It was an ambitious plan by Oklahoma for its second junior day of the 2018 cycle. The Sooners loaded up on Missouri high school prospects in January and that worked. This time around, OU was headed to Houston and hoping for an #HTownTakeover.
And it worked. OU was able to get every single top prospect in the area to make the trip to Norman that was expected to attend. If you judge junior days by commitments, then you’re scratching your head right now. But if you’ve realized recruiting has changed and commitments at junior day don’t measure success, you realize just how well Bob Stoops and staff did Sunday.
Allen (Texas) High’s Theo Wease and Richmond (Texas) Travis’ Arjei Henderson became the initial members of OU’s 2019 class when both tweeted at 1:20 p.m. CST to say they’re pledging to the Sooners.
It’s an incredibly long way toward the 2019 signing day, but OU has fully adapted to how the recruiting game is played now. Instead of fighting early commitments, the Sooners have realized you accept them now and do whatever you can to hold onto them going forward.
Wease is already a four-star prospect by Scout, and he is someone that top recruits in the Dallas Metroplex will gravitate toward going forward.
Henderson had 100 catches for 1,401 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore so you know bigger and better things are already expected from him.
Elsewhere, it was about offers. Three confirmed for 2018 and one for 2019.
Houston Cypress Falls CB Starrland Baldwin
A sleeper no more to use a recruiting term. Baldwin was impressive at the Houston Opening regional two weeks ago and now has his first Power 5 conference offer. Should be the first of many, but also OU has put in the work where this might be the only offer that matters. Baldwin said he had a fantastic time in Norman, loved the vibe and the energy that’s going on right now.
Tulsa (Okla.) Union DL Jordan Kelley
Back to in-state offers as well with Union’s Jordan Kelley. The Sooners have had a lot of time to evaluate him in the last 12 months, and Calvin Thibodeaux was ready to make the plunge. Kelley grew up an OU fan so that’s already a major plus for the Sooners. OU hasn’t been bashful about all the in-state offers at defensive line so expect the dominoes to start falling here soon.
Euless (Texas) Trinity DE Izaih Filikitonga
And yet another defensive lineman offered by Thibodeaux. Filikitonga has become a name to watch here in recent weeks, and it did feel like OU was going to be the next to make the leap. This is the difference of Year No. 1 for Thibodeaux vs. what’s going on now. He has a much better grasp of who is out there and the direction he wants to take the line. Filikitonga fits what he wants perfectly.
2019 Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus OL Justin Osborne
Once again, OU is trying to be ahead of the curve here. Osborne only has one other offer, SMU, but this is bound to change in the weeks and months ahead. If there’s one thing offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh knows how to do, it’s spot talent.
Two commits. Four offers and all of the top names making it to town. Only Carthage (Texas) High running Keaontay Ingram didn’t make the trip.
Some of the notable 2018 names that did:
*Tulsa Union S Patrick Fields (OU offer)
*Midwest City DE/OLB Jalen Redmond (OU offer)
*Manvel (Texas) High WR Jalen Preston (OU offer)
*Houston Alief Taylor WR Brennan Eagles (OU offer)
*Houston Heights CB Jalen Green (OU offer)
*Dallas Bishop Dunne DT Calvin Avery (OU offer)
(Sooners Illustrated will have updates with junior day visitors all this week)