Oklahoma Football: 5 Stud Recruits from 2012 Class the Sooners Wish They Had
The 2012 recruiting class is old news, right? These players signed in January and most, if not all, have somewhat of an idea of the role they're going to play with the Sooners this fall.
Like most years, the Sooners had one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Even though the Sooners graduate 20 seniors this season, the talent in their recruiting classes make things seem less scary. Still, what if the Sooners were able to sign just five more guys from that 2012 class that they missed out on?
Sure, the basis that this slideshow is built around is kind of silly. It's completely based on a "what if" notion, meaning that everything has been set in stone—nothing can change. Does this make the information in this article irrelevant? Not necessarily.
The five guys featured in this article would have helped out the Sooners in a huge way, and it's because of the positions they play. Sure, the Sooners are loaded with talent at a lot of different positions, but some major skill positions, such as wide receiver, are rather thin.
So will these five guys play with the Sooners? No, but it's relevant to know how they could have helped given the Sooners' current situation at certain positions.
Still not buying it? OK, well, at least it's fun to think about what the Sooners would have looked like for the next three seasons with these guys wearing Crimson and Cream.
Mario Edwards: Defensive End
Weight: 297 pounds
Position Rank: No. 1
Committed: Florida State Seminoles
Let's start the slideshow with the overall No. 1 recruit from the 2012 class: defensive end Mario Williams. Williams, who committed to the Florida State Seminoles in January, held Oklahoma in the running for quite some time.
That is, until he decided to visit the campus in late December. Here's what the recruit had to say about his trip to SB Nation blog Crimson and Cream Machine:
Talking to some of the (current OU) players, no one had a lot of positive things to say about OU. It was more, like, negative...It was a real small town with really no social life there. After football season, you want to be somewhere you can socialize and all that stuff.
Don't get me wrong; if a recruit is going to be more worried about the night life than football, and have the fortitude to say that (albeit indirectly) publicly, then he quickly becomes a guy you no longer want to recruit. However, Edwards is a special talent at a position that the Sooners need to recruit. He would have competed for playing time upon his arrival.
The Sooners are starting two seniors, David King and R.J. Washington, at defensive end this season. After they leave, the Sooners will have a number of guys competing for starting spots, but none that are quite like Edwards.
Edwards eventually narrowed Oklahoma out of this list, picking Florida State over Texas and LSU. He was originally committed to Florida State from the beginning, but he decided to explore his options. His questionable commitment is another negative issue that the Sooners are spared of, but his athleticism and talent will be greatly missed.
Dorial Green-Beckham: Wide Receiver
Weight: 220 pounds
Position Rank: No. 1
Committed: Missouri Tigers
Mario Edwards may have been the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2012 class, but Dorial Green-Beckham may prove to be the best. The No. 1 ranked wide receiver had Oklahoma on his short list, but eventually chose to sign with his home-state Missouri Tigers.
At 6'6" and 220 pounds, Green-Beckham has drawn comparisons to Calvin "Megatron" Johnson, arguably the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. Obviously, Green-Beckham isn't on Megatron's level yet, but, down the line, it's not out of the question.
Though his size would be enough to make him a matchup nightmare for most opposing cornerbacks, he is also deceptively quick, and his extra-long wingspan and coupled with his vertical make him virtually unstoppable in jump-ball situations.
Even without Green-Beckham, the Sooners were able to sign a promising wide receiver class, highlighted by 5-star Trey Metoyer. Still, with Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson officially up-in-the-air, the Sooners are noticeably more thin at the position. Green-Beckham wouldn't have provided experience, but he could have been a starter based on talent alone.
Going forward, a Green-Beckham and Metoyer wideout duo would have been something to marvel at. Alas, Sooner fans will have to marvel at Green-Beckham and his talent on a different team in a different conference.
Nelson Agholor: Wide Receiver
Weight: 180 pounds
Position Rank: No. 6
Committed: USC Trojans
Dorial Green-Beckham may have been the "Megatron" of this class, but Nelson Agholor is an above-average talent that the Sooners just missed on. Instead, the No. 6 wide receiver in the 2012 class chose to sign with USC, giving the Trojans a ridiculously gifted group of receivers, led by junior Robert Woods.
At 6'1" and 180 pounds, Agholor is a speedy receiver that is hard to defend in the open field. In high school Agholor doubled as a wide receiver and a running back, which undoubtedly makes him a gifted, shifty runner.
Agholor is multi-talented and would likely be tested out at numerous positions at Oklahoma. He likely would have spent time at both wide receiver and running back. His ability to move with the ball, along with his size, is eerily similar to former Oklahoma running back Demarco Murray.
Like I said in the slide previous, Oklahoma's current state at wide receiver is thin with experience more so than talent, but adding Agholor's talent would have helped compensate for all the inexperience. Not to mention, Agholor would have been the perfect candidate to return kicks and punts. With Ryan Broyles gone, the Sooners need to find a new punt returner in a bad way.
Zach Banner: Offensive Tackle
Weight: 305 pounds
Position Rank: No. 2
Committed: USC Trojans
You can never have too many offensive linemen, and that statement could not be any more true for the Oklahoma Sooners. After it was announced that junior college transfer Will Latu has failed to academically qualify and won't be enrolling, the Sooners' offensive line (and Sooner fans everywhere, I'm sure) was taken back after hearing the news of senior center Ben Habern's retirement.
Habern, who has struggled with nagging injuries throughout his stint as a Sooner, has been a consistent starter and team leader when healthy. His absence will allow left guard Gabe Ikard to slide over to center and reserve Adam Shead to move into the starting lineup to fill Ikard's void at left guard.
While 2012 recruit Zach Banner wouldn't have filled either the void at center or guard, he certainly would have helped at offensive tackle, especially with Latu's vacancy. Banner is a big—and I mean that figuratively and literally—offensive tackle prospect that chose to sign with USC over Oklahoma and Washington.
With left tackle Lane Johnson graduating after this season, Banner would have had a chance to compete for a starting job next season. His size was a nice reminder of former Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt, but, once again, the Sooners came up just short.
DeVante Harris: Cornerback
Weight: 160 pounds
Position Rank: No. 11
Committed: Texas A&M
DeVante Harris was originally committed to Oklahoma early last spring and stayed committed through January. However, in what was one of the more shocking and confusing stories of the Sooners' recruiting process, Harris decided to decommit from the program and instead sign with Texas A&M.
The news came as a shock to most everyone involved—fans, players, coaches—as Harrison had made several visits to Norman and seemed like a solid commitment. This was like a punch in the stomach, especially considering that Harris was the Sooners highest-ranked defensive recruit in 2012.
After a disappointing season for the Sooners' secondary, the potential signing of Harris seemed like a step in the right direction. Despite being only 5'10" and 160 pounds, Harris is an explosive athlete and a great on-ball defender—something the Sooners desperately need.
The Sooners will lose two starters in the secondary this season for sure in seniors Demontre Hurst and Javon Harris, but juniors Aaron Colvin and Tony Jefferson are talented enough to fly the coop early depending on what kind of seasons they have. This would have given Harris the opportunity to earn ample playing time early in his career.
Unfortunately, the Sooners had a solid cornerback slip away. Still, the Sooners were able to receive a commitment from 3-star cornerback Zach Sanchez, while junior college standout cornerback Kasseim Everett also elected to sign.
On top of that, Arizona defensive back Cortez Johnson chose to follow defensive coordinator Mike Stoops to the Sooners, giving the secondary another young, talented athlete to provide depth. The signings and transfers help soften the blow Harris left, but having a 4-star cornerback decommit just days before national signing day is never a good feeling.