Oklahoma recruiting: With spring game nearing, Austin Stogner pitching potential teammates
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 catch up 4-star tight end and Oklahoma commit Austin Stogner as the Sooners head into their spring game loaded with official visitors.
Austin Stogner wants to help
The list of official visitors coming to Oklahoma this weekend for the spring game continues to swell. At current count, there are 17 Class of 2019 prospects who will take official visits.
Just this week, the Sooners finalized plans with several prospects:
• Cam’Ron Kelly, 4-star ATH, Oscar Smith High School, Chesapeake, Va.
• Joseph Weté, 4-star DE, Gonzaga High School, Washington, D.C.
• Tyler Johnson, 4-star T, Oak Ridge High School, Tyler, Texas
• Cade Stover, 4-star LB, Lexington High School, Mansfield, Ohio
• Jalyn Phillips, 4-star S, Archer High School, Lawrenceville, Ga.
• Derek Green, 3-star DT, Southwest High School, Jacksonville, N.C.
• Caedan Wallace, 4-star OG, Hun School, Princeton, N.J.
These prospects add to a list of a dozen confirmed official visitors prior to this week.
That doesn’t surprise Austin Stogner. He told DieHards a month ago he would take his official visit to Norman for the spring game and he was expecting it to be a major event.
“I’m 100 percent with OU, so I just want to get up there and see how it is,” Stogner told DieHards last Sunday at the Under Armour All-America Camp Series in Dallas at Cedar Hill High School. “But I’m going to OU. It’s a done deal.”
Stogner is the lone 2019 commit who will be in Norman for the official visit. He will have some help from 4-star wide receiver Trejan Bridges, who is taking an unofficial trip to Norman on Saturday. Oklahoma also expects to have committed 3-star defensive end Kori Roberson on hand.
But Stogner wants to do some recruiting of his own on Saturday.
“I’ve been in contact with a lot of guys like Theo Wease, Marcus Stripling, Noah Cain and Chris Steele,” he said. “I got to know a lot of those guys and I’m excited to see them in Norman. I hope we can get a lot of them to Norman.”
Wease, who is the No. 31 overall player in the 2019 247Sports composite ranking and No. 5 receiver, is taking his official visit this weekend. So is Steele, who is the No. 27 overall player and No. 3 cornerback.
It’s shaping up to be not only the Sooners’ biggest recruiting weekend of the year, but it’s biggest in years. Their biggest recruiting weekend of the 2017 season was the Texas Tech game on Oct. 28. As it stands now, the group this weekend will rival that one.
The major difference is the Sooners loaded up that weekend with committed players. That won’t be the case for this weekend.
The Sooners have just four commitments in the 2019 class, and Stogner will be the only one on an official visit. While Bridges and Roberson are expected to make unofficial visits, quarterback Spencer Rattler (Phoenix) is waiting until June to make an unofficial visit. He plans to then make his official visit in November.
The majority of recruiting help the Sooners should get this weekend should come from the 2018 class. It appears that all of the 22 players the Sooners signed in either December or February will be in Norman for Saturday’s game.
Recruiting is the centerpiece of the spring game
Whether Oklahoma fans fill Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium to capacity on Saturday remains to be seen. It has never been done for a spring game before. Trying to do it on Saturday is a heavy lift.
But Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley wants an atmosphere that’s as close to an actual game as possible.
“Some of these recruits may never come to a real game before they make these decisions,” Riley said. “So how can we get this as close to Saturdays in the fall as we possibly can? And as we put this whole thing together, that was our No. 1 goal in mind.”
For players from Oklahoma or a border state, the spring game atmosphere shouldn’t be a big deal. They can make the drive up for games during the season.
But the Sooners will host players from California, Florida, New Jersey and Washington D.C. this weekend. They’re not coming to a game without getting on a plane.
This is the Sooners’ best chance to make a quality impression.
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