As I peruse the comment sections of a few allied recruiting sites, there seems to be an overall feeling of being underwhelmed by the class overall. As I look through the class, there's reason to be optimistic. If I had to describe the class, in a word I'd call it a "trench warfare" class. Hey I know that's two words, but linemen aren't supposed to be able to count anyway right?
Starting with the O Line, I think that this is the best overall group that Bedenbaugh has ever signed. He's got his center in Andrew Raym. Two guards in Harrison and Parks, and a set of really athletic tackles in Anderson & Nelson. I'm not much into grades, but if I had to give one for this group it would be a solid A.
For the defensive line, the Sooners inked a headliner in Perrion Winfrey. If he's as half as good as his press clippings suggest, then we may be sitting pretty. Another Solid player picked up was Joshua Ellison. He also was very highly ranked, but will be a more workmanlike player in my opinion. The Sooners pushed all their chips into the middle and went all in on both Alfred Collins and De'Andre Butler. Collins ended up with the much hated horns, and Butler went to the SEC and Auburn. In years past we would have seen Oklahoma throw out late offers on projects like McKinney and Tyreece Lott, who ultimately didn't pan out, but with several highly thought of guys on campus, the Sooners held the scholarships for next year. Grade B-
For the linebackers, the Sooners picked up three big time players in my opinion. While Reggie Grimes may end up playing the spot behind Ronnie Perkins in the scheme, he'll play some Rush OLB as well. He already goes 6'5" 240, and if he comes in and plays to his ability, there's no doubt we'll see him early and often next year. Shane Whitter is your prototypical MLB in my opinion and reminds me of Curtis Lofton. He may be a step faster than Curtis was, but is nearly identical in size at 6'0" or 6'1" and about 225-230. He ran an electronic 4.5 at the opening and if not for his lack of height, he'd be a five star player in my opinion. He did a little bit of everything for his team, and his ball skills are off the charts. Brynden Walker is an LSU legacy, who's dad Denard Walker played nine years as a safety in the NFL. He's got the pedigree, size and quickness. I think he'll play a great Will linebacker in this scheme. Grade A-
DB saw the Sooners pick up four or five really, really good players depending on where Davon Graham ends up playing. Graham is huge at 6'1" 175, and is drawing rave reviews already as an early enrollee. Joshua Eaton, goes 6'2" 185, and can scratch his ankles without bending over his arms are so long. Kendall Dennis is a little smaller at 6'0" but has unmatched ball skills, and seems to be a turnover machine. Justin Harrington is my favorite of the group and goes 6'3" 210. He's a juco guy who can flat out fly. He was supposed to be an early enrollee, but that got pushed back to may. Hopefully he makes it in, because he'll be a game changer at the nickel. Finally, Bryson Washington is a fast Rangy Safety who's 6'3" 200. He'll be somebody who comes in and makes the seats hot for all of the incumbent guys. Grade A-
WR was a bit underwhelming, but when you look at who the Sooners got the year before you can understand why. Marvin Mims will be a household name in the slot, and is an outstanding player. Brian Darby catches everything in sight, but seems a tick slow. His physicality is outstanding and they saw him in person and offered him. Trevon West is a burner who's a bit underrated. We all know what Riley does with underrated speed guys. See Westbrook and Hollywood. I'll go B- on this group
TE/H-Back has one of the top tight ends in the country in Jalen Conyers at 6'5" 220 along with Michael Henderson at 6'3" 225. Conyer's run after the catch is what makes him stand out. He ran a little bit of wildcat QB and comes from a little bit smaller school, so you didn't see him get the press clippings that other guys got. Michael Henderson meanwhile, may be the most talented H-Back that Riley has ever had at his disposal. For some reason, the NFL doesn't draft Tight Ends very high and subsequently the recruiting services are slow to give them much less four stars and forget about five. I give this duo a solid A.
RB Seth McGowan looks like Rodney Anderson 2.0. I think if Rodney is healthy in Murray's last year as a Sooner then Murray doesn't win the heisman. Just for the simple fact that Rodney would have made a lot more plays, and Kyler maybe wouldn't have had to. If Murray doesn't win the heisman, does he stay last year? We may never know, but McGowan has all the tools to be a great one. Size, speed, vision, balance and power. Heard around the inside of the switzer center is that "he's gonna make somebody transfer". He's that good. Solid A.
QB. This was a late pickup after his old man got fired at Arkansas. Chandler Morris is one heck of a player. When the Sooners picked him up late, everyone was still whining about losing Brock Vandagriff. Now Brock is a heck of a miss, but picking up Morris may be one that pays off in a few years. Rattler will most likely be your QB for the next two or maybe three years. If Rattler ends up pulling a Sammy B, wins the heisman and comes out after a redshirt Sophomore year, Morris could be your starter three years from now, and while I hope to see Rattler for three years, Morris isn't anything to sniff at. He's not very big at 5'10" 172, but will be a guy who most likely gets up around 200 pounds. He's a guy who's somewhere in between a Baker and Kyler in terms of running skills with his speed being closer to Kyler than it is Baker. Being a smart coaches kid, he's completely the type of kid that can run this offense and run it very well. P.s. he's really accurate with the football as well. Grade A-
When you average all of that out, in my opinion, the Sooners still came away with an A- class. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it's deeper than a lot of other classes I've seen them have. I'm not disappointed with it. What are your thoughts?