football Edit

Strong coming to Sooners

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables made it clear coming off of OU’s bye week midway through the season.

The coaching staff hadn’t just moved forward to the 2024 class. There’s a gift that comes with evaluation and letting guys develop. Venables has shown it time and time again.

He hopes he has struck gold one more time as Lake Butler (Fla.) Union County defensive lineman Markus Strong announced his signing with the Sooners on Wednesday.

Strong is that prototypical diamond in the rough. That senior who entered with not a lot of publicity or offers, but someone who let his play do the talking this season and reaped the rewards.

OU made the offer Oct. 30, after getting a chance to evaluate how much different of a prospect Strong was in October compared to the summer.

Then it was just about making the visit work. OU brought in Strong for an official visit last weekend, and there was the feeling the Sooners had done enough to bring Strong to Norman for good.

Strong is someone who has played both defensive end and tackle in high and his frame gives him the versatility for the OU coaches to sort of figure it out when he arrives.

October saw OU really take a deep dive in defensive linemen that were absolutely under the radar until they’re not. Guys like fellow signees Taylor Wein and Ashton Sanders.

Now add Strong to the list. Venables knows what he wants and what he needs for the defense to be a success going forward, and Strong checked off a lot of boxes.

OU clearly didn’t have the season on the field that it hoped in going 6-6, but it never derailed the summer recruiting momentum. Getting Strong shows how OU was able to maintain what it had and add some crucial final pieces as well.