The big day continues for the Oklahoma Sooners, as four-star Texarkana (Texas High) four-star OLB Clayton Smith has announced his intention to spend his college years in Norman. He’s OU’s second commitment of the day, joining elite WR (and baseball) prospect Mario Williams.
Once thought to be a pretty hard Texas lean, Cain has been able to sell a vision to Smith that Tom Herman and his staff seemingly could not. Smith comes out of a region that not many prior Sooner coaches found success at Texas High School in Texarkana, but his relationship with Cain and a future laid out to him by Alex Grinch caused Smith to go from Texas lean to Oklahoma commit. It’s always sweeter when high-caliber athletes choose the Sooners over the Longhorns, but Smith also chose OU over Florida State, LSU, Oregon and several others.
Smith continues the Alex Grinch trend of long, athletic and violent athletes, as the talented linebackers stands at a 6’4, 220 lbs. In order to play the EDGE position at which he’s being recruited, I’d foresee Smith adding an additional 15-25 pounds to properly hold the edge and take on opposing left tackles in space. Smith actually plays three sports and is a natural athlete with with plenty of gifts: top end speed, pursuit, instincts, IQ, length and high-function athleticism. He has an incredibly high ceiling and may even make an impact in the fall of 2021 if he’s able to get to campus early.
Smith is now the seventh commit of the 2021 recruiting cycle. He’s also a testament to how good Cain is at establishing relationships with players shortly after his arrival in Norman. Currently, Clayton Smith is rated as the No. 8 OLB as well as the No. 107 overall player in the country according to 247Sports Composite Rankings. Alex Grinch was able to show what he can do with another coach’s players, and now he’s going to get the chance showcase the evolution of the Sooners’ defense with highly-touted prospects in the next couple of seasons of his vaunted “Speed D.