OU closes with a flourish

Not much more Sooners could ask for in how they finished off the 2014 class.

Before the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma's recruiting class had a lot of ifs to it. If it gets this guy or if it gets that guy or if it can flip that guy, the class will turn out OK.

The Sooners were right on the cusp with a number of top recruits before the upset win against Alabama. All that win did, according to the coaches, was reaffirm to the recruits that OU is the place to be.

And boy did it ever. OU landed eight signees from Jan. 4 until Wednesday, giving the Sooners a 2014 class of 26 signees and the No. 1-ranked class in Scout's Big 12 rankings and No. 13 overall.

"I'm very excited about this group," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "I think it's one of the better classes we've had. I appreciate the hard work that the assistant coaches really have hustled to finish this out in a positive way."

There was positive news throughout Wednesday as OU added three vital members to the class, including two four-star recruits from out west.

The day got off to a bang when West Valley City (Utah) Granger offensive tackle Kenyon Frison picked the Sooners over Arizona State, Nebraska and Utah.

Even though OU already had one offensive tackle, it was lacking that one true tackle the team could build a foundation with.

"I feel like he's an elite tackle," co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "He hasn't even come close to reaching his ceiling."

It was more good news when OU announced New Orleans St. Augustine defensive lineman Courtney Garnett had signed with the Sooners. Scheduled to announce at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the cat was out of the bag before 9 a.m., and Garnett didn't care.

Notre Dame made a late run to flip Garnett, but it didn't matter. Stoops said after Monday night, everything was good to go with Garnett once again.

The news isn't as good with Oklahoma City Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark. Reports are he has signed his national letter of intent with LSU, but he won't have his ceremony until Thursday because Oklahoma City Public Schools were closed Wednesday. It is expected that is when it will be official.

OU could shake that disappointment off with the addition of Fresno (Calif.) four-star wide receiver Michiah Quick. Another OU vs. ND showdown where the Sooners came up on top.

Quick is the cousin of OU's Hatari Byrd and former teammate of L.J. Moore.

"He's a big play waiting to happen," wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said.

OU was set at 25 signees. Everybody was pretty content, and then the Sooners pulled off one of the bigger signing day flips in the country for the class.

Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge offensive tackle Orlando Brown had been committed to Tennessee since May, but he was starting to have second thoughts in the last couple of weeks.

Brown had the Sooners in his final three, and it was clear OU had become his second choice. With OU's great offensive tackle reputation, he decided to give OU another look.

Stoops said they talked, and then offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh came in and closed the show for the Sooners.

"We're a national brand," Stoops said. "We get strong interest from great players all across the country and we follow up with them. Our strength and base will always be Oklahoma and Texas, but when there is great interest from guys all across the country, our guys have done a great job of following up with them."

OU was struggling, at one point ranked in the 30s of the rankings. But the panic button was never pressed. The coaches knew the relationships had been developed and things were going to pay off.

They did and this could be the group that gets the Sooners permanently back on the national radar.

"I do believe this is a class that can help us compete for national championships again," said Tulsa (Okla.) Union wide receiver Jeffery Mead.


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