It gets said every year because every year it’s true. Oklahoma cannot compete for a national championship with a recruiting class made up of kids from Oklahoma.
It can’t happen. No matter the desire and determination of some of those guys, it’s not a realistic proposition.
However, you can build one heck of a foundation by staying within the borders. And noticing them sooner rather than later has helped tremendously.
OU landed six signees for SoonerSquad17 from the state. Five of them earned Scout 300 status as the Sooners swept the board in that regard.
Here is the frightening part. As good as the group in the state for 2017 was, um, 2018 has a chance to be even more elite with more depth.
“But I’ve always said since I got here in ’99, though our numbers might not be high because of population, the players in Oklahoma can play anywhere in the country,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “The ability of so many of them we’ve signed over the years, not just the Heisman Trophy winners but the national award winners like Teddy Lehman, Jammal Brown, Gerald McCoy on and on and on where we’ve had some great players we recruited from the state of Oklahoma.
“We’ve been fortunate to get a great number of them. “
OU knows it. The Sooners have already made five offers in the 2018 class in the state to try to guarantee that once again they get a great number of them. Five offers by the start of February with perhaps even more to come down the road.
Moore (Okla.) Southmoore OT Brey Walker (committed to OU)
OU did the job here. Walker, a unanimous five-star prospect across the board, was someone offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh didn’t waste any time at all in building a relationship with. Walker has already been committed for more than a year and has one more year to go before it’s official. He’s not the vocal recruiter for the class, but he is the cornerstone. Walker hasn’t flinched about his commitment to OU and is only getting better as a player as he continues to grow.
Owasso (Okla.) High S Josh Proctor
All those offers and that’s without playing the majority of his junior season. Seriously, that’s how good Proctor is. He could be the state’s best safety since Steven Parker/Will Sunderland and some would say his ceiling is actually higher than both of those guys. Proctor’s first offer was from Kerry Cooks way back when in November 2015. Cooks was ahead of the curve on that one as a list of who’s who have been flocking to Owasso to get to know the Scout 100 prospect.
OKC Putnam City DE Ron Tatum
If Cooks was ahead of the curve with Proctor, you can say the same thing for defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux with Tatum. At the time of Tatum’s offer in late October, Kansas was the only other school that had reached out. Then January came and the likes of Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma State came calling. Those schools were right to get in now, but Thibodeaux has already beaten them to the punch and is doing a terrific job of trying to lock up another top in-state defensive lineman.
Tulsa (Okla.) Union S Patrick Fields
This one gets tricky. Could be a numbers game here. Fields was offered by OU at the #ChampUBBQ last July but another safety (Cameron Jones) is starting to feel like the favorite to join Proctor as OU’s top two targets at the position. Fields has a number of major offer so it’s not like he’s hurting in that regard. So question becomes whether Fields is safety, or more viewed as the jack-of-all-trades guy who could play corner, safety or nickel. His versatility is legit, no doubt there.
Midwest City (Okla.) DE/OLB Jalen Redmond
It almost felt like OU waited a little too long, but then again, sometimes constant contact and communication can trump an offer. Redmond has been on OU’s mind since spring and the offer was made two weeks ago. Other schools beat OU to the punch but none of them have anywhere close to the relationship the Sooners have with Redmond. Take Monday night, for example. Redmond on hand to watch Bedlam basketball, and who’s sitting next to him all game? Recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy. Yep, OU is still doing everything right.