Oklahoma on pace for another elite class, but needs remain

Welcome to DieHards’ daily Wagon Wheels, a rundown of everything happening with Oklahoma recruiting. Today we look at remaining holes in the 2018 recruiting class.

With Oklahoma’s preseason practice underway and potential recruits beginning practice, the 2018 class still needs work. The Sooners rank 10th in the 247Sports composite rankings, showing that the transition from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley has been a hit with recruits.

Here are three voids in the class the Sooners need to address:

Zero linebacker commitments

The lack of linebackers sticks out among the 16 pledges secured by the Sooners. You could argue that shifting back to a 4-3 defense for the 2017 season means the class can afford to take one fewer linebacker than the typical three or four per class. The Sooners inked four in February.

Recent pledge Jalen Redmond (Midwest City High School) could be an outside linebacker, but projects as a weak-side defensive end. His future projects as a pass rusher even if he doesn’t play with his hand on the ground.

The Sooners have offers out to two dozen potential linebackers. Two were at last weekend’s #CHAMPUBBQ in Norman. Three-star Brian Asamoah from Columbus, Ohio, (St. Francis DeSales) is expected to announce his choice this week. DaShaun White (North Richland Hills, Texas) also was at the event. The Sooners need to get two linebacker commitments before the end of the month.

At least two defensive tackles needed 

The Sooners have secured pledges from the three best in-state defensive linemen with Ron Tatum (Putnam City High School), Redmond and Jordan Kelly (Tulsa Union High School).

But Kelly is the only defensive tackle in the group. OU is moving back to a 4-3 defense this season and expects to stay in that alignment. More defensive tackles are required to handle that load.

St. Louis (Chaminade High School) defensive tackle Trevor Trout made an unofficial visit in June. Dante Stills (Fairmont, W.Va.) remains important on the Sooners’ list. Both are 4-star recruits, and getting a pledge from at least one would help.

Openings for at least two offensive linemen 

The Sooners’ brightest prospect is Westmoore (Okla.) High School offensive tackle Brey Walker. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound, 5-star pledge is a long-time commit. Independence (Kan.) Community College offensive lineman Tramonda Moore is a 3-star pledge and was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school.

But the Sooners still need to finish strong. They’ve signed at least four offensive linemen in each of the previous five classes.

Darrell Simpson (Justin, Texas) and Reuben Unije (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.) both have shown high interest in Oklahoma. Adding another interior player would help.

DaShaun White nearing a decision?

White indicated in a tweet on Monday that he could be ready to make a commitment. The 4-star recruit holds offers from the Sooners, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Arizona State.

White attened the Sooners’ recruiting dinner over the weekend and seemed to be impressed.

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