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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

National Recruiting Report | OU Not Just Adding on O

April 26, 2019

Thursday night was a big night for Oklahoma football with quarterback Kyler Murray going first overall only a year after Baker Mayfield was the top pick in the draft. Back to back Heisman winners and back to back first overall draft picks.

Lincoln Riley and the Sooners don’t need much help recruiting talent on offense, but what just happened ensures they’ll continue to stockpile studs on that side of the ball. Who wouldn’t want to play in an offense like that?

In last year’s class, OU signed one of the top quarterbacks in the cycle, Spencer Rattler‍. They added elite receivers Jadon Haselwood‍, Theo Wease‍, and Trejan Bridges‍. In total they landed five top-150 prospects. All of them play offense.

It’s not a surprise that they have one of the best running backs in the country committed to them in this class. Jase McClellan‍ is ranked 24th in the ISD Fab 50. What is more of a surprise is that out of the five blue-chip recruits they have committed to their 2020 class so far, McClellan is the only one who plays offense.

They have 5-star Drew Sanders‍ (9th in the Fab 50) in the fold. He could be a stud linebacker or edge rusher at the next level. They’ve recently grabbed commitments from Notre Dame cornerback targets Dontae Manning‍ and Ryan Watts‍ and have potential safety DJ Graham‍ as well.

New defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is a catalyst behind it and the expectation is he’ll flip their fortunes on the field this season. They finished a dismal 84th in S&P+ on defense in 2018 and that’s not good enough no matter how good their offense is.

It was Murray, Mayfield, and the offense that helped them make the College Football Playoff three of the last four seasons. Their defense is why they are 0-3 in those semi-final games.

They need Grinch and they need more talent. The talent part seems to be changing if they keep up what they’ve been doing on the recruiting trail this cycle. If Grinch can do what he did at Washington State, Oklahoma can do more than just win the Big 12.

On to other stray national recruiting thoughts…

- Oregon might not be making the same early splash that they did last cycle under Mario Cristobal, but that could change in a hurry if quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei‍ ends up in Eugene rather than Clemson.

One thing they are doing again, though, is take away talent from USC. After their spring game they had 4-star athlete Jaden Navarrette‍ and 4-star wide receiver Kris Hutson‍ commit. Both California natives held a USC offer as did their other commit from California, 3-star tight end Seth Figgins‍.

- It continues to be frightening witnessing what Clemson has been able to do so far. The top recruit in the nation, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee‍, committed this week and they are on pace to have the top class in the country with five top-50 prospects committed so far.

What’s crazy is that they don’t even have to get to a Plan B like most other programs. They’ve only sent out 96 offers this cycle.

By comparison Alabama and LSU, both of whom are expected to finish with top-five classes, have sent out 219 and 281 offers respectively.

- LSU picked up their second Fab 50 commit when wide receiver Jermaine Burton‍ (28) committed to them. He joins cornerback Elias Ricks‍ (4). They are also from California and it’s once again a bad look for USC to not keep them in-state.

- He’s not in the Fab 50 now, but recent Alabama safety commit Brian Branch‍ is someone I can see rising up later on. He just missed out on making it right now. He’s one of the rare safeties in this cycle who I could see being a true single high free safety. His instincts are elite.

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