Weekend Open Post | March 1st – 3rd

Big Board | Class of ’25 Linebacker
Charlie S – Posted on: February 27, 2024

Continuing to roll out the Sooners class of ’25 Big Boards.

Today we will have a look at the Sooners Linebacker Board.

Currently, the Sooners have offers out to 21 Linebackers.


Offensive Line Big Board

Running Back Big Board

Wide Receiver Big Board

Quarterback Big Board

Tight Ends Big Board

Safety Big Board

EDGE Big Board

Linebacker (23)

Kamar Archie – Hun School – (Trenton, NJ) – 6-0.5 220
Elijah Barnes – Skyline – (Dallas, TX) – 6-3 210
Antoine Deslauriers – Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School – (Montreal, QC) – 6-1 225
Jaedon Harmon – Rome – (Rome, GA) – 6-1 205
Ty Jackson – Seminole Ridge – (Loxahatchee, FL) – 6-2 205
Marcus James – Carl Albert – (Oklahoma City, OK) – 6-3.5 210 – OU Commit
Christian Jones – Westside – (Omaha, NE) – 6-3 215
Marco Jones – San Ramon Valley – (Danville, CA) – 6-4 215
Noah Mikhail – Bonita – (La Verne, CA) – 6-2 210
Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng – IMG Academy – (Manassas, VA) – 6-2 210
Landon McComber – Bishop Gorman – (Las Vegas, NV) – 6-2 185
Elijah Melendez – Osceola – (Kissimmee, FL) – 6-1.5 210 – Miami Commit
Dawson Merritt – Blue Valley – (Overland Park, KS) – 6-3 205
Luke Metz – Mill Creek – (Hoschton, GA) – 6-3 210
Jadon Perlotte – Buford – (Buford, GA) – 6-3 200 – Georgia Commit
Riley Pettijohn – McKinney – (McKinney, TX) – 6-3 200
Weston Port – San Juan Hills – (San Juan Capistrano, CA) – 6-2 210
Kelvion Riggins – Forney – (Forney, TX) – 5-11.5 205 – A&M Commit
Abduall Sanders – Mater Dei – (Los Angeles, CA) – 6-1 205
JJ Shelton – South Oak Cliff – (Dallas, TX) – 6-1 190
Matai Tagoa’i – San Clemente – (San Clemente, CA) – 6-4 185
Christian Thatcher – Arbor View – (Las Vegas, NV) – 6-2 200
Nasir Wyatt – Mater Dei – (Santa Ana, CA) – 6-2 205

Commits at this time: 1

Marcus James

Number of commits OU is looking to take out of high school: 2

The Sooners made a big change to the linebacker room this offseason, but it wasn’t the loss or addition of a player, it was the addition of co-DC Zac Alley and the removal of DC Ted Roof as the designated position coach.

Roof leaves after 2 years in Norman which saw the transition of the linebacker room from a room that was thin and athletically challenged to perhaps the deepest and most athletic room on the team. Roof left Alley with a very deep and athletic room, but a room that was not consistent and fundamentally sound at all times.

Wait a minute… let’s stop kidding ourselves, shall we? Brent Venables stocked this room and he has been the de facto linebacker coach for the last two years, not Roof. Roof was a guy holding his clipboard and taking attendance. We will see if that changes with Alley, but I can say with confidence that this room will still have Brent Venables’s fingerprints all over it.

As far as the personnel in the room, well, OU did get one huge piece of good news this offseason when Danny Stutsman announced he was postponing his NFL dreams to come back for one final year. The linebacker room comes back intact and it added freshman James Nesta to the crew.

There have been no portal declarations from OU linebackers to this point, but we will see if that remains the case when the spring portal window opens. There are a ton of talented players in that room and only two spots for them to compete for so you almost expect there to be some thinning of the herd, we will see.

Following the ’24 season, the only players who exhaust their eligibility are Danny Stutsman and Konor Near. Shane Whitter, Jaren Kanak, Kip Lewis, Kobie McKizie, Lewis Carter, Samuel Omosigho, Phil Picciotti, and James Nesta all are eligible to return.

With the number of returning players set to be in Norman next year, Oklahoma will be looking for two linebackers in the class of ’25.

Right now, OU has one linebacker committed in Marcus James. James wasted little time in committing to the home state team and he is locked in by all accounts.

That brings us to the priority targets. At one time it seemed like OU would quickly wrap up this class with Marcus James and Christian Thatcher. While James is securely in the boat, Thatcher and OU appear to have cooled on each other following Ted Roofs departure.

