Sooners set for furious close on recruiting trail

OU has cemented itself as a playoff contender - that's going to make the next two months on the recruiting trail very interesting.

Every year it happens so it’s not a huge surprise. The Oklahoma coaching staff spends the entire recruiting cycle building relationships before pouncing in the final months before signing day.

It will happen once again for the Sooners to close out the 2016 class. No doubt about that, but it’s still a rare situation about to occur in Norman during the next two months.

OU hasn’t been this nationally relevant in a long time. Even two years ago as the Sooners were getting ready to take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, OU was seen as an afterthought.

That win did spark a big boost in the final month, but you could make a strong argument that guys like Steven Parker, Joe Mixon, Michiah Quick were on their way to becoming Sooners even if the Tide had taken them down in New Orleans.

You could argue the Sooners coaches have already put in enough time and effort to guarantee a strong close for OU for the 2014 class.

No, why this class could be different is because it has been seven seasons since OU was still relevant in the national championship picture heading into December and January. That’s the type of recruiting you cannot buy.

Around this time last year OU was trying to hold onto its top targets. Trying to make sure Scout 300 prospects Ricky DeBerry, Neville Gallimore and Kahlil Haughton, etc., didn’t start looking at other schools because of OU’s 8-4 regular season.

The script is flipped this year as OU won’t have to convince recruits to join the party to stay with onboard with the Sooners. The issue this year is the fact there won’t be enough room for everybody who is in serious consideration for OU.

As it stands right now, the Sooners are at 13 commits for the 2016 class, including two (running back Abdul Adams, offensive guard Ben Powers) since Saturday afternoon. There are still a number of spots left but even more targets than spots.

At receiver, is it Velus Jones or Tyrie Cleveland? At cornerback, is it Baylen Buchanan or Obi Eboh? At linebacker, how will it work out with Mique Juarez, Caleb Kelly and Tyree Horton? Will OU land a couple of Dallas Metroplex defensive linemen in Chris Daniels and Marcel Southall?

OU’s success in Louisiana has led to more recruits from that area, too. Will anything happen with Sci Martin, Clifford Chattman and/or Greedy Williams?

Those are the known names. We haven’t even reached the point where you start finding the late bloomers or the top-rated kids who now, all of a sudden, want to see exactly what OU is all about.

When asking who the top targets are for the Sooners, all you can do right now is guess. You know the names you’ve heard for months and months. But it’s right around this time, when you’re as successful as OU has been on the field, when that starts to trickle down to recruiting.

The Sooners are poised for a mega-close to this year’s recruiting class. Your best advice? Buckle up and enjoy the ride.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories