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 commitments 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 previously had 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 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 stockpiling 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 rated as top-10 defensive ends in the 2018 recruiting class, per the 247Sports composite. Radley-Hiles, who played at IMG Academy, is ranked the No. 38 player in the class.
Flipping the page to offense, it will be up to quarterback Kyler Murray to carry on the legacy built 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 starters on offense set to return for the Sooners in 2018. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season. Oklahoma also will see the return of wide receivers CeeDee Lamb and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, among others.
The Sooners kick off the 2018 campaign Sept. 1 with a home game against Florida Atlantic. Oklahoma is seeking to capture its fourth consecutive Big 12 title.