Christian Jones, Dawson Merritt, Elijah Barnes, and Jaedon Harmon have all visited or are looking to visit this spring and summer. Kamar Archie is also planning on taking an official visit to Norman in the summer and he is a guy who has an OU connection with current Sooner and former high school teammate Logan Howland.

Bottom line: OU is playing from a position of power at the linebacker spot as they have limited room (could have more room if there is attrition to the portal in the spring) so there is some natural pressure on these guys to jump in if they want to be Sooners. Right now, I would be most focused on Jones and Merritt, but it would not be shocking for any number of guys to claim that spot before July is upon us.

Why did They Cancel the Cookie Cakes?
– Super K – Posted on: February 27, 2024

You may have heard that recently the NCAA prohibited schools from decorating recruits hotel rooms (which often included leaving a cookie cake in the room) prior to their visit.

This was in addition to the recent prohibition on photo shoots during unofficial visits.

I know to many this may seem silly but these rules are actually coming as requests from the coaches.

A few weeks back, I spoke with a coaching friend at a P5 school and he mentioned the fact that the coaches are at a point where if they are going to be paying players then they don’t feel like they should have to sing and dance (literally) to get the players. You can buy your own cookie cake. You can get your own photographer.

Agree or disagree, these are not random rules from the NCAA. These are coming at the behest of frustrated coaches who either want the NIL stuff regulated or at the very least, want to find some small relief in the recruiting process.

I don’t think these will be the last of these rules. I actually spoke to a coach on a staff where they basically want photo shoots banned on officials from transfers. Their position is, again, if you want to be paid then this is a business decision so make a business decision and don’t make us jump through hoops for you. If the photo shoots and the relationships and all that aren’t going to matter in the end, then what’s the point?

I know that position may be extreme to some but the point is, and I know I’ve said this before, all this is eventually going to lead to a resolution of these matters, it’ll probably just take some meandering to get there.

DB Recruiting Update
– Super K – Posted on: February 27, 2024

Just a quick note here on some DB recruiting.

***I heard over the weekend that 2025 DB Zay Gentry (McKinney, TX) is very interested in OU and will be up for an unofficial in March. No official set yet but my sense is that that is the Sooners choice.

***As Charlie has mentioned there are some guys who are coming in that the Sooners are definitely recruiting but they also have some of guys that they’re waiting on and they feel good about. Among those are, as you know,  Jonah Williams and Omarion Robinson.

***Bottom line is, they seem to be in a good spot with some top guys but also have some additional talented DBs who would jump in the boat, if pressed.

Three Things I Feel Positive About for OU in ’24
– Charlie S – Posted on: February 28, 2024

Ahead of spring ball I was thinking about things I feel positive about in regards to the Sooners football team heading into the ’24 season.

Winter workouts are one thing, but the keys to the season are handed out in spring practices. Leading up to spring, here are three things I feel positive about:

1. To start the season, Jackson Arnold will look more like Jackson Arnold during the regular season last year (19-24 for 202 with 2 TDs, 0 Interceptions, and 0 sacks) than Jackson Arnold vs Arizona in the Alamo Bowl (26-45 for 361 with 2 TDs, 3 picks and 3 sacks).

Arnold came out in the Alamo Bowl and tried to make 10 pint touchdowns early on and he paid for that with 2 early picks. Once he settled in, he found a rhythm and displayed some of the talent we have all been pining to see. Arnold looked like a true freshman making his first start against a seasoned Arizona team as he was a tick slow on some reads and his pocket presence and timing with his offensive line were off. However, we saw him grow during the second quarter and a few drives in the second half till the team completely fell apart.

Arnold will have the full offseason as QB1 to get comfortable with that role and he will have a notebook of lessons learned coming off of his self-proclaimed disappointing outing in the Alamo Bowl. The winter workouts have helped him develop his leadership role and the 15 spring practices will be huge for him in regard to developing timing with and learning tendencies of his skill position players as well as his offensive line.

2. The Sooners backend on the defensive side of the ball has the highest ceiling of any secondary group seen in Norman in the last 20 years. There, I said it.

Now, I cannot say they will perform the best out of all the units in the past 20 or so years, but OU has legitimate talent and depth at every spot in the seconday.

OU has multiple potential All-American candidates and early-round draft pick guys in Billy Bowman, Gentry Williams, Peyton Bowen, Robert Spears Jennings and Woodi Washington. Those names alone should make you feel good but then you look at the depth pieces in guys like Kani Walker, Makari Vickers, Jasiah Wagoner, Kendel Dolby, Dez Malone and others and you realize this is a very talented and deep secondary. We aren’t even talking about the freshmen who may have an impact like Reggie Powers and Michael Boganowski among others.

