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Oklahoma Sooners Football Recruiting: RJ’s Thoughts - Oklahoma commits showed out at The Opening Finals

Oklahoma was well represented at The Opening Finals, but how did the commits and targets fare?

Arjei Henderson
SB Nation Recruiting

At The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas, over 160 of the best high school football players in the country descended on the Dallas Cowboys practice facility — The Star — to find out which of them is the best in the game headed into their junior and senior seasons of prep football.

Seven Oklahoma Sooners commits received invites to the camp presented by Nike, and every one of them made their mark — punctuated by a championship in the 7-on-7 competition.

HOW OU COMMITS PERFORMED AT THE OPENING

2019 quarterback Spencer Rattler: He’s so polished it’s scary.

In leading his team to 2018 The Opening Finals title, Rattler showed poise, resolve and innate ability to lead a star-studded group. After losing the first game of the double-elimination tournament, Rattler told his teammates that loss was on him.

In an interview with 2019 receiver commits Theo Wease Jr. and Trejan Bridges believed they would come back to win the title. But Rattler was taking no chances and showed up to prove he’s the best quarterback at the camp.

“Spencer basically told us that’s on me. I’ll be back tomorrow,” Wease Jr. said. “And he was focused from the moment we lost to the end of this game.”

When Rattler was named to The Opening All-Tournament team, one of the rival defensive backs on the team his beat to win the championship said, “On Jesus Christ, he was putting it on the money.”

“When the defense says that,” Rattler said, “you know you’re doing something right.”

2019 offensive guard EJ Ndoma-Ogar: In the 1-on-1 portion of the camp, offensive and defensive linemen went head up against each other. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.

In one snap, Ndoma-Ogar blew his man two yards off the ball in a shock to those watching. It was indicative of the kind of play he’s known for—finishing blocks and pancaking defenders.

2020 running back Jase McClellan: First of all, this man has magnificent hair. I’m envious. He washes it daily, and that’s probably how it stays so clean while he does linebackers dirty.

McClellan is way ahead in physical development, looking more like a senior than a junior, and his burst was something to behold. In a drill with two linebackers, tasked with putting two hands on him to mark him as “down” he simply blew past them. They never had a chance. McClellan has an opportunity to be special.

2019 tight end Austin Stogner: He gave Team Overdrive—A.K.A. Team Oklahoma—a nastiness I simply didn’t see from any other offensive skill position player. Whether he was matched up against 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebackers or smooth ball-hawking safeties, he ran through his routes and went up for balls like he was wearing pads.

In one instance, after winning a jump-ball thrown by 2019 Tennessee quarterback commit Brian Maurer, he wrestled the ball away from the defender and then snarled. That attitude in a big body with sure hands brought a strength to the team I didn’t see on any other offense at the showcase.

2019 wide receiver Trejan Bridges: The man was the swagger on his Opening Finals team. And it was earned.

Bridges showed he can play every receiver position and run every route. The toughest part about evaluating his game is actually nailing down where he fits in an offense. His play was so sure and impressive I thought he got robbed when the all-tournament team was named.

2019 wide receiver Arjei Henderson: He is smooth. He displayed all the characteristics of a five-star receiver. While he has the ability to play as an outside receiver, I loved watching him in the slot. Henderson has a knack for getting open, and when quarterbacks found him he usually ended up in the end zone.

2019 wide out Theo Wease Jr.: The five-star receiver is the big-play, big-body playmaker every team craves. His game is such that he not only can he high-point the ball in a way that is rarely seen, but he has the speed to take the top off the defense and the hips to shake a defender like a bowl full of Jello.

Wease came as advertised and supplanted himself as the premier prospect of this 2019 class.

HOW OU TARGETS PERFORMED AT THE OPENING

2019 five-star safety Dax Hill: He told reporters he’s looking to commit late in the summer or early during the fall. His announcement on Twitter that he will commit somewhere soon backs that up. Hill was spectacular at the Star. In one 7-on-7 matchup, he broke on a ball in the air and tipped into himself for the pick in the back of the end zone.

2020 five-star defensive lineman Bryan Breese: He is attending Lincoln Riley’s family barbecue later this month, though Oklahoma has some work to do. He told reporters at The Opening Finals he’s in a group chat with other 2020 Ohio State commits and prospects. He’s also planning to visit Ohio State again soon.

2019 corner back Chris Steele: He told me he’s still high on Oklahoma, and repeatedly mentioned how important his relationship to OU frosh Brendan Radley-Hiles is. Though, the smart money is still on USC to earn his commitment Steele said he’s going to keep his recruitment open. After the work the Sooners coaching staff did in January and February 2018 to close strong, I think it would be unwise to count them out.

2019 corner back Jaden Davis: He displayed the kind of cover corner skills every Big 12 defense wants, needs and salivates over. In coverage against Oklahoma State tight end commit Grayson Boomer, he fought through the bigger Boomer to make a play on the ball. He was smiling when we spoke at-length with me about his relationship with OU. He’s announcing his commitment on July 18.

2019 offensive tackle Stacey Wilkins: He told me he’s going to drop a top 8 or top 10 before the season begins. Doesn’t sound like there are more than two schools he’s really considering at the moment, though —Oklahoma and Arkansas. After talking with him, Oklahoma feels like it is right where it should be in his recruitment.


GREEN-WARREN ALREADY RECRUITING

I briefly spoke with 2020 cornerback Darion Green-Warren. He’s excited to be a Sooner commit. And he’s already going to work.

“Can’t wait,” he told me. “First or of business is Bryce Young and Bru McCoy.”

Green-Warren, Young and McCoy attend Mater Dei High School in Santa, Ana, Calif.

You’ll note Young is Oklahoma’s only real QB target for the 2020 class, and McCoy is the No. 2 athlete in the country according to the 247 Composite ranking. McCoy can play wide receiver and is an outstanding linebacker. He officially visited OU last April.