There have been so many reasons to point toward about why Oklahoma’s fast start for the 2017 class has been so crucial.
SoonerSquad17, as the class has become known, is still ranked No. 3 by Scout, and it’s a much different approach compared to what the Sooners have used for years and years of waiting to build a class and then close strong down the stretch.
The approach wasn’t a wrong one, but what we’re seeing with interior linemen right now is why the approach this year works.
Last Wednesday was a bit of a blow for the Sooners as a couple of interior guys opted to not head to Norman. One was well expected when former Scout 100 offensive guard Patrick Hudson chose Texas instead of OU, a week removed from getting an unconditional release from Baylor.
That one didn’t sting. Hours later when Shawnee (Okla.) High center Creed Humphrey picked Texas A&M instead of the Sooners, it felt like more of a blow.
Humphrey, ranked No. 283 in the Scout 300, grew up a huge OU fan and visited Norman twice in a four-day period in the beginning of June. It’s not a common sight to see Scout 300 kids leave the state, and it’s even rarer to see it when OU has decided to set its targets on that particular recruit.
Now usually when something like Humphrey occurs, we’re much deeper into the recruiting cycle. Instead of entering July, it’s usually December or January and OU is left scrambling to find available targets to build a bond with and make a move.
This time? No hesitation. Even hours before Humphrey’s decision, OU was being proactive instead of reactive. The Sooners offered De Soto (Texas) High offensive guard Xavier Newman earlier in the day. Most saw it as OU preparing for Humphrey’s call, and it also showed the SoonerSquad17 train doesn’t slow down.
Newman, a high three-star prospect, has been committed to Texas since April. Again, though, you have to know your recruit. This is not just another offer to pad his total. This offer means something, and it could mean a whole lot of something sooner than later.
Newman said he hopes to visit OU later this month with all signs pointing toward a BBQ-like event OU is planning to hold the final weekend of July. But the Sooners have some major artillery coming Newman’s way the rest of this week.
OU has eight commits headed to The Opening this week, the all-star summer event at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. OU has never had more than one commit at the time of the event so obviously this year brings a different flavor.
And what that means is Newman could be in the crosshairs of SoonerSquad17 all this month. A number of commitments have reached out to Newman and to OU fans on social media to try to show Newman they want him to join the fold.
Newman visited OU a while ago at last year’s elite one-day camp. He’s familiar with OU, and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh knows what Newman can do. The timing is right. He’s the No. 1 option, and now we’ll see where things go from here.