Oklahoma could need two quarterbacks in 2018 class
Welcome to DieHards’ daily Wagon Wheels, a rundown of everything happening with Oklahoma recruiting. In today’s edition, we take a look at the effect the dismissal of freshman quarterback Chris Robison could have on Oklahoma’s 2018 recruiting class.
With Chris Robison gone, Oklahoma needs a plan
The quarterback is one of the pillars of every class and Chris Robison, who committed to Oklahoma in the summer of 2015, was an important piece of the Class of 2017. On Wednesday, coach Lincoln Riley dismissed him from the team, citing a violation of team rules.
Once you lose a quarterback for any reason, there’s a potential ripple effect for years to come. The Sooners could need to add a second quarterback to the 2018 class to replace Robison. However, recruiting multiple quarterbacks in a class is a dicey situation.
Most elite quarterbacks are not interested in that scenario. Riley is in his first year as coach and his predecessor, Bob Stoops, avoided that situation during his long tenure.
The Sooners will start Baker Mayfield at quarterback in 2017. From there, there’s uncertainty, and the options facing backup QB Kyler Murray complicate the situation. He could be the starting quarterback for the Sooners in 2018, and he also could be playing professional baseball by then.
The former 5-star recruit, who is a transfer from Texas A&M, split time between football and baseball this spring and focused on baseball this summer, playing in the Cape Cod League.
Murray is eligible for the Major League Baseball draft in June and is expected to be selected. Murray’s draft position and potential signing bonus are the unknown factors that won’t become apparent until well after all members of the Sooners’ 2018 class are signed.
If Murray were to pick baseball, that could leave the Sooners with two scholarship quarterbacks in 2018.
Sophomore Austin Kendall, the first quarterback Riley recruited in 2015, would be a shoo-in to start as a junior if Murray departs. Tanner Mordecai, the 3-star commitment from Waco (Texas) Midway High School, instantly would jump into the backup role.
Traditionally, the Sooners like to redshirt a freshman quarterback. They didn’t have that luxury with Kendall. Former quarterback Cody Thomas chose professional baseball with a year of eligibility remaining, and Trevor Knight went to Texas A&M as a graduate transfer before the 2016 season.
Transfer quarterbacks have thrived at OU. Mayfield, himself, is a transfer from Texas Tech and now is a Heisman Trophy candidate. Mayfield and Murray both had to sit out a season because of transfer rules, and the Sooners would like to avoid that in 2018.
Bringing in another quarterback in the 2018 class seems like a good backup plan. But another freshman is unlikely. The risk of offending Mordecai is there.
The other factor is the commitment of 2019 4-star quarterback Spencer Rattler. He’s the No. 53 player in the 247Sports composite and the epitome of the kind of player highly rated classes are built around.
The Sooners’ best option would be to add a graduate transfer or a junior-college quarterback for 2018 should Murray pursue a baseball career.
Quarterbacks on the transfer market usually seek situations where they are all but guaranteed to start. The Sooners cannot afford that. The junior college ranks look thin for 2018, with not one QB making 247Sports’ list of the top 74 JUCO players for 2018.
Still, the Sooners took advantage of a junior-college quarterback in their most recent national championship season. Josh Heupel arrived from Snow Junior College in Utah as a lightly recruited prospect. He started for two seasons, leading the Sooners to a national championship in 2000. Heupel was the consensus All-America selection that season.
Adding to the confusion? Graduate transfers often don’t make their decisions known until after the spring semester ends.
Spencer Rattler commits to Under Armour game
Rattler, the 2019 quarterback commit, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he will play in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game.
— Spencer Rattler (@SpencerRattler) August 2, 2017
Four Oklahoma players — offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, tight end Grant Calcaterra and cornerbacks Tre Brown and Justin Broiles — all played in the event in January.
Avery to announce commitment Friday
Four-star defensive tackle Calvin Avery (Dallas Bishop Dunne) is scheduled to commit on Friday. The No. 187 player in the 247Sports composite had the Sooners, Colorado, TCU, Illinois and Southern Cal in his top five on July 12.
— LVI⁵⁶🍇™ (@_TMBoog) July 12, 2017
The Sooners are considered an underdog for Avery, with TCU presumed to be in the top spot.
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