Oklahoma recruiting: Sooners put 2018 class to bed and look to future

Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we look back on National Signing Day and the completion of the Sooners’ 2018 class.

Where Oklahoma’s class ranks

The Sooners signed their final recruits for the 2018 class on Wednesday, adding 4-star defensive tackle Michael Thompson, 4-star linebacker DaShaun White and 3-star tight end Brayden Willis. With 22 signees, the Sooners finished at No. 9 in the 247Sports composite ranking. Oklahoma finished behind Texas (No. 3 nationally) for the Big 12’s top spot.

The Sooners’ 22 signees include one 5-star prospect and 12 4-star prospects. Five of those 4-star players enrolled at Oklahoma in January.

The latest news

National Signing Day was a mixed day for Oklahoma. White and Willis committed during January and signed as expected. The addition of Thompson was the lone Signing Day decision that went the Sooners’ way. They missed out on 4-star offensive guard Tank Jenkins, and 3-star defensive tackle opted for Texas on Tuesday.

Missing out on another coveted offensive lineman and more help on the defensive line was a bit anticlimactic for a program that’s steadily built recruiting momentum over the last two years.

The decision to leave at least three scholarships open was a byproduct of that momentum. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley estimated the Sooners staff has spent 80-90 percent of their recruiting time since the Rose Bowl on the 2019, 2020 and 2021 classes.

To illustrate how quickly the Sooners moved on, they’ve already sent offers to 120 prospects in the 2019 class. On Feb. 17, Oklahoma is planning an enormous “junior day” to run in conjunction with the Sooners basketball game against Texas.

“Obviously, these recruits have seen OU plastered all over their TVs for the last several months. We’ve been one of the most talked about programs and teams in the country,” Riley said on Wednesday. “To get out there and recruit from coast to coast and let us see them and they see us was very important. I feel like we’re quite a bit ahead compared to this time last year.”

• Oklahoma mailbag: Were Sooners wise to hold scholarships for 2019?

• Grading the Sooners’ 2018 recruiting class after National Signing Day

• Oklahoma 2018 recruiting rankings: Where the Sooners class ranks nationally, in conference

• Oklahoma 2018 recruiting rankings: Where the Sooners class ranks nationally, in conference

• Oklahoma recruiting: Sooners have space for graduate transfers

• Grading Big 12 recruiting: Conference boasts solid gains across board

• What Lincoln Riley said on National Signing Day

• Postseason game, hometown ties led 4-star DT Michael Thompson to Oklahoma

• ESPN analyst praises Oklahoma for defensive recruiting efforts 

• Oklahoma recruiting: Defensive line is the key to Sooners class

• Oklahoma mailbag: Who are the most underrated players in the Sooners 2018 class

• Signee 101: Get to know 4-star Oklahoma linebacker DaShaun White

• Signee 101: Get to know 3-star Oklahoma tight end Brayden Willis

• Oklahoma recruiting: Elite safety is missing ingredient in Sooners class 

• Oklahoma recruiting: All of the Sooners’ 2018 de-commitments

• Rivals analyst names Oklahoma commit as defensive back with most NFL potential

Signees

OL Brey Walker, 5 stars, Westmoore (Oklahoma City)
CB Brendan Radley-Hiles, 4 stars, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
DT Michael Thompson, 4 stars, Parkway North (St. Louis)
DE Ronnie Perkins, 4 stars, Lutheran North (St. Louis)
RB T.J. Pledger, 4 stars, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
DE Ron Tatum, 4 stars, Putnam City (Oklahoma City)
DE Jalen Redmond, 4 stars, Midwest City (Oklahoma City)
WR Jaquayln Crawford, 4 stars, Rockdale (Texas)
LB DaShaun White, 4 stars, Richland (North Richland Hills, Texas)
LB Nik Bonitto, 4 stars, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
OL Tramonda Moore, 4 stars, Independence (Kan.) Community College
T Darrell Simpson, 4 stars, Northwest (Justin, Texas)
QB Tanner Mordecai, 4 stars, Midway (Waco, Texas)
CB Miguel Edwards, 3 stars, Deerfield Beach (Fla.)
WR Jaylon Robinson, 3 stars, All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth, Texas)
LB Brian Asamoah, 3 stars, St. Francis DeSales (Columbus, Ohio)
WR Kundarrius Taylor, 3 stars, Ridgeway (Memphis, Tenn.)
CB Starrland Baldwin, 3 stars, Cy Falls (Houston)
DT Jordan Kelley, 3 stars, Union (Tulsa, Okla.)
S Patrick Fields, 3 stars, Union (Tulsa, Okla.)
S Delarrin Turner-Yell, 3 stars, Hempstead (Texas)
TE Brayden Willis, 3 stars, James Martin (Arlington, Texas)

Position breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of the number of signees by position and how many were projected to be signed in the class:

QB: 1/1 (Mordecai)
RB: 2/2 (Pledger, Thomas)
OL: 3/4 (Walker, Moore, Simpson)
WR: 4/5 (Crawford, Johnson, Taylor, Johnson)
TE: 1/1 (Willis)
DL: 4/5 (Perkins, Redmond, Tatum, Kelly, Thompson)
ILB: 1/1 (White)
OLB: 2/2 (Asamoah, Bonitto)
CB: 3/3 (Radley-Hiles, Austin, Baldwin)
S: 3/4 (Fields, Edwards, Turner-Yell)

Geographical breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of Oklahoma signees/commits by state:

Texas: 8 (Crawford, Mordecai, Robinson, Baldwin, Simpson, Turner-Yell, White, Willis)
Oklahoma: 5 (Walker, Tatum, Redmond, Moore, Kelly, Fields)
California: 4 (Edwards, Bonitto, Pledger, Radley-Hiles)
Ohio: 1 (Asamoah)
Missouri: 2 (Thompson, Perkins)
Tennessee: 1 (Taylor)

Miss a previous edition of Wagon Wheels? Get caught up here.

The post Oklahoma recruiting: Sooners put 2018 class to bed and look to future appeared first on Diehards.

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