National Signing Day 2010: Grading the Oklahoma Sooners' Recruiting Class

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National Signing Day 2010: Grading the Oklahoma Sooners' Recruiting Class
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Signing Day 2010 was good to the Oklahoma Sooners.  No issues, no big surprises, no disappointments.  The ones who had committed all signed and Oklahoma can move forward to the 2010 with the number five recruiting class in the country according to ESPN.  

The Sooners didn't get many huge name prospects, but this group of 29 players is about as solid as they come.  All of them should contribute to the future of Oklahoma football.

Having said that, let's take a position by position look at how the Sooners' fared.

 

Quarterback: A

The Sooners only signed one quarterback, but it was a good one.  Blake Bell was ranked in the top 10 at the quarterback position by almost every major publication.  Tom Lemming's MaxPreps even ranked Bell as the best pro-style quarterback in this class.  Bell will more than likely redshirt this year and then have four years to play at Oklahoma.  

 

Running Backs: A+

Brennan Clay and Roy Finch are two of the most highly touted recruits in Oklahoma's class.  Both bring a lot of speed and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  But the signing of these two players has an even bigger impact on future recruiting.  

Finch is from Florida and Clay is from California.  If the Sooners can continue to have good ties in those states, we could see a lot more recruits coming from those states.  

 

Wide Receiver: A

There were no huge big play receivers in this class, but five-star recruit Kenny Stills was added to the class after being cleared by the NCAA Wednesday afternoon.  Stills brings some big play ability and the threat of becoming another Ryan Broyles.  The rest of the receivers are solid as well. Joseph Powell and Trey Franks are small but are big on speed.  Justin McCay is a big, physical receiver from Kansas who alternated the best player in the state title with Blake Bell. 

Lastly, Sheldon McClain is a combination of the two.  He has size at 6'2" but also has a lot of speed.  These guys should all contribute in the future, but for now will be learning behind the Sooners' core group of receivers in 2010.

 

Tight End: B+

There may be reason to forget about Jermaine Gresham in 2010.  Austin Haywood is big at 6'5", 245 pounds and has great speed and hands.  With a couple of years of college coaching, he could be a fantastic player.  Trey Millard is the other signee and he played a lot of halfback in high school.  With his size, 6'2", 245 pounds, the coaching staff is probably moving him to tight end for good, giving the Sooners tremendous depth at that position.

 

Offensive Line: A

This was a major point of emphasis for the Sooners.  Granted, the offensive line wasn't that bad in 2009.  It just lacked the ability to really run block and they never really gelled as a unit.  The Sooners signed five recruits at this position and Bob Stoops said that he is very pleased with them and excited about getting them started.  Bronson Irwin is already enrolled at OU and will participate in spring practice.  Austin Woods at center and Tyrus Thompson at tackle were the highest regarded recruits of the group.  

 

Defensive Line: B+

With basically no depth returning at defensive tackle, this was probably the biggest need for the Sooners.  Oklahoma signed seven players, many of them tackles.  None of them are out of this world players, but they all have tremendous upside.  The wild card of the group is Chuka Ndulue at defensive end.  With some solid coaching and hard work, he could develop into a great end.  Torrea Peterson and Daniel Noble could see the field a lot at tackle.

 

Linebacker: A

The obvious headliner of this group is Corey Nelson, who switched his commitment from Texas A&M yesterday after he told The Oklahoman as late as this past weekend that he was fully committed to the Aggies.  

However, Stoops said that there were no surprises, so he obviously knew more than we did.  Nelson is a fantastic player with a nose for the ball and lots of speed.  Joining Nelson to add more depth to an already deep linebacking corps is Aaron Franklin and Rashod Favors.  

All three could see the field some this season, but with all the talent the Sooners have here, it's doubtful.

 

Defensive Backs: B+

Tony Jefferson is probably the recruit with the most upside in this entire class.  He has tremendous speed and lays some heavy wood.  The others, especially Quentin Hayes and James Haynes look to be major contributors in the future.  

With the major depth that the Sooners have here this year however, most of them will probably only see the field in multiple cornerback situations, if that.  Jefferson will for sure see the field in some capacity, but the rest may just have to wait their turn.  

 

Overall: A

This is a very solid class for Oklahoma and the key to it is that it addresses the needs that it had at offensive line and defensive line.  It also builds lots of depth for the future and brings in a lot of dynamic players such as McCay, Finch and Jefferson.  

2009 may have been a down year for the Sooners, but the future is looking bright.  

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