The early national signing day is becoming a special event for the college football world. This is the culmination of years worth of hard work for coaches and players alike. It’s appropriate that this comes right before Christmas Day. For Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, he was excited as a child on Christmas morning. After going through all of the kids that he wanted to build his program, he finally was able to unwrap those presents. Now, let’s take a look under the tree as the Sooners sign consensus top 10 recruiting class.
Reloading the Offensive Guns
For some, the rich just got richer. But, for others, it’s just the process of reloading and not rebuilding. The skill positions stole the show as the Sooners added three five star recruits for the first time since 2008. Let’s review a few of the top signees on the offensive side of the ball.
It’s hard to pick an individual headliner, so we’ll put the trio of Spencer Rattler, Theo Wease, and Trejan Bridges. Rattler is the first five-star at the quarterback position and joins the Sooners from Phoenix, Arizona. Rattler is considered the top-ranked quarterback in the country in 2019 class. Even though Rattler is committing early, he will not be an early enrollee for Oklahoma.
Now, we move to the wide receiver position as Oklahoma captured a couple of bigtime players from the Lone Star State. According to Rivals, Wease is the third-ranked player overall in the 2019 class and the top-ranked receiver. Enrolling in the spring, it’s hard to envision Wease not starting from day one. Bridges is the final five-star recruit. He is the fourth-ranked receiver in the country and has incredible ball skills and will most likely play inside for the Sooners in 2019. Also, adding more depth to the tight end position is Austin Stogner as nations top recruit at the position. Stogner’s 6’7 frame makes him an immediate red zone threat.
More Big Men Up Front
Perhaps the biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball in 2019 for Oklahoma outside of the quarterback is the offensive line. The Sooners could lose up to four starters off that line. With that in mind, Oklahoma has signed four offensive linemen to this class. First is EJ Ndoma-Ogar. He is a 6’3 310 guard from Allen, Texas. Allen has been a hotbed for Sooners in recruiting lately. He is ranked as the number 12 guard in the country.
Finally, we wanted to mention Stacey Wilkins. He could very well be the best offensive lineman in the class. Wilkins is ranked as the eighth best offensive tackle in the country. With his 6’7 285 frame, he will have the opportunity to help out immediately.
Rounding out the offensive class, we move to the running back position. With Rodney Anderson declaring for the 2019 NFL draft, depth at the position was a need. The Sooners filled that need with Marcus Major and Rhamondre Stevenson. Major is a local product out of Millwood High School in Oklahoma City. He ran for over 2,000 yards in his senior season and is ranked at number 31 in the country. Stevenson joins the Sooners from the JUCO ranks by way of Cerritos Community College. Standing at 6’1 230 pounds, he reminds folks of current running back Trey Sermon.
Help is on the way, Defense
Now, it’s no secret that the Sooners need some improved talent on the defensive side of the ball. But, most thought that might prove to be difficult without a defensive coordinator. However, Oklahoma was able to secure some strong talent in the 2019 class at the secondary and defensive line.
First, let’s start with the biggest area of need which was the secondary. Oklahoma was able to secure signatures from four, four-star recruits. Equally as important, those are broken down between two cornerbacks and two safeties. Woodi Washington is the headliner. He is the seventh-ranked cornerback in the country and comes to the Sooners from Tennessee. At 6’0 175, look for Washington to challenge immediately. Jaden Davis is the other four-star at the cornerback position. He will need to fill out his 165-pound frame a little bit, but he has good ball skills and is the 25th ranked cornerback.
Oklahoma has good news at Safety
In the biggest surprise for Oklahoma today, they received a commitment from Jeremiah Criddell. The 6’1 185 pound safety is the number 11 ranked player at his position this season. The prep star out of California chose the Sooners over Oregon. He is joined by fellow four-star in Jamal Morris. Morris is from Richmond, Texas and is the 15th ranked safety in America.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 19, 2018
Much needed beef in the middle
Marcus Hicks, Joseph Wete’, Laron Stokes, and Marcus Stripling will provide some help along the Sooner defensive line. Wete’ leads the charge for the Sooners at defensive end. He is the eighth-ranked end in the country out of Washington, D.C. Then, Hicks comes in as a versatile defensive lineman. At 6’6 255, Hicks could possibly play inside for the Sooners. Now, Stokes is under the radar as Oklahoma’s second JUCO signee. He comes to Oklahoma from NEO junior college in Miami, Oklahoma. His size, speed, and athleticism make him a great pick up. Finally, the latest commitment of the day was from Stripling. Stripling is a four-star strong-side defensive end from Houston, Texas. At 6’5 240, Stripling has the body and quick first step to compete for a starting job immediately.
Immediately, the Sooners will begin to set their sites on Alabama and College Football Playoffs. But, Oklahoma still has some matters to settle in the late signing period. The Sooners biggest target would be in the form of wide receiver Jaden Haselwood. The Georgia native has decommitted from the Bulldogs and it seems to be between Oklahoma and Miami for his services. Finally, keep an eye on the name of Justin Fields. Fields has elected to transfer from Georgia and should Haselwood come to Norman, Fields could be right behind him.