At this point, everybody knows about SoonerSquad17, the name Oklahoma’s commits have given themselves for the 2017 class.
And everybody knows about how there are 10 four-star prospects in the Scout 300 already committed to the Sooners, an unprecedented start in the Bob Stoops era.
But people forget there is one junior college commitment. After signing three players from Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna CC for the 2016 class, the Sooners went back to Lackawanna for the 2017 class in running back/slot receiver Marcelias Sutton.
Sutton, currently ranked as a three-star prospect, no doubt has four-star potential once he gets back on the field this fall. Committed to North Carolina State for years, the Wolfpack sort of forgot about him, and OU came in immediately and went to work.
“It was about three or four weeks before my decision when OU starting to get in touch,” Sutton said. “Things had sort of fallen off with N.C. State. I was talking with the running backs coach every now and then, but that’s about it.”
And it’s funny the guys you meet along the way in the recruiting process. Coming out of North Carolina, Sutton remembers Lincoln Riley as an up-and-coming coach on the rise when Riley was at East Carolina.
Years later, the two reconnected.
“We just clicked again,” Sutton said. “That’s just my guy. He called one day and then later offered me. I told him if I get the offer, I was going straight to Norman. That’s what I did.”
It definitely didn’t hurt OU’s chances having Ashton Julious already on campus and Kapri Doucet and Emmanuel Beal joining him in the summer.
It was Julious who let Sutton know that OU was starting to look at his tape again. Because even when OU was recruiting the Lackawanna trio, Sutton wasn’t quite on the Sooners radar just yet.
It was only later in the game when it became clear OU was ready to take a nice, in-depth look to see if Sutton fit its plans. And the trio becomes a quartet.
“It does mean a lot to have them there,” Sutton said. “Especially those three guys. We’re going to make it our second home. I was talking to them about it and Ashton was like, ‘c’mon, bro, you can’t pass this up.’ He said he loves it out there at OU.”
Sutton said he’s a three-for-two guy, meaning he’ll have a redshirt available to him. It’s tough classify him right now because it sounds like Sutton’s versatility is a huge reason as to why he’s getting this opportunity.
He said it’s looking right now like 85 percent running back, 15 percent slot receiver, and he seems to be in the initial plans in terms of being a kick/punt returner.
“I’m the type of guy that no matter where you put me, I’m not going to give up,” Sutton said. “I’m going to make a play. I like to tote the rock, but I can catch it. I can return, too. I can do anything the team needs.”
Since the commitment, his profile has increased dramatically. Sutton said schools like Arizona State, Tennessee and West Virginia have been in contact. It won’t matter, he said, as he plans on taking his official visit to Norman when Lackawanna has a bye week in the fall.
This is a second chance for Sutton, one he’s not going to mess up.
“Me coming out of high school – I wasn’t ready,” Sutton said. “I’m more mature. I see the whole picture and not just being focused on one thing.
“Coming out of high school in ninth and 10th grade, I didn’t really get it academically. I tried to make up for it in the last two years, but it wasn’t enough. I’m focused now. You can be so good, but if you don’t have those grades, you can’t go anywhere.”
At 5-foot-9 and around 190 pounds, Sutton knows a lot of people will be doubting him. He said he’s getting looked at a lot differently right now because people want to know why OU thinks he’s that good.
Last year in limited time he had 74 carries for 469 yards and three touchdowns, averaging more than six yards per carry to go with six catches for 152 yards and a score.
He’s ready to show everybody this season at Lackawanna and then once again in Norman.