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Four-star DL Nigel Smith II chooses Oklahoma Sooners over Texas, Texas A&M

Oklahoma landed another defensive lineman from the state of Texas, earning a commitment from consensus four-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith II. Smith represents its fourth defensive line commitment of the 2024 cycle. He picked Oklahoma over Texas, Texas A&M and Penn State.

Smith has been in Oklahoma’s sights since the summer of 2022. The Sooners made an early significant impression on the talented defender. Since their offer, the Sooners continued building a rapport with Smith and making him a priority in this recruiting cycle.

Smith’s decision came at the opening of his Melissa High School’s new stadium. The talented prospect shut his recruitment down nearly a month ago. Since then, Oklahoma has remained the overwhelming favorite to land his commitment.

Smith was once considered a five-star prospect. He has the requisite size and weight and versatility to star in Brent Venables’ defense, which employs both three and four-man defensive fronts. His power jumps off the tape, but he’s fleet-footed enough that he can win with his lateral agility as well.

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This is a massive recruiting win for Oklahoma, and one it could not afford to lose. The Sooners have multiple defensive linemen who will have no eligibility or will graduate following this season. Hence, Smith’s pledge to the Sooners is even more critical. There’s a chance he could earn a role as a freshman out of pure necessity.

That’s another conversation for another day.

However, as Oklahoma continues to try and transform this roster into one capable of winning in the SEC, securing the pledge of a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defender is a big step in the right direction.

Adding Smith to the Sooners’ class vaults them inside the top 10. It is ranked eighth, according to the 247Sports team recruiting rankings. The Sooners are less than a point behind Tennesseee for the seventh-ranked class in the nation.

Smith becomes the fifth highest-ranked prospect in this Oklahoma recruiting class at No. 83 on 247Sports’ composite and No. 115 on 247Sports’ rankings.

Oklahoma isn’t done adding across its defensive front, though. It is the trending choice for one of the Sooner State’s best, four-star edge Danny Okoye.

Oklahoma also may not be done at Melissa High School. One of Smith’s teammates is also being recruited by the Sooners: Owen Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck is a 2025 interior offensive line prospect who was at Oklahoma on an unofficial last week for their first game of the year. He’s a name to watch over the next few months as well.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire