The SEC has long been thought to be the best conference in college football and the closest thing to the NFL. Many wondered what kind of recruiting bump the Sooners would see once they headed to their new conference. We might already be seeing it unfold.
The Oklahoma Sooners received a boost on the recruiting trail. Bob Przybylo with SoonerScoop (subscription required) wrote an article about all the ways the SEC is helping the Sooners. The coaches know how big a lift it gives them when they are sitting in the homes with recruits and their families.
“The Sooners have already proven they can recruit at a top-tier level under Venables,” Przybylo said in his piece. “But, honestly, there’s still another level it could reach with the SEC brand attached.”
One of the first things Taylor Tatum mentioned when he committed was the move to the SEC. He was looking forward to playing football and baseball in the premier conference.
To compete in the SEC, you need to recruit against the best in the nation. