A quick look at Oklahoma’s top 2019 targets

Plenty of elite receivers are on Oklahoma’s radar, but OU could do well in a number of areas in the 2019 recruiting cycle.

After years of falling short of expectations on the recruiting trail, the Oklahoma Sooners have signed consecutive top-10 classes for the first time since signing three in a row from 2008-10. The level of talent is clearly on the rise, but the most exciting part about all of this is that the 2019 class could potentially be OU’s best in over a decade. This class as a whole has a higher number of elite prospects than we’ve seen in years past. Fortunately, Oklahoma is in the race for dozens of them.

Oklahoma already has five current commitments – including four from blue-chip offensive prospects – and appears to be in great shape to add to that total in the near future. The receiver position looks especially promising, as Oklahoma seems to be in the running for every elite prospect at the position. There’s also plenty of promise as far as DB prospects are concerned.

Many of these guys will be at Oklahoma’s Junior Day this weekend (or were in attendance at last month’s event) and could choose to head to Norman for one of their five official visits as early as this spring.

Quarterback

Spencer Rattler – Phoenix (AZ) Pinnacle (current commit): Rattler is about as physically gifted as any QB prospect Oklahoma has recruited in recent years. He’s a phenomenal athlete who operates very well both inside and outside of the pocket, but his arm talent is what truly stands out. His release is incredibly quick, which allows him to time his throws better than most QBs out there. He put all of this talent to use as a junior in 2017, throwing for 3,946 yards and 45 touchdowns en route to All-State honors. On top of that, Rattler is a standout basketball player who does stuff like this.

If the Sooners can hang on to him (there’s no indication that they won’t), the nation’s No. 31 overall player and No. 1 pro-style QB will be Oklahoma’s highest-rated QB signee since (GASP!!!) Rhett Bomar. That name doesn’t exactly inspire good vibes, but it’s a pretty strong indicator of how prized of he happens to be.


Running Back

With OU losing Abdul Adams this offseason, potentially losing two backs next offseason (if Rodney Anderson declares) and only signing one in 2018, it’s reasonable to expect OU to take at least two – and maybe even three – at the running back spot.

Isaiah Spiller – Spring (TX) Klein Collins (current commit): Oklahoma’s already on the board with one commitment at the position, and Spiller is a great start. The nation’s No. 15 running back prospect is patient, has good vision and makes great cuts (kind of similar to Trey Sermon in that regard, but not as big), but his straight-line speed is also impressive. It’s no real surprise that he succeeds on the track.

Trey Sanders – IMG Academy – Yep, Oklahoma has its sights set on the No. 1 running back in the country in Sanders. The former Alabama commit is still high on the Tide and is being pursued heavily by Florida, State, Georgia, Texas… you get the picture. Oklahoma has an awful lot to sell to a prospective running back, but securing a signature from this kid would be a monumental achievement.

Marcus Major – Oklahoma City (OK) Millwood: Major switched to running back for Millwood last season and really turned some heads, rushing for over 1,000 yards on only 100 carries while also being a serious recieving threat. A Memphis offer came just after the season concluded, which was followed by offers from Arkansas and Iowa State. Oklahoma was impressed enough by what he has to offer and extended an offer of their own on Jan. 30, which was followed by a pair of offers from Texas and Michigan the very next day.

Major is currently unranked by many of the recruiting services, but expect that to change very quickly as it appears that the secret is out.

Noah Cain – IMG Academy: Cain has been to Norman on multiple occasions, but OU seems to be lagging behind the leaders at this point.


Wide Receiver

The wide receiver class in the state of Texas is incredible in 2019 and OU seems to be in the race for all of the big names. This is why OU felt it best to let former 2018 commit and current SMU signee Treveon Johnson pursue other options.

Trejan Bridges – Carrolton (TX) Hebron: Bridges was already a highly-touted prospect when he committed to the Sooners back in September, but his stock is only rising. In addition to climbing in the 247Composite rankings, Bridges is receiving plenty of attention from the big dogs in the recruiting game. Nick Saban came to visit him at his school earlier in the month and brought an offer in tow. Ohio State followed suit by offering several days later.

