Bob Przybylo/Scout

OU back to its recruiting homebase

OU has returned to its roots, and it's paying off.

There were a lot of head-scratchers about Oklahoma and its 2016 class. Despite a fantastic season on the field, including another Big 12 championship and a berth in the college football playoff, the recruiting spike never really occurred.

And when you talk Sooners recruiting, you talk about dominating in Oklahoma and being a major player in the state of Texas.

The 2016 class just simply wasn’t that way. OU took a mere two from within its borders and only three from the Lone Star State have ended up in Norman.

Perhaps the funniest part of all in that statement is that heading into the final week before signing day, OU essentially had zero Texas commits as Mark Jackson, Zach Farrar and Parrish Cobb were all incredibly late additions to the group.

It had to change in 2017, and it has in a major way. OU enters the 2016 season with 13 commits from the states of Oklahoma and Texas for 2017. Five from the Sooner State and eight from Texas.

More impressive is that 11 of those 13 commits are ranked in the Scout 300 for the 2017 class and two are ranked in the Scout 300 for the 2018 class (Brey Walker, Jordon Austin). All six of OU’s commits from Oklahoma for 2017-18 are ranked in the Scout 300 with two of them in the Scout 100.

You can’t build a championship team with nothing but kids from the state of Oklahoma. There just isn’t that type of depth. But you can build quite a nice foundation, something you can build on going forward.

Numbers are one thing, but going beyond them tells the real story of SoonerSquad17 within OKPreps. So far OU has the commit from every single prospect it has offered in the state.

Yes, other prospects have pledged to other schools, but the targets OU focused on have all come home to the Sooners. That’s the sign of getting the job done. No misses. No backup plans. One hit after another.

It has been a while since OU has had this many from Oklahoma with 2013 being the last group with five signees from the home state.

D.J. Ward (Moore Southmoore via OKC Douglass and Lawton)

Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa East Central)

Jordan Evans (Norman North)

Dominique Alexander (Tulsa Booker T. Washington)

Jordan Smallwood (Jenks)

Some of have been major hits. Some have been hit by the injury bug, but all five have stuck out during their time in Norman.

On paper, which is the absolute operative word, this group from Oklahoma could be a part of something really special in Norman.

Collinsville ILB Levi Draper

The one who started it all, at least within the state. Initially committed to Oklahoma State, OU never stopped recruiting Draper and didn’t take long for the switch to occur. As of right now, remains the highest-ranked commit for the class and the No. 1-ranked player in the state.

OKC John Marshall DB Justin Broiles

Who knew Broiles had so much OU love? You never really got that impression during his junior season, but once the OU offer was made on Valentine’s Day weekend, things changed in a hurry. Broiles didn’t waste any time in committing three weeks later and has become the unofficial king of social media recruiter for the squad.

Tulsa Union CB Tre Brown

You knew Brown dreamed of being a Sooner. But would OU take him and Broiles? That answer was an emphatic yes. Brown has been a prospect to watch for more than two years now and is putting it all together. Not as boisterous, Brown is more reserved about everything but remains a key member to the group.

Tulsa Memorial DE/OLB Isaiah Thomas

Like Brown and Broiles, Thomas was offered Valentine’s Day weekend. It took more than three months for Thomas to know he was ready, but once he was, there was little doubt the choice would be OU. Thomas is the first commit for Calvin Thibodeaux and seems to be still growing and getting bigger with each month.

Shawnee C Creed Humphrey

The latest addition to the group. Humphrey was offered in April before eventually selecting Texas A&M in late June. After having a while to think about it, he said his heart was telling him to go back home to OU. Humphrey grew up a huge OU fan, and you can sort of see how relaxed and comfortable he feels with his decision.

And already with a 2018 five-star prospect in Brey Walker (Moore Southmoore), it’s clear OU isn’t about to slow down its recruiting in the state nor see its results diminish in any way.

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