Brent Venables on the verge of landing OU’s first top-5 recruiting class since 2010

Recruiting is something the Oklahoma Sooners have done very well since Lincoln Riley took over for Bob Stoops in 2017. In the five recruiting cycles Riley was head coach, the Sooners had four top-10 classes with an average 247Sports composite score of 270.77.

After bringing the 2022 class back to eighth in the country following Riley’s departure, Brent Venables is well on his way to getting the Sooners their first top-five recruiting class since 2010.

That class had 30 commits, the highest being safety Tony Jefferson, who is currently with the Baltimore Ravens. Wide receiver Kenny Stills was also in that class.

Bob Stoops had quite the year.

With Oklahoma Football reasserting itself on the recruiting landscape, let’s take a look back at the last five recruiting cycles. All the rankings are taken from 247Sports.com.

2021

Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws a pass during the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

National Ranking

10th

Highest-Rated Recruit

Caleb Williams, QB

Other Notable Recruits:

  • Mario Williams, WR

  • Ethan Downs, EDGE

  • Jalil Farooq, WR

  • Danny Stutsman, LB

The final recruiting class of Lincoln Riley’s tenure at Oklahoma. The obvious headliner is quarterback Caleb Williams. Williams will be a Heisman finalist and perhaps winner during the remainder of his time in college football.

2020

Oct 20, 2018; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners CO-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

National Ranking

13th

Highest-Rated Recruit

Nate Anderson, OG

Other Notable Recruits:

  • Marvin Mims, WR

  • Anton Harrison, OT

  • Perrion Winfrey, DT

This is a bit of an interesting one. The top two recruits in this class were both offensive lineman; not exactly common during the Riley era.

Perrion Winfrey was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2019

Oct 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

National Ranking

6th

Highest-Rated Recruit

Jadon Haselwood, WR

Other Notable Recruits:

  • Spencer Rattler, QB

  • Theo Wease, WR

  • Austin Stogner, TE

Notable Transfers:

The player who had the biggest impact in a Sooners uniform was not a high school recruit but a transfer. Jalen Hurts was the biggest name in the transfer portal and was a massive get for the Sooners.

Hurts rehabilitated his NFL Draft stock, and the Sooners got their ideal bridge QB while Spencer Rattler held a clipboard.

Rattler and fellow Oklahoma signee Austin Stogner will both play for South Carolina this season.

2018

Oklahoma offensive lineman Brey Walker (70) warms up before an NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. Oklahoma won 33-14. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

National Ranking

9th

Highest-Rated Recruit

Brey Walker, OT

Other Notable Recruits;

  • Ronnie Perkins, DE

  • DaShaun White, OLB

  • Nik Bonitto, OLB

  • Brian Asamoah, OLB

  • Delarrin Turner-Yell, S

  • Gabe Brkic, K

That’s a lot of players that made it to the NFL. SMU QB Tanner Mordecai was also signed by the Sooners in this class.

2017

Sep 18, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Justin Broiles (25) and Oklahoma Sooners cornerback DJ Graham (9) react during the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

National Ranking

8th

Highest-Rated Recruit

Justin Broiles, CB

Other Notable Recruits:

  • Tyrese Robinson, OG

  • Tre Brown, CB

  • Charleston Rambo, WR

  • Kennedy Brooks, RB

  • Trey Sermon, RB

  • Isaiah Thomas, DL

  • Creed Humphrey, C

Another class that boasts its share of NFL talent. Creed Humphrey was Pro Football Focus’ top-rated center of 2021 and will be guarding the face of the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, for years to come.

Conclusion

Apr 23, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables reacts during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley did a lot of things right while he was at Oklahoma, and recruiting is something that he and his staff did very, very well. For a school not known for its defensive prowess, there are quite a few players on the defensive side of the ball that ended up in the NFL.

For whatever reason, there just never seemed to be enough talent on that one side of the ball to win a national championship.

Venables is off to a good start with likely back-to-back top ten recruiting classes, but can he get that extra bit of talent to get the Sooners over the College Football Playoff hump?

Early returns look promising.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire

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