Wow, college football just keeps giving, huh?
Now, look — I am not going to be two-faced about this. I generally find high school recruiting so hard to follow. My brain just isn’t big enough. Knowing that every commitment is just a flip waiting to happen, and every five-star might just be another name in a list of guys who didn’t work out... or the next Heisman winner. Drawing conclusions is always tough for me when there is so much unknown, then add in the fact that the portal delivers a giant element of “this could only be a 12-month marriage” to it, and I stare at my Twitter timeline like the rest of you. Reading measurables. Watching highlight clips and trying to make heads or tails of it. The 10th-best class could actually be the one with all the starts and the one sitting at No. 2 could be gutted by the portal in year.
I would rather be watching some overly-dramatic TV show like Friday Night Lights or something.
And then... Peyton Bowen brought TV drama to my feed.
What a hilarious 24 hours. First, I hope Peyton made the decision he actually wanted and wasn’t pressured one way or another. I hope he plays the sport at the school he desires to play at most. Luckily, it seems like that’s the case.
BUT MY GOODNESS, what a 24 hours.
A black Oregon hat and an OU signing later and we find ourselves staring at one of the all-time rollercoaster rides of recruitment. I hope you got to enjoy it online like the rest of us. Good for BV for winning for a big-time player on the backend of his defense and former teammate of his new foundation (his words; not mine) Jackson Arnold.
Let’s get to the links.
- Before we get back into the NSD discussion, we have to talk about the portal. And my oh my, did the Sooners add another a nice piece or what? Trace Ford, who has struggled with injuries but has been terrific when healthy, is transferring from OSU to OU. This might come as a shock to you, but OSU fans are experiencing some emotions over this one.
Oklahoma kid ♂️ pic.twitter.com/HaTlNo973s— Trace Ford (@traceford12) December 28, 2022
- Don’t overlook the portal addition of hard-hitting Texas Tech safety Reggie Pearson Jr. As you might recall, Pearson is actually the player who delivered the hit to Dillon Gabriel in overtime of the loss in Lubbock.
WHOA REGGIE PEARSON JR. LAID THE BOOM pic.twitter.com/H5BEDkL0xs— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) November 27, 2022
- Y’all… OKLAHOMA PLAYS A FOOTBALL GAME TOMORROW.
"Invest to a standard." @DEWALTtough Tools of the Game from @CoachVenables— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 29, 2022
https://t.co/e5AksPw51N | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/BwiOPqBSMe
- Ladies and gentlemen… the punter’s accommodations:
I woke up feelin the Cheeziest, coach! @cheezit pic.twitter.com/OwomZMy73s— Hangtime (@HangtimeYT) December 27, 2022
- I really tried to find what was the best Peyton Bowen tweet to include here but.. this one isn’t the one that adds the most context. This tweet, though, from corners coach Jay Valai is absolutely the funniest.
December 22, 2022
- Like I said, I struggle to personally find the motivation to cover recruiting, but I don’t undervalue the importance. Josh is someone who I always lean back on to point me in the right direction, and his recap yesterday was great.
- God, I hate this, but the best piece I read yesterday is from Eli Lederman. I feel like I have said that on three or four of these this year, but the game is the game. A profile on the future face of the Oklahoma Football program — Jackson Arnold.
"Jackson has that flair about him”— Eli Lederman (@ByEliLederman) December 21, 2022
“He understands how to play the position"
“It’s really just the combination of different things that he is elite at"
Jackson Arnold has the talent. He's equipped for the pressure. Meet Oklahoma's top recruit in 2023:https://t.co/h5hPEZQ6NB
- Nick Harris covers recruiting at the national level. Everyone in the country who keeps up with this stuff was staring at Norman to see if they could pull off the flip of Peyton Bowen. Here is Harris’ story on the Bowen saga.
- A little bit of a surprise was the late addition — defensive tackle Markus Strong from Florida. Sitting at 6’4” and 270 pounds, Strong is a guy that catches the eye. Bob Przyblo layed down the story of what could be a Venables diamond in the rough.
- Everyone knows the five-star QB on the roster now. They also know about the new five-star safety. What about the other five-star in the class? Hoover talks about someone who wants to change the face of the OU defense. PJ (thank goodness he has a nickname) Adebawore is a talented edge rusher from Kansas City who is the type of player Oklahoma hasn’t landed in over 15 years.
- Berry Tramel asked about the SEC, which I was thankful he did because I think it matters today, not tomorrow. What did Brent say, and what to make of it?
- I will allow Brent to talk here for himself, but I thought this was a good quote.
Brent Venables had some praise for the #Sooners recruits that stayed committed and signed, despite the teams struggles on the field this season. Also said they took the relational approach to recruiting.— Holden Krusemark (@HoldenKrusemark) December 21, 2022
"We found.. families that wanted connection, as opposed to transactions" pic.twitter.com/t7lJGGFbjZ
- Back to portal talk. OU to South Carolina to OU is just a fun little wrinkle in a career. Martinez from the Oklahoman talks about Austin Stogner’s journey here.
- Oklahoma’s changing of conference has been a thing now for a long time. WHEN, CHISHOLM? WHEN? Welp, Tramel took his stab at it and God knows he is a better bet than me.
- The Sooners landed themselves two running backs on NSD, and speed is the name of the game in 2023. You didn’t hear? Yeah, speed is the thing now. They are in like crocs. Lovelace breaks down what the Sooners added to their running back room.
- Allow me to be the last person to ever comment on how someone else dresses. If you are unfamiliar, I only own two pairs of jeans, two pairs of shorts and solid color t-shirts. But, this was a choice from BV.
Brent Venables’ signing day presser is underway #Sooners pic.twitter.com/VtD26OPZzt— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) December 21, 2022
- I always enjoy the lucky local kid getting to play for the local team. There are a few from the Sooner state coming into the 2023 recruiting class, but one who got a preferred walk-on spot. Brandon Harper of Noble, Oklahoma made his announcement last week. Here is Josh Callaway’s write-up on the new local kid we can all hope overachieves.
Anything else going?
- NIL is a three-letter phrase that is really hitting elite levels of usage. Portal. Recruiting... bowl games?
Wrote about how NIL deals are being used in bowl season this year and how that's likely to evolve in the future. https://t.co/8fib9aRTre— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) December 22, 2022
- There has been a lot of mud slinging by coaches. Now, what is funny is this is out of jealousy. It isn’t even really pointing out anything that anyone will get in trouble for. It has mostly been out of frustration and generally is pretty vague. Welp. Matt Rhule, new to the game, is calling a spade a spade. Does anyone know what the ghost is suppose to mean?
— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) December 21, 2022
- I can’t believe anyone thought anything else was going to happen. Also, Boulder is awesome as a city to visit, so I think that matters too. Prime is in an awesome place to live. Anyway, Travis Hunter is following his coach.
BREAKING: Travis Hunter announced that he will transfer to Colorado!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) December 22, 2022
Hunter was ranked as the No. 1 Player in the 2022 Class.https://t.co/U7u1XDA9hn pic.twitter.com/Wz1AGVmfUC
- ... I mean... yeah he has a point.
Reminder: That 5-star player that your team lost is because your team's rival paid him $15 million. That 5-star player that committed to your team did so because he doesn't do it for the money and appreciates the spirit of amateurism.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 21, 2022
Talk to you later, knuckleheads.