Things are starting to work themselves out on the recruiting trail. It’s time to start looking more intently on Oklahoma’s “wish list” for the Class of 2017.
Here is an idea of where OU stands heading into May. The number in parentheses indicates the number of recruits OU is looking to sign at the position for the Class of 2017. The names do not necessarily reflect OU’s official board but are the best guesstimate of who OU is targeting.
Committed (1): Mesquite (Texas) Horn’s Chris Robison. The very first commit of the incredibly talented SoonerSquad17 class. Robison caught the eye of Lincoln Riley last year at a satellite camp and committed less than two weeks after. Ever since, he has been all-in with the Sooners, including attending every single home game OU had in 2015. He’s also one of the ringleaders for OU in terms of recruiting other top prospects to join him in Norman.
Running back (3)
Committed (2): Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna CC’s Marcelias Sutton. A bit of a cheat here because it seems pretty clear Sutton is actually going to end up as a jack-of-all-trades type of recruit with running, receiving and returning. Sutton has that game-changing speed OU has been looking for, and it didn’t take long for the Sooners to go after Sutton once they realized things were not as solid with North Carolina State as it once seemed. Sutton has yet to visit campus.
Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry’s Trey Sermon. This was huge, no doubt about that. For the Sooners to go into Georgia and pick up one of the most talented prospects in the state says a lot about what SoonerSquad17 has been able to accomplish. Following a great visit to Norman during the spring, Sermon released a top six and then decided he was ready to make the call two weeks ago. With his size and ability, it’s a major way to begin the running back class.
Favorite: La Grange (Texas) High’s J.K. Dobbins. Yes, an Ohio State commit gets the label as the favorite only because the Sooners have been in this race longer than anybody. It was a blow when Dobbins committed to the Buckeyes two months ago, but instead of throwing in the towel, OU basically recruited Dobbins even harder but a lot smarter. The goal is simply to get him back to campus and his connections to some of the other commits cannot be discounted.
Lakeland (Fla.) Senior’s A.J. Davis. Two months ago it felt like Davis was the easy favorite to be OU’s No. 1 choice until Sermon sort of took that spot over. However, OU is still in the hunt and Davis still openly talks about his interest in the Sooners. Although it looks like Dobbins is the first choice, OU definitely likes Davis a lot and is not about to close the door. Getting Davis to campus might be the last thing needed to make this happen.
Next in line: Mansfield (Texas) High’s Kennedy Brooks. After visiting Norman in March, you thought there would be more action one way or another. Brooks, though, doesn’t give you a lot of insight into the process. He had a good time, but it obviously wasn’t enough to be a game-changing visit. Now OU seems content to explore other possibilities and that goes in line with OU’s aggressive recruiting mindset for this class. It will be up to Brooks to get back in the picture.
Favorite: Charlotte (N.C.) Vance’s Jeremiah Hall. After sitting out the H-Back scene the last two recruiting cycles, it seems 100 percent clear OU wants one for the 2017 class. Hall is the guy right now. Listed as a tight end at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, the Sooners let him know last week they want him to be a part of SoonerSquad17. His list of offers is nice, but most feel if he can accept playing that far away from home, a visit to Norman would be a deal-maker.
Wide receiver (3)
Committed (2): Waxahachie (Texas) High’s Jalen Reagor. A one-time Texas Tech commit, Reagor spoke incredibly high about the Sooners even when pledged to the Red Raiders. A trip to Norman in March got the ball rolling for something that escalated quickly. Around 24 hours after his visit and on Easter Sunday, Reagor made the call to join SoonerSquad17. He is the quintessential slot receiver, perhaps most natural in that spot for OU in years.
Cedar Hill (Texas) High’s Charleston Rambo. Just minutes after Reagor’s commitment, Rambo joined the party and said the two of them had been discussing committing to the same school for a while. OU has targeted Rambo in a major way ever since a satellite camp last summer. Multiple trips to Norman in a short timeframe led everyone to believe OU was sitting in the driver’s seat. Turns out everything was exactly as it appeared and Rambo gives a nice blend of size and speed.
Favorite: Lancaster (Texas) High’s Omar Manning. OU has been recruiting for a long time, even having him at junior day when he was a sophomore. So although the Sooners weren’t among the first to offer, they’ve been in the picture the whole time. At one point Texas A&M looked like the favorite. Now it appears TCU is the biggest threat, but OU is exactly where you want to be at this stage of the game. Manning is considered by some to be the best receiver in Texas.
Next in line: Richmond (Texas) Foster’s CeeDee Lamb. Seriously? Yes, even though he recently decommitted from OU, it wasn’t like there was a bad falling out or anything of that nature. With all the offers flooding his way, truly seemed like a kid that had no idea what his value was in the market. Once he did, he wanted to explore it a little more. LSU is clearly the school to watch, but Lamb has said OU is in the picture. There are no severed ties here.
Tight end (1)
Committed (1): Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic’s Grant Calcaterra. From the time OU offered in February, you just had that feeling this was going to be end up being one of the SoonerSquad17 recruits. Following a great visit and some time to clear his head and think it over, he did indeed enter the fold. Calcaterra has great size, great hands and has really strutted his stuff nationally in camps this spring. It was clear he was OU’s No. 1 guy at tight end the whole time.
Favorite: OKC Putnam City West’s Nick Robinson. OK, a little clarification here. Robinson makes this cut because if OU believes Robinson is the best option when you want four total receivers and tight ends, then you roll with these four. If OU lands Manning, the door closes for Robinson. He has made multiple trips to campus but an offer might not come until well after the spring evaluation period and OU works out the numbers. Will he wait that long?
Interior Offensive Line (2)
Committed (1): McKinney (Texas) Boyd’s Tyrese Robinson. You could make a valid argument that Robinson is the glue of this class. A huge position of need combined with having great relationships with basically every other commit in the group. Robinson surprised a lot of people by committing at junior day, but he has been rock solid ever since. Offensive line is always a need, but it’s a less of one when you start with someone as big as talented as Robinson.
Favorite: Shawnee (Okla.) High’s Creed Humphrey. Robinson is a clear offensive guard, but with Humphrey, you’re looking at center as of now. The Sooners were late getting into this picture, and right now it looks as though Texas A&M is sitting in the driver’s seat. OU has been in contact with Humphrey and is trying to make up the ground so it will be interesting to see how things progress. Humphrey seems to be Bill Bedenbaugh’s No. 1 priority right now.
Next in line: Sugarcreek (Ohio) Garaway’s Joel Honigford. Not going to lie here. Once you get beyond Humphrey, it’s a shot in the dark as to who the most realistic prospects are. No clear-cut favorite and Honigford might even be an offensive tackle when all said and done. He makes the cut, though, because he did already visit the campus so that says something for a kid from Ohio to come all the way to check out Norman this early in the game.
Offensive tackle (2)
Favorite: Austin (Texas) Westlake’s Stephan Zabie. For the last month or so it has felt like it’s either OU or Texas A&M. But during the spring evaluation process, Zabie has become quite popular so it will be intriguing to track how his recent string of offers impact his recruitment. He has already visited Norman and has developed a great relationship with Bill Bedenbaugh. He’s still raw with last year being his first year playing football so OU would love to tap into his potential.
Next in line: Aledo (Texas) High’s Chuck Filiaga. Will the Sooners be able to reap the rewards of Filiaga transferring from California to Aledo? Tough to gauge where he is at right now and how moving halfway across the country might change his thoughts as well. OU was able to get a visit from Filiaga during the spring so that’s a start. When things slow down for Filiaga, we should all get a much better idea of where OU is at in the pecking order.