Oklahoma has pretty much always been seen as an elite program under Bob Stoops. But it went through a bit of a recruiting dip with its 2013 and 2014 classes.
In that span, just 16 of 52 prospects were rated four- or five-stars on the 247Sports Composite. A mark of 31 percent won’t get it done, as national champions bring in 50 percent or more blue chips per class.
While OU’s percentage over the last two classes has risen substantially, to 43 percent, it’s the 2017 class that is truly showing the Sooners’ improvement. Oklahoma has 12 four-stars and just six three-stars committed so far. That’s a big difference. It is still early, but OU has by far the best class in the Big 12.
The Sooners are benefiting from coaches at Texas and Texas A&M being on the hot seat. While those two programs look shaky, Oklahoma seems stable.
If either Texas power has a strong year, the Sooners’ advantage in Texas will likely decrease a bit. But right now, Bob Stoops and company are taking advantage. They’ve already got six four- and five-stars from Texas.
OU has had a big week. From Sooners blog Crimson and Cream Machine:
Kenneth Murray is OU’s third commitment in four days, joining 2017 four-star center Creed Humphrey (committed Monday) and 2018 four-star quarterback Cameron Rising (committed Sunday). The recruiting momentum that seems to be building in Norman is sure to help the morale of a fan base that has seen a lot of near misses on the trail in the last five-plus years.
Murray is a three-star linebacker from Texas. Humphrey is from Oklahoma, and Rising is from California. Even if every player the Sooners get doesn’t come from the Lone Star State, that they’re out-recruiting their neighbors is a big deal.
While Oklahoma fans celebrate, Texas A&M fans weep. Humphrey was an A&M commitment before he flipped to the Sooners. Four-star linebacker Devodrick Johnson also decommitted Monday and could be headed to Texas.
Season results rarely change things all that much in recruiting. Still, in a year in which Oklahoma has six Texas blue chips and the Longhorns and Aggies have a combined seven, it’s going to matter a lot.
I wrote about ranking coaches who are asked to do different things with different expectations. Recruiting factors in heavily.
Four-star cornerback Jamyest Williams will be making his college choice soon, and I expect him to choose South Carolina. The Gamecocks staff is pitching the 5’9 Williams on turning the program around and being a centerpiece of the defense. He has a much better chance at early playing time there than at Clemson or Georgia.
In other LSU news, defensive tackle Travonte Valentine might finally be eligible. A member of the 2014 class, Valentine is one of the most talented nose guards to come out of high school in the last half-decade. And this is important because one of LSU’s better defensive linemen tore his ACL in practice.
Bill Connelly previewed Georgia, and I see a roster with very few seniors that could be even more talented and experienced when 2017 rolls around.