Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has done a tremendous job in assembling his group for the 2017 class, and he added another major piece Thursday.
Gonzales (La.) East Ascension four-star tackle Adrian Ealy became the latest member to join OU’s highly touted SoonerSquad17 and the first offensive tackle.
Ealy is listed at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, and he was someone who was coveted nationwide at this time last year. The Sooners kept hanging around and hanging around until it reached a point where OU became the clear-cut favorite heading into the fall.
The addition of Ealy is huge for a number of reasons. Although OU is set at offensive tackle for 2017 with Orlando Brown and Bobby Evans returning, you always need depth, always need to reload that position so you don’t need to regroup later.
With Ealy in the fold, OU fans should absolutely temper their expectations about Aledo (Texas) High tackle Chuck Filiaga. Down to OU, Michigan and Nebraska, Filiaga seems poised to pick the Wolverines at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
And that’s OK. It’s like a trade of one Scout 300 prospect for another. Ealy is ranked No. 218 right now in the Scout 300 and is OU’s 17th pledge to make that cut for the 2017 class.
It should also help open the door for Austin (Texas) Westlake’s Stephan Zabie. A four-star prospect in his own right, Zabie was unable to play this season because of an eligibility issue.
He did nothing illegal, just things got lost in translation following a transfer when he was younger. He only has one year of football under his belt, which might make him perfect for OU in terms of redshirting next year and developing as a player and developing his body.
Zabie should make his choice later this month, and the Sooners, because of Bedenbaugh, appear to be in that driver’s seat.
Bedenbaugh can go all-in for Zabie because he knows he already has Ealy in the bag. Ealy was considered one of the top prospects in Louisiana heading into his senior season, and he certainly did not disappoint.
At one point, LSU seemed to be in the mix. Then Miami was hot after Ealy. December saw Arizona and Kansas come around. But the Sooners were out in front ever since his official visit to Norman in September.
Originally considering being a mid-year enrollee, Ealy told Sooners Illustrated on Thursday he will no longer do that and has opted to enjoy the rest of his senior year at East Ascension.
OU has 12 mid-year enrollees, who will begin arriving on campus next week. Ealy will have to wait until later, but he said that’s OK.
It’s another win for Bedenbaugh as Ealy has no ties to OU except what has developed in the last year as OU continues to try to hit The Boot time and time again.
OU began the week with a bang in Louisiana with the Sugar Bowl win vs. Auburn and ends it with one as well with Ealy’s pledge.