This time a year ago, think pieces were written wondering if the Oklahoma Sooners had a problem on the recruiting trail. Fast forward to February of this year, and it was Brent Venables and his staff that had the last laugh, pulling in the No. 4 recruiting class according to the 247Sports composite.
One would think the way the 2023 recruiting cycle turned out, there would be a little more faith and a little more patience. But after Xadavien Sims committed to the Oregon Ducks, the same questions started to emerge about the Sooners on the recruiting trail.
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On June 1, 2022, the Oklahoma Sooners had four players committed to the 2023 recruiting class. one of those players was a holdover from the Lincoln Riley era, Joshua Bates. Another was Brent Venables’ first commitment, Jackson Arnold, who pledged to the Sooners in January of 2022. Of the four players committed to the Sooners, only Arnold was a four or five-star prospect. At the time, Arnold was still a four-star prospect in the cycle.
As things stand right now on May 23, 2023, the Oklahoma Sooners have six players committed to the 2024 recruiting cycle. Of those six players, four are blue-chip prospects;Zion Kearney, Jeremiah Newcombe, Jaydan Hardy, and Michael Hawkins.
Relative to the 2023 recruiting cycle, Oklahoma Sooners are ahead of schedule.
Take it a year further, and the Sooners 2025 class is way ahead of schedule with commitments from four-star prospects Kevin Sperry and Gracen Harris.
Brent Venables, his coaching staff, the scouts, and the on-campus recruiting team have proven in the year and a half in Norman that they can flat-out recruit. With two top-10 classes in two years and a top-five class in 2023, of that there is no doubt.
It’s certainly a bummer to miss out on a four-star defensive line prospect like Xadavien Sims. The kid is talented, which is why a pair of national championship-winning defensive coordinators like Brent Venables and Dan Lanning were pushing hard for his commitment. In particular, for Oklahoma, missing out on one of the top prospects in the state stings a bit.
But that doesn’t mean this staff can’t recruit. They’re still in a great place for 2024 five-star defensive linemen like David Stone and Williams Nwaneri, in addition to talented four-star prospects Nigel Smith and Joseph Jonah-Ajonye. They’ve also thrown their hat in the ring for five-star defensive lineman Dominick McKinley.
The Sooners have laid the groundwork to put together another top five class in the 2024 cycle. As we saw last summer, the Sooners are about to remind the college football world just how good they are at recruiting.
The summer months of June, July, and August brought in 15 commitments to the Oklahoma Sooners. With the Champ U BBQ right around the corner and Oklahoma targets taking their official visits elsewhere, look for the Sooners to begin reeling in commitments as they did a year ago.
Gear up. It’s going to be another busy summer.
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