Oklahoma recruiting: Sooners see widening pipeline to California
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 look at Oklahoma’s recruiting efforts in California.
Sooners create a pipeline to California
The recruit that created the most buzz in the 2018 class, defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles, is from California.
The 2019 prospect that most Oklahoma fans are hoping for a commitment from is 4-star cornerback Chris Steele — also a California native.
The Sooners have spent years building a pipeline into California. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops spent seven years recruiting the state while he was coach at Arizona. Linebackers coach Tim Kish, who as an assistant under Stoops at Arizona, also has deep California connections.
Oklahoma’s efforts started before that. But the Sooners could have many Californians starting this season — tight end Grant Calcaterra (Rancho Santa Margarita), linebacker Caleb Kelly (Fresno), cornerback Jordan Parker (Pittsburg) and nickel/safety Radley-Hiles (Calabasas) and Addison Gumbs (Hayward). Two more are likely contributors with defensive tackle Dillon Faamatau (Norwalk) and freshman running back T.J. Pledger (Pacoima).
What Oklahoma did with its spring recruiting weekend was important. It was able to get Steele in for an official visit.
It’s much tougher to get California kids in for official visits during the season because game times are rarely set until a maximum of 13 days in advance. Those coming from two time zones away can’t make anything other than night games, and that’s if their prep schedules allow for an official visit.
Getting a commitment from 3-star linebacker Jonathan Perkins (San Bernardino) this early in the process helps. Convincing Steele to visit in the spring, when there are no game conflicts, appears to have paid off, as well.
The latest addition to the 2018 class — junior college tackle David Swaby — graduated from Salesian High School in Los Angeles.
The Sooners have offers out to 14 Californians in the 2019 class. Their No. 1 quarterback target in the 2020 class, 5-star dual-threat Bryce Young, is from Santa Ana, Calif.
Texas will always be the lifeblood of the Sooners’ recruiting work. But California is a place Oklahoma is having some recruiting success with hopes on it continuing.
5-star Bru McCoy planning Oklahoma visit
The best athlete in the 2019 class, Bru McCoy of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, is showing interest in the Sooners. The No. 19 overall player in the 2019 247Sports composite ranking told Rivals.com that he’s planning a trip to Norman this summer and also intends to take an official visit in the fall.
McCoy is an elite prospect as a linebacker and tight end/inside receiver. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound McCoy plays both spots in high school and intends to work on both at camps.
McCoy took an unofficial visit to Texas last weekend, but doesn’t appear to be in hurry to make a commitment. He’s planning to announce his choice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 5, 2019.
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