Welcome to DieHards’ daily Wagon Wheels, a rundown of everything happening with Oklahoma recruiting. Today we break down the Sooners’ three new commits from their #CHAMPUBBQ.
Of all the recruiting events Oklahoma’s coaching staff has created, few reap as many benefits as #CHAMPUBBQ.
The 2017 version, which included dinner for prospective 2018, ’19 and ’20 recruits and their families at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, helped land a commitment in each class.
Midwest City (Oklahoma) High School defensive end Jalen Redmond, the No. 314 player in the 247Sports composite, gave his pledge Saturday.
The addition of the No. 6 player in Oklahoma gives the Sooners 16 verbal commitments for their 2018 class. Thirteen of the current commits were in Norman on Saturday for the cookout.
— J-Eazy (@jalen_redmond) July 30, 2017
The gathering was created to help build fellowship among potential recruits.
“Guys come here and they’re not asked to work out or run or test, it’s just, ‘Hey, this is who we are, man,’ ” defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks said. “We wanna build that family atmosphere; we want to get to know you, we want to get to know your parents, we want you to obviously get to know us and be comfortable being around OU.”
The June camp provides recruits with a chance to be with the coaching staff. Unofficial visits also provide that opportunity.
But the dinner at the stadium seems to be OU’s most fruitful recruiting event.
For Redmond, it was the second straight year he attended the dinner. He picked up an offer several months after last year’s event.
The 6-foot-4, 233-pound prospect is the fifth in-state commitment in the Sooners’ 2018 signing class, and Redmond is the third defensive lineman in the group. Putnam City defensive end Ron Tatum and Tulsa Union defensive tackle Jordan Kelley entered the fold months ago.
Redmond projects as a weak-side defensive end and could play linebacker. The most obvious comparison on the Sooners roster is senior linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
Both didn’t blossom until late in their high school careers. Redmond notched 14 sacks as a junior, his first season playing the sport since junior high.
Aledo, Texas, teammates commit
The Sooners scored a pair of commitments from prep teammates Jeffrey Carter (2019) and Jase McClellan (2020), who made the three-hour drive from Aledo, Texas.
Carter, a 6-foot, 180-pound wide receiver/cornerback, gave his pledge before leaving town. The 247Sports composite 3-star recruit announced his decision midway through the unofficial visit. McClellan, who rushed for more than 1,500 yards as a high school freshman, made his announcement a few hours later.
— JM9® (@thekidjase) July 30, 2017
More than 30 players were in attendance on Saturday. Some didn’t travel far, others traveled great distances. Four-star running back T.J. Pledger, who plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., flew in for the event with his mother.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said the event has another motive. The new coach is quickly developing into an astute user of social media. Every time he tweets those emoji eyes, Sooners fans salivate. Recruits react, as well.
But building personal relationships requires communication rather than communicating with a device.
“That’s part of the things that we’re doing with that program is just encouraging these guys to do more face to face,” Riley said.
Sooners battling Michigan, Penn State for 3-star LB
Three-star linebacker Brian Asamoah, who was in Norman on Saturday, tweeted that he wants to commit this week.
Asamoah, who attends St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus, Ohio, holds offers from Michigan, Penn State, Pitt and West Virginia, among others.
I will be deciding where the best fit for me is this upcoming week. #NextChapter
— Brian Asamoah ひ (@b_moah211) July 30, 2017
With less than five months remaining until the December signing period, linebacker is a position of need. The Sooners have the No. 10 class in the 247Sports composite rankings, but they don’t have a linebacker in the class.
Sooners make cut for Theo Wease
Four-star 2019 wide receiver Theo Wease attended Saturday’s event. The Sooners were among 14 schools to make the Allen (Texas) High School prospect’s initial list.
The 6-foot-3, 189-pound wideout is ranked No. 35 in the 2019 247Sports composite.
— Theo Wease Jr (@_TheoWeaseJr) July 30, 2017
Wease’s interest in the Sooners has vacillated. He committed to OU in February, but three months later announced he was opening his recruiting process.
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