Sooner mailbag: The Opening recap

Opening reaction mailbag with OU commits and targets.

We’re just a few weeks away from the Wednesday mailbag making its triumphant full-time return, but following The Opening, a mailbag is certainly in order.

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Which OU commit had the best performance at The Opening?

Easy answer and not the one sure most thought when the rosters were announced. Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic tight end Grant Calcaterra was the unquestioned star of the event among the eight OU commits participating.

Calcaterra hasn’t always been the first name to pop out of the mouths of OU fans when discussing SoonerSquad17, but he earned a lot of respect based of what he did.

Able to use his size and hands and ability to find the openings (no pun intended), don’t be surprised if Calcaterra makes the leap to four-star status and maybe even in the Scout 300.

Calcaterra was the last name added to the roster among the OU commits for The Opening. Better later than never, right? Student Sports got it right, and Calcaterra basically eliminated all doubts from any OU fans on whether or not he was the right choice.

Honorable mention to Southlake (Texas) Carroll safety Robert Barnes as he also made the All-Tournament team as selected by Student Sports. Barnes has been talked about for a while, but he put it all together as well last weekend.

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Which OU target did the Sooners gain the most with at The Opening?

Something that will remain to be seen and we’ll avoid the obvious one of De Soto (Texas) High offensive lineman Xavier Newman. Although committed to Texas, a flip to OU would shock nobody. And a flip to the Sooners before the season is almost as expected as much as him staying with the Longhorns.

We will stay in the state of Texas, though, and say South Grand Prairie safety Jeffrey Okudah is absolutely a legitimate target for the Sooners.

Ranked the No. 1 safety in the country, Okudah has a fantastic relationship with Robert Barnes and several more of the SoonerSquad17 commits. He has routinely made trips to campus, including an impromptu trip to Norman last month when nobody was expecting anything.

His words about OU feeling like home each time he attends is a great sign. The Sooners made his top six Monday evening to the shock of nobody, and it’s not as simple as saying it’s an OU vs. Ohio State battle. But really, it could be that way.

OU’s best chance for a statement is obviously the Sept. 17 weekend when the Buckeyes come to town. One game won’t determine where Okudah is headed, but it certainly couldn’t hurt if OU puts on a show in a major nonconference battle.

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Which OU target did the Sooners lose ground on at The Opening?

Tough one to say because not sure too much was lost based on how the OU commits fared as a team at the event and how they interacted with several top recruits.

The one name that seems to sort of be falling to the wayside is Kennedale (Texas) High outside linebacker Baron Browning. A five-star prospect, he hasn’t made a visit to OU since the TCU game back in November.

Yea, he has said a lot of subtle pro-OU things in interviews and interrupting other recruits’ interviews, but look at what he is doing compared to what he is saying.

The Sooners don’t seem to be making up ground with Browning, which could ultimately be OK as long as the Sooners hit on guys like K’Lavon Chaisson, Addison Gumbs, who are no slouches in their own right.

You still have to keep Browning on the ‘wish list’ board, understand that, but it’s looking way too much like this simply isn’t meant to be.

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OU target or not, the one recruit that opened your eyes the most at The Opening?

Going to Florida with Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. He tore it up at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge and then went one step further with his performances at The Opening.

It just feels like there isn’t a play he can’t make. He’s in the Scout 100 already at No. 92, but Jeudy seems to be somebody who has earned a bump.

OU has offered him, but it doesn’t feel like things will ever get too serious. And of course with OU having Charleston Rambo, Jalen Reagor and Grant Calcaterra in the fold with the possibility of CeeDee Lamb coming back in less than two weeks, yea, receiver isn’t where OU is hurting.


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