Oklahoma has been sweating out the recruitment of Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly for nearly two years. So another few hours didn’t matter.
As most signing day ceremonies were well in the books, Kelly finally announced for the Sooners on Wednesday evening to give OU its lone five-star signee for the 2016 class.
For nearly two years it looked like OU was in the driver’s seat for Kelly, ranked No. 17 in the nation. Multiple trips to campus were exceptional. The vibe was good.
But along came Notre Dame. The Irish made a furious push in the last two months and turned it from an OU coronation into a real, major battle.
One the Sooners had to win. With OU losing so many linebackers from its 2015 team, it was imperative the Sooners find the answer at linebacker for the 2016 class. Kelly caps a stellar quintet for OU going forward.
The relationship was built at the spring game back in 2014. With Kelly coming to campus with then-signees Michiah Quick and Joe Mixon. From that day on, most in the recruiting world said without hesitating it was OU for Kelly.
Another trip to the spring game last year only reinforced that notion that OU was sitting pretty with its top five-star target.
There was nothing OU did wrong in this recruitment, more a case of the Irish pushing all the right buttons to make this a competitive battle.
In the end, the Cali Sooners have their latest addition and Kelly joins Quick in Norman once and for all. OU coaches stressed throughout the afternoon of hoping to add one more in reference to Kelly. All they could do was play the waiting game. But it was well worth it.
Kelly is OU’s highest-ranked signee and caps a pretty crazy and eventful day for the Sooners on signing day. Barring no more surprises, OU seems set with the class it has with the addition of Kelly.