Sooners set off their own fireworks
Not sure if Oklahoma is ever going to duplicate the feeling the fans had last Fourth of July when cornerstones of the 2021 class, quarterback Caleb Williams and cornerback Latrell McCutchin, committed, but OU’s 2022 class gave it a shot over the weekend.
From what felt out of nowhere, Independence Day weekend became the go-to moment for recruits all over the country to announce their commitments.
When it was all said and done, the Sooners added four in the span of 23 hours and went from being in the teens in Rivals’ rankings to being No. 6 at weekend’s end and No. 4 overall in terms of star average per recruit.
That one tweet had OU fans buzzing, and it didn’t take long for those eyes to come home, so to speak. It was a lot to take in during a one-day period so a recap of who made the move, what it means and where OU goes from here.
Edmond (Okla.) Deer Creek OT Jacob Sexton
The story: Begin in the state, which has been a love-hate relationship with OU fans lately, especially coming off Edmond Santa Fe receiver Talyn Shettron flipping to Oklahoma State last week. No worries, though, with Jacob Sexton. Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been there from the start, and OU did a great job of navigating the situation as Sexton really did visit a who’s who in the country throughout the course of June. A 300-pounder who still looks like he can add 15-20 more pounds and not miss a beat. A big win for the offensive line and a big win at keeping an OKPreps product home.
Broken Arrow (Okla.) High DB Robert Spears-Jennings
The story: He’s still classified as a receiver, but make no mistake about it that Robert Spears-Jennings is going to be a defensive back with the Sooners. With quality Power 5 offers at the receiver position, the question was just whether Spears-Jennings would be open toward the move. A workout in front of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was the catalyst toward making this happen. It was sort of a coincidence that the two big secondary additions from Sunday both feel like the same story. Good receivers, who OU truly believes can be even better on the other side of the ball. And yes, another in-state win.
Arlington (Texas) Seguin DB Xavion Brice
The story: Almost the same situation as Spears-Jennings, although he took off a little faster on defense than RSJ. Originally committed to Kansas, Xavion Brice became a major regional name to watch in the last month. Wherever he visited, he was bringing home an offer. In the end, it felt like the old days of an OU vs. Texas battle, and the Sooners and cornerbacks coach Roy Manning earned the nod. Brice has said the Sooners view him as a cornerback, which is interesting just because of how the secondary puzzle seems to change so much just based on who could be added to the group.
Baltimore St. Frances Academy DE Derrick Moore
The story: Strangely enough, Derrick Moore is the only commitment of the quartet to actually attend the ChampUBBQ event last month. He made it known pretty quickly to the coaching staff after that trip that he wanted to be a Sooner. Moore didn’t say anything for nearly two weeks before going public Sunday evening. Just an outstanding job by defensive ends coach Jamar Cain of finding guys who OU simply never a shot at landing as recent as like three, four years ago. Moore knows the defensive improvements the Sooners have made, and he wants to be a part of that progress.
Don’t be surprised if OU can sneak in another big-time pledge before the 2023 kids announce their intentions.
The dead period is anything but that when it comes to OU recruiting. And whatever little slip-up or speed bump that was perceived with the losses of Jordan Hudson (SMU) and Shettron, well, OU’s train is just going to keep on rolling.