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Brent Venables on the verge of landing OU’s first top-5 recruiting class since 2010

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Recruiting is something the Oklahoma Sooners have been doing well since Lincoln Riley took over from Bob Stoops in 2017. Riley’s five recruiting cycles as head coach put the Sooners in the top four classes with a 247Sports average combined score of 270.77.

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With the class of 2022 back to eighth in the nation following the departure of Riley, Brent Venables is on the right track to see the Sooners ranked in the top five recruiters for the first time since 2010.

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There were 30 commits in this class, the highest being the safety of Tony Jefferson, who currently plays with the Baltimore Ravens. Wide receiver Kenny Stills was also in that class.

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Bob Stoops had quite a year.

Oklahoma Football is reasserting itself in the recruiting market, let’s look at the last five recruiting cycles. All ratings are from 247Sports.com.

2021

December 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) passes in the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks at the Alamodom. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

National ranking

10th

Highest Ranked Recruit

Caleb Williams, QB

Other notable recruits:

  • Mario Williams, WR

  • Ethan Downes, EDGE

  • Jalil Farooq, WR

  • Danny Statsman, LB

Last recruiting class during Lincoln Riley’s tenure in Oklahoma. The obvious headliner is quarterback Caleb Williams. Williams would be a Heisman finalist and possibly a winner for the rest of his time in college football.

2020

October 20, 2018; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh during a game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon J. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jayray-USA TODAY Sports

National ranking

13th

Highest Ranked Recruit

Nate Anderson, OG

Other notable recruits:

  • Marvin Mims, WR

  • Anton Harrison, OT

  • Perrion Winfrey, DT

It’s a bit interesting. Both of the top recruits in that class were linemen; not exactly common in the Riley era.

Perrion Winfrey was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2019

October 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jadon Hazelwood (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring a second-half touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jayray-USA TODAY Sports

National ranking

6th

Highest Ranked Recruit

Jadon Hazelwood, WR

Other notable recruits:

  • Spencer Rattler, QB

  • Theo Wise, WR

  • Austin Stogner, TE

Notable transfer:

  • Jalen Herts, QB (Alabama)

The player who made the biggest impact in the Sooners uniform was not a high school rookie, but a transfer. Jalen Hurts was the most vocal player on the transfer portal and was a huge booty for the Sooners.

Hurts redeemed his NFL draft stock and the Sooners got their perfect QB bridge while Spencer Rattler held the tablet.

Rattler and Oklahoma fellow Austin Stogner will play for South Carolina this season.

2018

Oklahoma forward Bray Walker (70) warms up before an NCAA college football game against TCU on Saturday, October 24, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. Oklahoma won 33-14. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

National ranking

9th

Highest Ranked Recruit

Bray Walker, OT

Other notable recruits;

  • Ronnie Perkins, Delaware

  • DaShawn White, OLB

  • Nick Bonitto, OLB

  • Brian Asamoah, OLB

  • Delarrin Turner-Yell, S

  • Gabe Brkic and K.

That’s a lot of players who made it to the NFL. SMU QB Tanner Mordecai also signed with the Sooners in this class.

2017

September 18, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defenseman Justin Broyles (25) and Oklahoma Sooners cornerback DJ Graham (9) react during a game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jayray-USA TODAY Sports

National ranking

8th

Highest Ranked Recruit

Justin Broyles, CB

Other notable recruits:

  • Tyrese Robinson, I

  • Tre Brown, CB

  • Charleston Rambo, WR

  • Kennedy Brooks, RB

  • Trey Sermon, RB

  • Isaiah Thomas, DL

  • Creed Humphrey, C

Another class that boasts its share of NFL talent. Creed Humphrey was Pro Football Focus’s top center in 2021 and will guard the face of NFL Patrick Mahomes for years to come.

Conclusion

April 23, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables reacts during a spring game at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Oklahoma. Kevin Jayray-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley did a lot of things right while he was in Oklahoma, and recruiting is something he and his people did very, very well. For a school not known for their defensive prowess, there are quite a few players on the defensive side of the ball who ended up in the NFL.

For some reason, it seemed like there was never enough talent on this side to win the national championship.

Venables got off to a strong start with a top 10 recruiting run in a row, but can he get the extra talent to push the Sooners through the college football playoff hump?

Early returns look promising.

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The story originally appeared on Sooners Wire.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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