Theo Wease – Allen (TX): OU fans are familiar with Wease, a player who committed to Oklahoma at last year’s February Junior Day before backing off to reevaluate things a couple of months later. The Sooners have been squarely in the mix for the nation’s No. 3 WR ever since and recently made his top 7. Texas A&M has surged lately after a Junior Day visit and will be tough to beat, but Oklahoma will have plenty of opportunities to swing the momentum back in its favor (beginning with their own event on Feb. 17). If the Sooners can eventually pull it off, they’ll be getting a player who excels in a number of areas but is particularly adept at hauling in the jump ball.

Jadon Haselwood – Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove (Georgia commit): Haselwood has been committed to UGA for nearly a year, but the Sooners have something working strongly in their favor. The nation’s No. 1 receiver and No. 3 overall prospect is the son of an OU grad and grew up rooting for the Sooners from afar, which is something that is keeping OU squarely in the hunt.

Arjei Henderson – Richmond (TX) Fort Bend Travis: If you remember Theo Wease, you also remember Arjei Henderson. These two committed simultaneously last February and backed off in April only to keep the Sooners on their radar for the long haul. Henderson announced last month that OU will be receiving one of his official visits this spring.

Others: Garrett Wilson received an offer from OU last month and is expected to be in Norman this weekend. Millwood senior-to-be Demariyon Houston was at OU’s January Junior Day. Jalen Curry has been a big name for a while and hasn’t shut the door on Oklahoma.


Tight End/H-Back

Austin Stogner – Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian (current commit): He’s 6’6”. He’s athletic. He’s at about 230 right now and will definitely add to that. Yep, the nation’s No. 3 TE has got a bit of Mark Andrews to him.

Others: Keon Zipperer


Offensive Line

After adding a pair of elite freshman tackles in 2018, look for guard to be a major emphasis in this class.

EJ Ndoma-Ogar – Allen (TX): The nation’s No. 7 guard is a teammate of Theo Wease and is receiving quite a bit of attention of his own. This one’s looking like an OU-Texas battle early, but Alabama has also entered the race.

Evan Neal – IMG Academy: The Nation’s No. 3 guard is high on the Sooners, but as is always the case with most IMG prospects, this is a national battle. Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Miami and a host of others are trying hard to earn a signature.

Tyler Johnson – Conroe (TX) Oak Ridge: One of the top OT prospects in the country is right in the sights of Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M. This will be an interesting battle to watch.

Kenyon Green – Humble (TX) Atascosita: The No. 1 player in the state of Texas decommitted from LSU back in December and plans to be in Norman for Junior Day. Texas A&M is the favorite at the moment.

Others: Jack Buford plans to be in Norman this weekend for Junior Day. OT Xavier Truss is a intriguing prospect from Rhode Island who received an offer a couple of weeks ago. Stacey Wilkins and Marist Talavou are a couple of others to keep an eye on.


Defensive End

After their huge 2018 DE haul, the Sooners are aiming high once again in 2019.

Kayvon Thibodeaux – Thousand Oaks (CA) Oaks Christian: Considered by many to be the top prospect in the 2019 class, Thibodeaux can pretty much go wherever he wants. According to one of his recent blog posts, his recruitment is pretty open at the moment. However, he does plan to release a top 10 in the near future and plans on committing at the 2019 Army All-American Bowl.

Marcus Stripling – Houston (TX) Mayde Creek: There’s been plenty of OU-related activity of his Twitter feed coming from his Twitter account for quite some time and has included the Sooners in his list of top schools. He’s also expected to be at Oklahoma’s Junior Day.

Marcus Hicks – Wichita (KS) Northwest: Whenever OU sets its sights on a player from Kansas, they typically come out on top (Blake Bell, Geneo Grissom, Justin McCay and Amani Bledsoe for example). That appears to be the case once again as OU is definitely the heavy favorite to land the four-star DE. Hicks also has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Texas.

Others: Putnam City HS DE Collin Clay is a local prospect who has not yet received an offer but is beginning to make a name for himself, and the same goes for Norman North’s Cole Mashburn. NaNa Osafo-Mensah recently included the Sooners in his top 10. Kori Roberson is an under-the-radar guy who is expected to be in Norman this weekend after being offered earlier this month.