Year three in Brent Venables defense is when it is all supposed to come together, right? If OU can stay healthy and become more adept at playing their zone more consistently…you could be staring at one of the better secondaries in the entire country.

Of course they will need help from the guys up front and that’s another story for another day, but the talent is there.

3. The offensive line will be fine. Reason why? It always is.

By the time Tennessee rolls into Norman, Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell will have a good idea of which pieces fit best and where they fit. OU does not lack for experienced bodies in the offensive line at this point as they brought in a bunch of portal guys to add to the remaining guys from the roster last year. Chances are they add another guy or two (which we have talked about) following spring as well.

Yes, it will look different and yes there will be some early mishaps, that just comes with the territory. But if you told me today that OU will roll out an offensive line of Jacob Sexton, Geirean Hatchett, Troy Everett, Febechi Nwaiwu, and Spencer Brown to start game one, I would not believe they would experience much of a drop off from last year and may actually be a stronger unit.

The line I talked about above does not even take into account Jake Taylor, Michael Tarquin, Heath Ozaeta, and Logan Howland…all guys who Bedenbuagh is/has been very high on and then you add a freshman class with a couple guys who could impact the two deep early on in Eugene Brooks and Eddy Pierre Louis…well it’s looking like the makings of a good offensive line.

Venables Provides Updates and Confirmation to Things We Previously Reported
– Charlie S – Posted on: February 28, 2024

Sooners head coach Brent Venables was a guest on Ted Lehman and Gabe Ikard’s podcast (Oklahoma Breakdown) recently and he provided some closure on a few things we had previously reported.

Among the topics he discussed…

***Venables confirms that Bill Bedenbaugh was approached by Alabama for a position on their staff. Back on February 15th, (HERE) we reported that Bedenbaugh was the top target for Kalen DeBoer and the Crimson Tide. As we reported later that evening, Bedenbaugh said ‘Thanks but no thanks’ and he remains happily at OU.

***Back on February 20th, (HERE) we posted an Insider Note which discussed the potential of Jacob Lacey having his football career adversely affected by a reoccurrence of his previous medical condition. On the podcast Venables said Lacey is ‘probably going to medically retire’ due to the medical issues. He called the Lacey news a ‘devastating blow’. We expect OU to turn over all the rocks they can see to find some experience at the DT position via the portal.

***Venables also mentioned that DeMarco Murray was offered a job in the NFL. Murray was a guy we kept hearing ‘may’ be on the move and we told you we could not take that possibility off the table. As we noted HERE back on November 28th, Brent Venables had another candidate in mind to fill the position should DeMarco leave.

If you have the time and are inclined to listen to Podcasts, the Oklahoma Breakdown is probably a good one to listen to this week as Brent provides some other injury updates (Dasan McCullough and Gentry Williams in particular) along with some other tidbits that he is comfortable sharing.

2025 DL Landon Rink | Initial Update
– Super K – Posted on: February 29, 2024

I recently stopped by Cy Fair to see 2025 4-star DL, Landon Rink.

***Rink’s father played at Texas. So, to be candid, I really was thinking this talk of his interest in OU was ultimately going to end up being nothing…

***But after talking to him, I don’t think that assumption is accurate.

***I’ll be going through my notes to give you a fuller picture of his recruitment but for now I wanted to mention that, I do think the Sooners are in this one. I think they’ve made him a priority and the young man seems to be evaluating things pretty objectively.

***I spoke with his father and he also was emphatic that they’d support his decision no matter what.

***Right now there are a number of schools in the mix along with OU – Penn State, Ohio State, TAMU and others. So, it’s still a bit early as he has spring visits coming. But he loved his recent visit to OU and they have a lot of respect for Brent and co and what they do in terms of development.

Big Board | Class of ’25 Interior Defensive Line
– Charlie S – Posted on: February 29, 2024

Continuing to roll out the Sooners class of ’25 Big Boards.

Today we will have a look at the Sooners Interior Defensive Line Board.

Currently, the Sooners have offers out to 27 Interior Defensive Linemen.


