Exploring (OU) early transfer options
If we were to examine the transfer portal options for Oklahoma next week or in two weeks, there’s a strong chance the names posted here won’t be there.
And that’s really the toughest reality that has to set in is that head coach Lincoln Riley is not going to make a rush-rush decision. OU doesn’t need a bevy of transfers to come in, just a select few that can to what feels like a championship-caliber 2021 team.
A very rough, early draft of who could potentially make sense for OU.
Even this feel-good story doesn’t make that much sense when it comes to OU. Wilson, a Del City (Okla.) High prospect, is looking for one more year, after being at Oregon and Kentucky. It’s just hard to see if playing third fiddle to Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams would be what Wilson wants to do.
Riley said last week he remembers OU going through the 2016 season with only two scholarship quarterbacks in starter Baker Mayfield and freshman Austin Kendall, so he’s already putting it out there about just having two scholarship guys for 2021, if that’s what happens.
The reality of this one might be OU searching for a walk-on to be there for depth purposes, and learning under Riley would have to be enough for that particular player.
Here’s another truth of the matter scenario. Do you feel that either of these options are any better than T.J. Pledger, who announced he was entering the portal just days after OU’s victory in the Big 12 championship?
Most of the time, you want 5-6 scholarship running backs because it only takes one or two injuries for everything to get thrown off.
As is, OU could be entering the spring with just three scholarship backs in a returning Kennedy Brooks and freshmen Marcus Major and Seth McGowan.
Rhamondre Stevenson has not announced as of Thursday morning if he’s staying or leaving for the NFL Draft, and OU was unable to secure five-star running back Camar Wheaton for the 2021 class.
A running back is necessary, but it can’t be just to fill up a depth chart as Riley has brought up repeatedly in the last month.
You want the ultimate hypothetical? This would be it. Milton has not declared for the transfer portal, and it’s not even a slam dunk proposition that that’s what he will do. Maybe more wishing from OU fans than anything concrete.
But if he did, the Sooners would jump right in there. OU recruited Milton for a long time for the 2020 class before backing off. A second chance to make things right?
Wide receiver/Tight end
This is the beauty of the portal right here. On one hand, you have a two-star recruit in Walker who played way above his ranking at San Jose State. Then on the other, you have arguably the most sought-after tight end in rankings history in Gilbert.
Tight end is not a need for OU, but you don’t pass up Gilbert if you can make a real strong push for him. And Walker’s production fits what OU needs right now. Not potential, but production.
Despite all five-stars in that room, OU’s leading receiver in the Big 12 championship win was Stevenson, and the leading receiver in the Cotton Bowl victory was McGowan.
OU has shown early interest in Walker, while the Sooners were knocking on the door with Gilbert’s first recruitment and will do what they can this time around as well.
This is the position to circle, absolutely. OU missed out on Tristan Leigh and Bryce Foster in recruiting, and Adrian Ealy surprised some by announcing he was leaving for the NFL Draft.
Wright has not entered his name in the portal although the whispers are there every day about him thinking about leaving Tennessee.
Bill Bedenbaugh has done OK in this regard the last two seasons. R.J. Proctor became a key member for OU’s 2019 playoff team, and Chris Murray feels like he’s going to take over at center for the Sooners in 2021.
Bedenbaugh has earned that reputation, but this might be the offseason where it’s needed more than any. OU has to find a quality tackle, and it’s debatable if one is out there at this moment. So it’s playing the hypothetical game and seeing if Wright will enter.
The secondary saw a couple of early declarations from Tre Brown and Tre Norwood. Brown felt like a shoo-in based on the way he prepared for the 2020 season, but Norwood was another one that caught people off guard.
Dunn entered the portal and committee to North Carolina State but is currently committed to Texas. The Sooners have shown early interest, will it go beyond that?
Rutherford was a big target for OU in the 2019 class, but the old regime that wanted him so badly is not in Norman anymore. Does he fit what Alex Grinch and Roy Manning want to do in the secondary?
Like offensive tackle, it’s going to be imperative for OU to find at least one quality transfer at defensive back.