Oklahoma recruiting: 5 recruits in 2018 class who got away from Sooners

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With Oklahoma’s 2018 recruiting class in the books, it’s time to look back. A lot of things went the Sooners’ way and they signed another top-10 class. But there’s always a few that got away.

This wasn’t a class plagued by de-commitments. You can argue 4-star quarterback Cameron Rising’s decision to flip to Texas in the spring worked out in the Sooners’ favor. Oklahoma quickly landed Tanner Mordecai, who played like the best prep quarterback in Texas in 2017.

The list is limited to players who took official visits to Norman. The trips indicate that the recruits had a high level of interest at some point. Here are the top five players the Sooners failed to land in the 2018 class.

1. Josh Proctor, 4-star safety, Owasso, Okla.

It doesn’t seem like there was anything else Oklahoma could’ve done when it came to recruiting Josh Proctor. There was constant contact between the coaching staff and Proctor right up till he informed them on Dec. 19 that he would sign with Ohio State.

Proctor committed the Buckeyes in the spring of 2017. There was a feeling he might flip to Oklahoma when took an official visit in early October. Proctor could see there was the opportunity to become an immediate starter if he came to Norman. The Sooners needed a deep safety in this class. Proctor was their clear No. 1 choice.

Losing out stings for a number of reasons. Besides losing out on a potential starter, he was one of the top players in Oklahoma. No one had a better 2017 season. The Sooners tend to get the top prospects in the state, but Proctor bucked the trend.

2. Leon O’Neal, 4-star safety, Cypress, Texas

Leon O’Neal plays the same position as Proctor. He also committed elsewhere relatively early, picking Texas A&M prior to the 2017 season. But the Aggies’ coaching turmoil seemed like it would benefit the Sooners. O’Neal took an official visit to Norman in late October. The momentum seemed like it had swung in Oklahoma’s favor.

Ultimately, O’Neal let the recruiting process play out until February. Slow-playing his decision clearly hurt the Sooners. Texas A&M’s hiring of Jimbo Fisher was enough for O’Neal to jump back on board with the Aggies.

The Sooners missed out on another instant difference maker at the deep safety spot. Like Proctor, O’Neal could have been an early starter.

3. Bobby Brown, 4-star DE, Arlington, Texas

The Sooners desperately wanted to load up on defensive linemen in this class. Bobby Brown was an early target the Sooners seemed poised to get. He took an unofficial visit last summer and returned for an official visit in September.

Brown committed to Texas A&M in early November, which seemed like a surprise considering it was well known the Aggies likely would be making a coaching change. The Sooners never got back in the hunt. Brown ultimately signed with the Aggies after spending the time between the early signing period and National Signing Day committed to Alabama.

He could’ve fit in well with the Sooners. Brown is a versatile defensive lineman. He’s capable of being an end or tackle.

4. Tank Jenkins, 4-star G, Montgomery, Ala.

The effort it took to get Tank Jenkins to Norman for an official visit should have been a sign that the two would never hook up. The Sooners turned their attention to Jenkins relatively late in the process.

Jenkins signed with Texas A&M on National Signing Day, which seemed odd. The Aggies didn’t seem to be on Jenkins’ radar until January.

There was no way Jenkins was going to play immediately at Oklahoma. Perhaps that was a factor in his decision. Still, all signs pointed to the Sooners until Signing Day.

5. Jeremiah Martin, 4-star DE, San Bernardino, Calif.

You always take geographic proximity into account in recruiting. Five-star defensive end Micah Parsons didn’t make this list because it’s always going to be difficult to lure a prospect out of Pennsylvania when Penn State wants him.

But Martin made up his mind that he wanted to leave Southern California. He spurned offers from USC and UCLA and ultimately picked Texas A&M. That stung Oklahoma. It’s one thing to lose a prospect from Houston to the Aggies, when proximity to home is a factor. That wasn’t the deal with Martin.

Oklahoma loaded up on defensive ends in this class. Still, the group would’ve been deeper with Martin on board.

The post Oklahoma recruiting: 5 recruits in 2018 class who got away from Sooners appeared first on Diehards.

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