Offensive Line Big Board

Running Back Big Board

Wide Receiver Big Board

Quarterback Big Board

Tight Ends Big Board

Safety Big Board

EDGE Big Board

Linebacker Big Board

Defensive Line (27)

Malik Autry – Opelika – (Opelika, AL) – 6.5 320 – Auburn Commit
Dilan Battle – Mansfield Timberview – (Arlington, TX) – 6-2 315
Floyd Boucard – Miami Central – (Miami, FL) – 6-4 280
Kole Briehler – Hun School – (Pennington, NJ) – 6-2 263
Brandon Brown – Eau Gallie – (Melbourne, FL) – 6-2 275 – Texas Commit
Isaiah Campbell – Southern – (Durham, NC) – 6-4 250 – Clemson Commit
Myron Charles – Port Charlotte – (Port Charlotte, FL) – 6-5 260
Antonio Coleman – Saraland – (Saraland, AL) – 6-2 265 – Auburn Commit
Devin Coleman – Cedar Hill – (Cedar Hill, TX) – 6-5 315
Jourdin Crawford – Parker – (Birmingham, AL) – 6-1.5 310 – Auburn Commit
Elijah Griffin – Savannah Christian Prep – (Savannah, GA) – 6-4 270
Hayden Lowe – Oaks Christian – (Los Angeles, CA) – 6-3 227
Juju Marks – St. Thomas Aquinas – (Overland Park, KS) – 6-7 255
London Merritt – IMG Academy – (Atlanta, GA) – 6-2 235
Ka’Mori Moore – Lee’s Summit North – (Lee’s Summit, MO) – 6-1 310 – OU Commit
Trajen Odom – Panther Creek – (Cary, NC) – 6-4 265
Ryshawn Perry – Newton – (Covington, GA) – 6-3 275
Landon Rink – Cy-Fair – (Cypress, TX) – 6-1.5 260
DJ Sanders – Bellville – (Bellville, TX) – 6-3 290
Josiah Sharma – Folsom – (Folsom, CA) – 6-5 295
Abu Tarawallie – Providence Academy – (Minneapolis, MN) – 6-4 260
Xavier Ukponu – Guyer – (Denton, TX) – 6-1.5 265
Ethan Utley – Ensworth – (Nashville, TN) – 6-3.5 275
Zion Williams – Lufkin – (Lufkin, TX) – 6-4 296
Trent Wilson – Dr. Henry Wise – (Baltimore, MD) – 6-3 260
Kevin Wynn – Greene County – (Greensboro, GA) – 6-3 320

Commits at this time: 1

Ka’Mori Moore

Number of commits OU is looking to take out of high school: 2 (could see 3)

Todd Bates did a great job of stacking talent in the ’24 cycle as he added high-ceiling guys David Stone and Jayden Jackson to the fold. Both Stone and Jackson should see time in the rotation this year, and depending on how OU goes about addressing the loss of Jacob Lacey, they may in fact see extensive time.

Following the ’24 season, the Sooners will lose only DaJon Terry to exhaustion of eligibility and they are scheduled to return Gracen Halton, Ashton Sanders, Davon Sears and Markus Strong along with Stone and Jackson.

Whether or not Oklahoma adds another body in the upcoming spring portal window (and how many years of eligibility he/they may have) will go a long way in determining if OU takes 2 or 3 high school interior defensive linemen. I’m still of the mindset that OU would take 3 IDL if they are the right guys as the position is such a priority that you will not turn away talented guys.

Currently, the Sooners have one commit at the interior defensive line position and that is Ka’Mori Moore. Moore had a really nice winter camp circuit, but he still has a long way to go regarding development and you would not think he would be a guy that comes in and is ready to go off the rip, but who knows, it’s a long time between now and the ’25 season.

As for guys who OU has their sites set on as priorities, you have to start with Kole Briehler and Trent Wilson, both of whom will be visiting Norman at least once this spring/summer. As you know Landon Rink is also getting a lot of attention from Oklahoma and recent offer Floyd Boucard has already set an official visit to Norman. Josiah Sharma out of California is another guy I expect OU to get a visit from and there are multiple other guys that Bates and OU are doing work on.

Anyway, back to the Big Board. I expect OU to be very aggressive throughout the cycle in terms of continuing to recruit guys. While Moore has given no indication that he is wavering at all in his commitment to Oklahoma, the Sooners know what Missouri is capable of doing NIL-wise for kids in their state and there is always a chance that they turn up the heat so OU will be wise not to put a ton of eggs in that basket.

Right now, I like OU’s position with Briehler and Wilson and they certainly will be factors in those recruitments. As K mentioned, Landon Rink is more open to the idea of playing in Norman than we initially believed, but that recruitment will always be a tough hill to climb for OU. After that, you will see guys come in and visit and new targets emerge. Would not be surprised at all to see another recent offer, Malik Autry (Auburn Commit) make his way to campus for a visit. I expect OU to pull in a really nice interior defensive line class this cycle.