The worst-kept secret is out, and Oklahoma has another major commitment to add to its impressive 2018 class.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back T.J. Pledger announced via Twitter on Saturday he has become the next member of OU’s #SavageTeam2K18.
Pledger, ranked No. 20 in the Scout 100 and No. 3 running back overall, released a top eight a couple of weeks ago, but the feeling among many has been the Sooners were the team to beat for at least a few months.
As long as Pledger made it to Norman this weekend, OU was going to walk away with its third Scout 100 prospect for the 2018 class.
Pledger did indeed arrive in Oklahoma, and the Sooners do have another key piece to the puzzle with three of their first five pledges being Scout 100 members.
"I love it here, everything about the school," Pledger told Scout's Greg Biggins. "Going in to the visit, I knew there was a good chance I could commit here but wanted my parents to love it too and they all fell in love with the place as well."
OU doesn’t offer a lot of running backs so any one of them could end up being the game-changer, but it started to feel around the fall heading into the winter that Pledger was indeed going to be that guy for OU in 2018.
Pledger has developed a great bond with running backs coach Jay Boulware, and OU continued to strike all the right notes despite Pledger’s transfer from California to IMG Academy.
"I built a great relationship with the coaching staff, that's what put them over the top for me," Pledger said. "I already visited once before and loved it so I knew what to expect. The offense, the RB tradition and my comfort level were all big reasons for committing. I won't be taking any other visits, I'm totally shutting it down and I'm 100 percent Sooner."
He joins Newbury Park (Calif.) High quarterback Cameron Rising and Moore (Okla.) Southmoore five-star offensive tackle Brey Walker as the other Scout 100 pledges for the Sooners.
Rising and Pledger played together on the same 7-on-7 team last weekend and tore it up on the west coast, leading Nicko Rising, Cameron’s father, to suggest it had been like they’ve been playing together for years.
They haven’t, but they might get that chance now with both of them committed to the Sooners. This shouldn’t be the only good news of the weekend for OU, either.
Tulsa (Okla.) Union three-star defensive tackle Jordan Kelley will announce Sunday afternoon between OU, Oklahoma State and TCU. Most feel Kelley will become the second Redskin to commit to OU for 2018, joining defensive Patrick Fields, who did the same thing three weeks ago.