019 class in the country according to the 247 composite team rankings, and this is in spite of having only 13 commits at the moment. The Sooners already boast the best quarterback and receiver (if not trio of receivers) in the class, along with four well-respected defensive linemen.
And if you pay attention to Twitter, you’ve likely seen the eyes.
— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) June 27, 2018
This is one of two sets of eyes that is currently unaccounted for, so that means there are at least two commitments on the horizon. Additionally, the ChampU BBQ is coming up in late July, so OU appears destined for another fun stretch on the recruiting front.
Three offensive linemen have already committed to play in Norman in 2019, and the lone spot available to a tight end was taken over a year ago by standout Austin Stogner. As the Sooners head into the marquee summer showcases — The Opening Finals and 5-Star Challenge — finding out which two running backs and four defensive backs will join the class is going to be next on the agenda. Offensive tackle is still very much a focal point, as well.
— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) June 27, 2018
The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas, begins this weekend. It features Oklahoma commits Spencer Rattler, wide receivers Theo Wease, Trejan Bridges, and Arjei Henderson, tight end Stogner, offensive lineman EJ Ndoma-Ogar and 2020 running back Jase McClellan.
That’s a hell of a list.
At present, four-star safety Jamal Morris is the only defensive back committed to the class after Jarrian Jones flipped his commitment to Mississippi State. This means there are at least nine defensive backs OU is watching closely for what appears to be four spots left in the 2019 class secondary.
At the top of the list is Oklahoman and five-star recruit Dax Hill. The Tulsa (Okla.) Washington safety was nothing short of jaw-dropping, according to reports about his performance at The Opening Dallas last April.
Hill flashed 4.3 40-yard dash speed and ball skills that earned him his fifth star heading into the start of the summer. According to Diehards, Hill will attend OU’s ChampUBBQ in July. Feels like OU coach Lincoln Riley could convince Hill to commit to the Sooners later this year, but there’s work to be done.
Five-star corner back Chris Steele is next on this list. He was the subject of news this week when the USC Rivals affiliate reported Steele has committed to play his college ball for the Trojans. Steele has not confirmed the report and appears to be going about business as usual. He has said he will announce his commitment on July 7, and it’s a safe bet to say he chooses USC.
Steele has said he’s going to remain open to recruiting after his commitment announcement. And as a St. John Bosco prep star, it wouldn’t surprise many to see Steele playing in Los Angeles. However, secondary coach Kerry Cooks likely won’t give up until Steele has signed his national letter of intent.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) product Jaden Davis has remained high on the Sooners since his April 13 visit, and the four-star corner back has scheduled his commitment announcement for July 18. Finally, Oklahoma has gained significant ground with four-star corner Woodi Washington. The No. 4 player in Tennessee holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas. However, the summer has whittled the list to OU and Ohio State as the favorites to win his services.
Circling back to offensive line, Oklahoma seems to have gained a lot of traction with Jonah Tauanu’u since his official visit earlier this month. However, the process appears to be far from over for the Harbor City, Calif., product, so OU still has plenty of work to do with the talented OT. Another recruiting battle, however, has a bit more clarity and could potentially resolve itself sooner rather than later, as it’s no secret that OU has been the favorite for Stacey Wilkins for quite some time. If a decision does indeed come at some point this summer (he’s pushed back scheduled announcements before), it’s tough to envision him picking a different school at this point.
RUNNING BACK IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
While I don’t feel any alarm in knowing there’s not a single running back committed to the 2019 class — though there are two committed to the 2020 class already — I admit it feels weird.
Oklahoma is arguably the greatest running back university of all time. While four-star all-purpose back Isaiah Spiller was committed, he has since decommitted and left the Sooners without tailback in an otherwise remarkable 2019 class. The primary targets to join the 2019 class include Noah Cain and Marcus Major.
Texas is seen as the leader with Cain, though he continues to listen to what the Sooners are saying. Cain also comes from the same IMG Academy that sent running back T.J. Pledger and safety Brendan Radley-Hiles to OU. On top of that, Spencer Rattler has been zeroing in on the nation’s No. 4 running back. Last but not least, current OU hoops commit and Denton Guyer (Cain’s old high school) point guard De’Vion Harmon has even joined in on the action.
Major, who has been at his current position for only one season, is a local product out of Millwood High School in Oklahoma City. Over the last several months, Major has seen his recruitment rocket away with offers from Michigan, Alabama and Florida among others. While Major took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma in May, his most recent official visit to Arkansas is cause to be a tad nervous. However, Major is still easily OU’s safest bet at his point.