Starrland Baldwin Jr. (© Greg Powers)

Sooner Intel: OU's #ST2K18 class at a glance

Intel returns trying to make sense of OU's 2018 class and where its recruiting efforts for #ST2K18 stand right now.

The Sooner Intel, created by Bob Przybylo in 2011, is an inside look into Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting and is solely for Sooners Illustrated subscribers. It is a sneak peek into what’s happening with OU recruiting and is not to be distributed anywhere else.

Oklahoma enters the spring evaluation period with six commits for the 2018 class as #SavageTeam2K18 has landed three in the Scout 150.

That’s good. There has been some bad as well. But the point of this is to get a feel of exactly who OU fans should be pretty pumped about and who you might start to realize is never going to be a Sooner.

Basing this off the idea there will be 22-24 signees for 2018.

Committed (6)

There’s nothing to watch at the moment with Walker, Pledger, Fields and Kelley. Fields has taken the role of being the vocal leader of the class, and we’ll see how that pans out.

The two to watch are Rising and Austin. Rising hasn’t said much since his visit to OU two weeks ago and his trip to Texas last week. Maybe silence isn’t that bad, though. Maybe nothing is being said because nothing needs to be said. Perhaps he’s always been solid to OU despite these trips and because nothing has changed doesn’t feel the need to address it. Perhaps.

Then there’s Austin. No doubt he wants to be a Sooner. He absolutely wants to follow in Dakota’s footsteps and play at Owen Field. Will he survive the class is the question? He’ll need to show he’s fully recovered from his torn ACL and is an even better player than before.

Locks (or as much as one can be) (6)

It’s just hard to see this not going OU’s way. He’s releasing a top five Friday, and there’s no doubt the Sooners will be in it. Multiple trips to Norman during the spring just seem to reaffirm how well the Sooners are doing here.

The Nebraska visit was a major one, but OU has been there since the start, since before he even had any film to send out. The Sooners have done things correctly here, and it should pay off all in due time. Have to lock down the in-state offers.

Still there standing as a lock but also waiting for that next move by Baldwin. The euphoria seems to have died down from OU being his first major offer, but he doesn’t seem to have lost any love for OU so maybe it’s just a waiting game.

Classified as a safety, this Texas Tech commit is being viewed as a receiver for the Sooners. He didn’t make the spring game so nothing materialized there. If he can make it to Norman sooner than later, expect the flip. Longer the wait, though, could become dicey.

You still watch offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and you still see the incredible lack of offensive tackle offers. As long as that’s the case, OU fans should rest easy. Sooners made Simpson’s final eight last week, but you sort of want this one to be done as fast as possible.

Where did he come from? Credit to Scout’s Corey Bender for the update two weeks ago. Seems like as long as OU can get Edwards to campus here soon, the commitment is essentially guaranteed. Good news in the secondary would be very much welcomed right now.

Looking good (5)

McKinney was among OU’s first offers at offensive tackle even though he’s a junior college kid. He has already set his OU official for June 2-4 since juco kids can visit during the summer. There’s a lot to like for OU at this time.

This is venturing close to that Darrell Simpson spot where you’re starting to wonder if something is missing after all these OU trips the family has made because they’ve made a ton. It would be big shot in the arm for Tim Kish to get someone like Orji.

Emery’s recruitment has gone through a world of change since the OU visit for junior day. Calvin Thibodeaux must prioritize Emery this spring and think it will all work out. He wants to be done before summer, give him a reason to make that jump.

Again, hard to gauge when Brown isn’t very active on social media and isn’t very active in making trips or participating in camps. OU has felt like the clear leader for a while, but stress that fact it was a while ago since anything concrete had been released about Brown.

You can tell me Boykin is going to stay closer to home and won’t argue. But if OU wants Boykin and Boykin is serious about the Sooners, it does feel like this one will eventually align up. Parnell Motley and Abdul Adams could help OU’s chances here.

Work to be done

Obviously. We’ve discussed this like crazy this week. Will Kerry Cooks keep calling? Will Proctor keep listening? Nothing we can answer on April 21.

Can’t see why OU would pass up on Trout, but who knows exactly what OU is thinking right now with defensive line recruiting?

OU can get Perkins, but it’s going to have put forth the push to make it happen. A defensive end trio of Tatum, Emery and Perkins would be elite as it gets for OU.

Strong feeling OU can close the gap with spring visits or with a trip from Bush during the early summer. The Sooners have tough competition, especially from Baylor, so will be about the work that is put in.

Who knows?

*Is Izaiah Filikitonga’s offer committable at this point?

*Would OU use a scholarship on Drake Stoops? Or hope he accepts a walk-on spot? Is there a slot option outside of Stoops?

*Does OU really feel need for second running back?

*Will Curtis Dunlap give OU a fighting chance despite not being near the ocean for an oceanography degree?

2018 class as of April 21

QB – Cameron Rising

RB – T.J. Pledger

H-Back – Vernon Jackson (?)

WR – Tommy Bush, Treveon Johnson, Drake Stoops (?)

OT – Brey Walker, Darrell Simpson, Anthony McKinney

OG – Curtis Dunlap (?)

DE – Ron Tatum, Miles Emery, Ronnie Perkins (?)

DT – Jordan Kelley, Bobby Brown, Trevor Trout (?)

OLB – Jalen Redmond, ???

ILB – Alston Orji, ???

CB – Miguel Edwards, Starrland Baldwin, Noah Boykin (?)

S/NB – Patrick Fields, Jordon Austin, ???

Not exactly a set-in stone picture there. If OU hit on all the question marks in parentheses, that’s a 23-member class. But do think like if OU doesn’t take an H-Back, then it makes sure it takes another linebacker or something of that nature.

No worries at quarterback, running back and offensive line at this moment.

Linebacker is where you’re still scratching your head because just not a lot of realistic targets right now. OU has made offers, just don’t see them mattering yet.

Wide receiver is in a bit of a rut, but Dennis Simmons and Cale Gundy should strike gold somewhere based on track record.  

Defensive line has so many options but will be more about a numbers crunch and Calvin Thibodeaux closing the deals on some highly coveted kids.

Secondary has seen Cooks swing-and-miss with some major targets. He’s not discouraged but has to hit on some of these recent guys and maybe win back Proctor to solidify the class.

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