For most hardcore college football fans in the Internet age, National Signing Day feels like those Christmas mornings when you were a kid and had already found your gifts a week earlier. It’s still fun opening presents, but the anticipation just isn’t there.
Plus, with family coming over in the afternoon for dinner, you know you won’t be breaking out the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip until sundown. That’s if you’re lucky.
Coach Bob Stoops and his staff essentially wrapped up the 2011 class eight months ago, so that left plenty of waiting around for today. Now, everyone has seven months to wait around to see possibly catch a glimpse of the new Sooner standouts.
The first Wednesday in February did bring some drama to Sooner Nation, as OU managed to wrangle away defensive back Bennett Okotcha from Notre Dame and Nila Kasitati from Baylor at the last second. And it wasn’t all gravy, as promising defensive end Cooper Washington spurned the Sooners at the last minute for Texas Tech.
At the end of the day, OU hauled in another highly regarded class. In fact, considering the small number of spots available this year, the Sooners did awfully well.
Crown Jewel: Brandon Williams
Listening to recruiting gurus talk, Williams could have an Adrian Peterson-like impact at running back as a true freshman. Williams possesses a combination of strength and speed that makes him an elite prospect, and his pass-catching skills mean he should fit in well in OU’s spread scheme. There are plenty of tantalizing talents in this group, but none can match Williams’ upside.
Rich Get Richer: Trey Metoyer
Our buddy Crick asked a couple weeks back if OU’s 2011 receiving corps would be the best college football has seen in the last decade. The crew of Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, Dejuan Miller, James Hanna and Trey Franks might be in the conversation. Throw a five-star pass catcher like Metoyer into the mix, though, and that discussion gets a bit more serious.
Sleeper: Nila Kasitati
Euless Trinity star Brandon Carter snubbed the Sooners for Texas Christian, but his teammate Kasitati made a more favorable switch Wednesday, picking OU over his original commitment, Baylor. A high school tight end, Kasitati easily has the size to slide over to tackle. It may take some time, but with his athleticism, Kasitati could end up being multi-year starter on the offensive line.
Better Late Than Never: Bennett Okotcha
Like Kasitati, it took until Signing Day to ensure that one-time Notre Dame commit Okotcha would end up in Norman. With a grand total of zero defensive backs coming in after cutting ties with Carter, Stoops and Co. had to find someone, anyone to fill that void. Thankfully, Okotchka is more than just a warm body for the secondary.
Wave of the Future?: Kendal Thompson
Charles Thompson’s kid can sling it better than his dad, but he’s definitely not in the mold of the traditional pocket passers who have defined OU’s offense under Stoops. Whispers of the head honcho’s infatuation with the zone read have grown louder, though, since Thompson announced he was heading to Oklahoma. Could Thompson be a sign of things to come?
Project: Jordan Phillips
It looks like Phillips, a raw prospect out of tiny Towanda, Kansas, will start as a defensive lineman. However, the big fella’s future may be on the other side of the ball, a la Jammal Brown, who OU molded into a first-round draft pick at offensive tackle. Phillips’ athleticism and size would seem to make him an ideal left tackle with the right coaching. Given the premium on protecting the blind side in the NFL, Phillips probably stands to make a whole lot more cash if he switches sides.