Oklahoma recruiting: It’s closing time as the Sooners try wrap up defensive commitments

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Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we look at the defensive spot the Sooners must fill in their 2018 recruiting class.

Sooners still have major holes to fill

Since the 2017 season began, the Sooners picked up two commitments. Both were on the defensive side with 3-star linebacker Brian Asamoah giving his pledge in September and 4-star defensive end Ronnie Perkins jumping on board in late October.

But that still means Oklahoma has at least two scholarships open for defensive linemen, two for linebackers and two more for defensive backs.

The Sooners enter the early signing period with 20 commitments and expect to sign the overwhelming majority next week. But how well the class is ultimately viewed is going to come down to what it does with those remaining scholarships targeted for defenders.

Here are the Sooners’ commits and who they would like to add as commitments before the signing period begins on Wednesday.

Players with an asterisk (*) have committed to Oklahoma.

Defensive line (6)

Five-star DE Micah Parsons (Harrisburg, Pa.): Landing Parsons would be an enormous recruiting coup for  coach Lincoln Riley. Parsons’ visit in October went well. Riley had an in-home visit with Parsons last week and defensive ends coach Calvin Thibodeaux made multiple trips to Pennsylvania in the last two weeks. Whether it’s enough to pull Parsons away from Penn State will get a definitive answer on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Four-star DE Ronnie Perkins* (St. Louis): Perkins made a trip to Norman in late October and rang the commitment bell and has remained firm. Riley and Thibodeaux had an in-home visit with Perkins on Wednesday. All signs point toward the Sooners landing the No. 96 overall player in the 247Sports composite rankings. Perkins has the size and athleticism to play anywhere on the defensive line. The Sooners expect to get his signature on Wednesday, Dec. 20

Four-star DE Ron Tatum* (Oklahoma City): When you think back on it, the recruiting momentum the Sooners have been on since the summer started with Tatum’s summer flip from Texas to Oklahoma. He’s one of the best defensive linemen to come out of state in years. The 4-star defensive lineman could play end or tackle. He’s the highest-rated defensive lineman to come out of Oklahoma since Gerald McCoy in 2006. He’s announced he will sign with the Sooners on Wednesday.

Four-star DE Jalen Redmond* (Midwest City, Okla.): Redmond had the best season of any Oklahoma high school player this season. What’s tantalizing for the Sooners and frightening for future opponents is Redmond is still new to game. He didn’t focus on football until his junior season. At 6-3, 235 pounds, he’s still agile enough to play outside linebacker. Redmond fits in either scheme. He’ll be a menace on the edge whether he stands up or puts his hand on the ground. The Sooners will get his letter of intent on Wednesday and get him on campus in January.

Four-star DE Bobby Brown (Arlington, Texas): The Sooners lost the initial battle for the No. 167 player in the country. Brown remains pledged to Texas A&M. But he keeps allowing Oklahoma coaches into his home. Brown plans to sign next week. If he does, that could be very good for the Sooners. It has the coaching staff that isn’t in flux.

Three-star DT Jordan Kelley* (Tulsa, Okla.): Kelley committed about a month after receiving his offer. The defensive tackle (6-4, 290) comes from powerhouse Union High School, which has fed the Sooners for decades. Kelley has wreaked havoc for the best team in the state. He’s been adept at rushing the passer this season. This could allow the 3-star recruit to factor in Oklahoma’s defensive plans quickly.

Linebackers (3)

Four-star ILB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.): The No. 106 player in the 2018 class visited Oklahoma for the Texas Tech game in October, along four prep school teammates. Adeoye committed to Texas in June and nothing has changed. But he’s friends with Perkins — both are from St. Louis — and IMG teammate 4-star running back T.J. Pledger is committed to the Sooners. The Sooners’ December in-person contact with Adeoye ends this week. Adeoye is expected to sign in the early period and enroll in January. It would be a huge boost to the 2018 class if he’s in Norman in January.

Four-star ILB DaShaun White (North Richland Hills, Texas): White picked Texas A&M over the Sooners in August, but he spent a lot of time in Norman during October. White took an official visit in October and the Sooners’ coaching staff has visited at school and home. White remains committed to the Aggies, but Riley is scheduled to visit him on Thursday. White hasn’t said when he’ll sign, but expect Oklahoma to move on if they don’t get a positive response next week.

Three-star OLB Brian Asamoah* (Columbus, Ohio): The latest addition to the class provides is the template for the strongside linebacker against spread offenses. Asamoah is quick enough to stay with inside receivers, but can also blitz off the edge.

Defensive backs (6)

Four-star CB Brendan Radley-Hiles (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.): It was the late-October visit to Oklahoma that caused Radley-Hiles to drop his commitment to Nebraska. Since then he’s taken official visits to Clemson, UCLA and will visit Florida this weekend. No one will know for sure when Radley-Hiles stands for four weeks. He’ll announce his commitment on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The cornerback is also expected to be a mid-year enrollee.

Four-star S Josh Proctor (Owasso, Okla.): Proctor remains committed to Ohio State. What the Sooners hope is that he doesn’t sign with the Buckeyes next week. The Sooners will send him a letter of intent on Wednesday. But it seems like if the Sooners are going to get him it will be in February. Oklahoma won’t give up on the No. 76 player in the 2018 class until he signs elsewhere.

Three-star CB Miguel Edwards* (Deerfield Beach, Fla.): Edwards has a slight frame (5-11, 165) but makes up for it with strong ball skills. He committed to the Sooners in April. The Sooners have a history of getting early commitments from Florida defensive backs only to lose them late in the process. Thus far, Edwards remains firmly with the Sooners. He made his official visit to the TCU game.

Three-star CB Starrland Baldwin* (Houston): Baldwin didn’t receive many Power 5 offers. He accepted the one from Oklahoma about three months after the Sooners made their pitch. Baldwin showed strong playmaking skills as a junior. He also could turn into an option as a kick returner. The Sooners are honoring Baldwin’s pledge even though he suffered a season-ending knee injury in September. He’s announced he’ll sign next week and enroll at Oklahoma in January.

Three-star S Patrick Fields* (Tulsa, Okla.): Fields committed to the Sooners in March. He seems like he could have a lengthy stint as the Sooners’ nickel safety. He can cover in the slot. But he’s most effective playing in the box. Fields is comfortable playing what amounts to the outside linebacker position.

Three-star CB Jordon Austin* (Lancaster, Texas): The brother of former Oklahoma cornerback Dakota Austin committed more than a year ago. He has the size his brother lacked (6-1, 185) and is viewed as a potential diamond in the rough. Lancaster High School has a long history sending quality defensive backs to Power 5 programs. However, Austin is the only committed player in the 2018 class who hasn’t made an official visit to Norman yet.

Miss a previous edition of Wagon Wheels? Get caught up here.

The post Oklahoma recruiting: It’s closing time as the Sooners try wrap up defensive commitments appeared first on Diehards.

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