Defensive Tackle

There isn’t a huge need at DT for Oklahoma in 2019, but Oklahoma will likely add one more guy to go along with its current commit.

Derek Green – Jacksonville (NC) Southwest (current commit): Green is Oklahoma’s lone, current defensive commit of the 2019 class and is someone who has flown under the radar to some extent. He has, however, picked up offers from Georgia and Tennessee since committing to OU back in November.

Carl Williams – Lufkin (TX): Like Green, Williams is a big, strong kid who can be a major presence in the middle. He received an OU off back in May and visited unofficially in November.

Sua’ava Poti – Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco: Poti is a quick and explosive player who could be used in a number of ways along the defensive line. Potentially pulling him out of the Pac-12 footprint will be a tough task.


Linebacker

Oklahoma did a decent job down the stretch with linebacker recruiting in 2018, but it’ll be important to add more quality depth for a position which has lacked just that recent years.

Shammond Cooper – St. Louis (MO) Trinity Catholic: Oklahoma appears to be building a legit pipeline from St. Louis after earning signatures from elite defensive linemen Ronnie Perkins and Michael Thompson in 2018, as Cooper looks like an OU lean himself. The nation’s No. 6 inside linebacker prospect isn’t a huge kid at the moment, but’s there’s plenty of room for is 190-pound body to grow.

Jonathan Perkins – San Bernardino (CA) Cajon: Perkins was a teammate of former 2018 target Jeremiah Martin, and a relationship with OU’s staff has been there for a while. The four-star OLB was once committed to UCLA but is now quite fond of the Sooners, which is due in part to his family’s connection to the state. He’s expected to be in Norman for Junior Day.

Marcel Brooks – Flower Mound (TX) Marcus: The nation’s No. 7 outside linebacker was in Norman last month for one of OU’s Junior Days and has held an offer since last May. OU, Texas and Alabama are the major players here.


Cornerback

Erick Young – Richmond (TX) Fort Bend Bush: Young received an OU offer a couple of weeks ago and is expected to be in Norman this coming weekend. The nation’s No. 12 corner has the size (6’1”, 195) and physicality to hang with pretty much any reciever an offense throws at him.

Chris Steele – Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco: The five-star corner has never been shy about his fondness for Oklahoma. It’s tough to convince a Southern California kid to leave home when USC wants him to stay, but OU and Texas are making a real run at it. He’s scheduled to visit OU for the Spring Game.

Others: Max Williams and Oklahoma have each other in their sights, but hometown USC is the favorite. Marquez Beason is being recruited as a WR by some but would make a great CB at OU.


Safety

There’s a good amount of uncertainty at Oklahoma as far as the safety positions are concerned. It’ll be important for Oklahoma to land some elite talent in this cycle, but there is no shortage of candidates.

Jalen Catalon – Mansfield (TX) Legacy: This looking like a national battle for the four-star safety’s services, as Clemson and Ohio State are real players along with OU and Texas. He’s a very natural safety with fantastic insticts – part of which could be due to the fact that he’s also a standout QB.

Daxton Hill – Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington: Do the name and high school sound familiar? Daxton Hill is the brother of Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, and athleticism certainly runs in that family. Because of that relationship, OU will have a tough time keeping him away from Stillwater. On top of that, the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama and Texas are trying to convince the five-star safety to leave the state.

Jalani Williams – St. Louis (MO) Parkway North: The high school teammate of Michael Thompson has taken a liking to the Sooners. After receiving an offer last month, Williams is expected to be in Norman this weekend for Junior Day.

Others: Jamal Morris received an OU offer last month and has received several high-profile offers since then.


Athlete

Isaiah Williams – St. Louis (MO) Trinity Catholic: Will he be a receiver? Will he play corner? The five-star prospect is just an incredible football player, and OU has a real chance to eventually sign him.

Jashon Watkins – Nashville (TN) East Nashville Magnet School: Recognize the name of that school? If you do, it’s because Jacob Phillips went there. Hopefully Oklahoma will have better fortune with this talented athlete who will likely find a home in the secondary if he picks the Sooners.

Source: Crimson and Cream Machine

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