This Oklahoma football recruiting National Signing Day preview is provided by Jordan Esco of Crimson and Cream Machine. For more on Oklahoma recruiting visit Crimson and Cream Machine. Looking for National Signing Day coverage of other teams or recruits? Head to SB Nation College Football Recruiting.
National Signing Day will be some degree of crazy for teams all across the country, but the Oklahoma Sooners got a preview of said craziness on Monday. The first of several developments came when tight end Sam Grant very quietly let it be known that he had verbally committed to Oklahoma after many expected Michigan to be the choice. Grant was never one for many interviews during the process, so few people knew where he was leaning, so his commitment came out of left field.
Then the Sooners were waiting on announcements from two of their remaining targets that took place almost simultaneously. Cornerback Zack Sanchez announced via his Twitter account "Officially a Oklahoma Sooner!!!" just minutes before five-star OT Zach Banner, on a live webcast mind you (oh, technology!), disappointed some OU fans who had held out hope that USC would not be the choice (it was).
As for Wednesday, well, quite simply it's the busiest day of the year for anyone who follows recruiting. Nothing is official until that LOI is received by the player's school of choice, and to OU's credit, they do an outstanding job every year of constantly updating their live page and will even host a live webcast featuring pretty much all the OU coaches. We'll definitely have you covered here, but if you can multi-task would definitely encourage you to check out the quality work SoonerSports.com puts in every year.
After the jump, we'll give you a breakdown of the known announcement times of OU commits and remaining targets so you can plan your Wednesday accordingly.
Here is a list of announcement times that has been confirmed thus far:
- Gary Simon: 9 a.m.
- Courtney Gardner: 11 a.m.
- Nelson Agholor: 11:05 a.m.
- Damien Williams - unknown at this time
- Michael Onuoha - unknown at this time
At this point, there aren't any expected bad outcomes (think Cooper Washington last year). There has been some talk that Mizzou is pushing hard on Durron Neal, but that's nothing new, and Neal has been adamant that he's OU all the way.
Now of the potential good news variety, I think there could be several instances. Gary Simon is all but expected to choose Oklahoma Wednesday morning. There has been talk ever since his visit last weekend that Courtney Gardner has essentially committed to OU (Zack Sanchez let it slip in a radio interview as well), but the young man wants to enjoy his moment on Wednesday, and he should have the chance to do so. That said, we'll go out on a limb (uh, not so much) and say OU will very, very likely be adding to their already No. 1 WR class.
Damien Williams has said it's down to OU and Texas Tech, and the talk, even from Tech people, is that if it's not Oklahoma, everyone would be very surprised. Which, if true, could possibly be one of the best JUCO classes in a long time when you look at OU potentially landing the No. 1 O-lineman, the No. 2 WR, the No. 3 RB, the No. 4 DB, the No. 6 DE, and the best blocking TE. Wow!
Finally, there are some whispers out there that Nelson Agholor to OU isn't as ridiculous as once believed. He has developed a real friendship with several OU players, including Oklahoma's best recruiting asset - the Cali Trio, and some think that could potentially sway his decision. We're not going to predict he "shocks the world" on Wednesday and chooses OU, but his decision will definitely be one we're watching with great interest.
Then you also have Davonte Neal, who won't be deciding until after NSD. OU is in on because of Neal's connection to new LB coach Tim Kish. There has been some talk that if OU can get him to campus a chance of a commitment would be very high. Neal only has one official visit remaining, and it's currently scheduled for in-state Arizona, but we've heard some talk that might not be happening now.