Oklahoma football brought in the No. 9 recruiting class in the nation last week, but where the Sooners stand heading into the 2018 season is fluctuating after some big commitment across the country.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach had Oklahoma down a spot at No. 5 in his post-signing day way-too-early top 25 rankings for the 2018 season. The Sooners had previously come in at No. 4 in Schlabach’s rankings.
Georgia previously owned the No. 5 spot, but jumped to No. 3 in the updated rankings — pushing both Ohio State and Oklahoma back a spot.
Oklahoma is set to return seven starters on offense, six on defense, and two on special teams this fall. Schlabach praised the Sooners for stock-piling some talent on defense after the unit struggled heavily at times during the 2017 season.
“It’s the first time in 13 years that the Sooners have had top-10 recruiting classes in consecutive cycles. The Sooners focused on the defensive side of the ball, where they need a lot of help, and defensive ends Ron Tatum III, Ronnie Perkins and Jalen Redmond and cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles were important additions.”
Perkins and Redmond are both rated top 10 defensive ends in the 2018 recruiting class, per the 247Sports composite rankings. Radley-Hiles, out of Bradenton, Fla. powerhouse IMG Academy, is ranked the No. 38 player in the nation.
Flipping the page to the offense, it will be up to quarterback Kyler Murray — formerly of Texas A&M — to carry on the legacy left behind by three-year stater and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Schlabach wrote that Murray possesses “many of the same dual threat skills, and he’ll have several playmakers around him.”
Tailback Rodney Anderson highlights the group of the 2017 starters on offense set to return for the Sooners in 2018. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards a sophomore last season. Oklahoma will also see the return of wide receivers CeeDee Lamb and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, among others.
The Sooners kick-off the 2018 campaign with a home game vs. Florida Atlantic in Norman, Okla. on Sept. 1. Oklahoma is seeking to capture its 4th consecutive Big 12 title.
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