Signing day is almost here. New to the recruiting game or just want a refresher of what has already happened, here is a look at Oklahoma’s class heading into Wednesday.
Hendrickson (Texas) High CB P.J. Mbanasor (6-1, 183, No. 13 CB)
The Intel: There was a scary time in early December, when it seemed that Mbanasor might be a candidate to flip, and Texas was waiting for the talented cornerback to make the switch.
Now, that seems like forever ago as Mbanasor, who represents a changing philosophy in the secondary for the Sooners, prepares to sign his National Letter of Intent for the Sooners.
Mbanasor was once committed to TCU but even in the final weeks leading up to National Signing Day, the interest from other schools hasn’t wavered.
And for good reason.
At 6-foot-1 and more than 180 pounds, Mbanasor has the perfect body for a shutdown man cornerback and the body control to go with it. He has the swagger of any good cornerback – see Zack Sanchez – and has great ball skills.
More than just a system cornerback, Mbanasor, who is just outside the Scout 100, never visited another school.
Monroe Community College (NY) CB Will Johnson (6-1, 175, No. 53 JuCo Top 100)
The Intel: The offer and acceptance of Johnson came out of nowhere, even to the most in-tune Oklahoma recruiting gurus.
He went from nobody to the No. 53-rated junior college player in the country.
So how did Oklahoma find this kid?
Oklahoma pulled the trigger quickly, when mid-major schools were still hesitant to offer, and Johnson rewarded the Sooners willingness.
Johnson, who will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Sooners, has obvious size – one of three incoming cornerbacks at least 6-foot-1 – but he said his football IQ is his greatest strength.
When a player rises this fast, it’s tough to get a real gauge on what he can do immediately for Oklahoma. He’s had time a Monroe Community College to grow in a higher level game than high school, but Oklahoma will learn a lot about its new cornerback during spring camp.
Don’t be surprised to see Johnson as a contributor for Oklahoma, either on defense or special teams.
His life has been full of surprises.
Justin F Kimball (Texas) High CB Antoine Stephens (6-2, 187, No. 89 CB)
The Intel: There are shooting stars, and then, there’s Stephens.
No one climbed the national rankings faster than Stephens late in the year. He was playing cornerback for the first time as a senior but showed a natural knack for the position with seven interceptions.
It didn’t take long for coaches to see his senior film and left many wanting the 6-foor-2 corner.
Stephens made a trip to Norman and had an in-home visit by the Sooners during the past month and didn’t take long to recruit – he pick Oklahoma less than two weeks after the offer first came.
He was host by Zack Sanchez, who bragged recently on Twitter that he is perfect as a host.
Being a late crossover from receiver, it’ll be likely that Stephens will need a year or two to make an impact with the Sooners. He has the physical gifts to be a part-time player immediately, or even an aid on special teams.
Signing day surprise? No. The Sooners have the trio they want . . . for now.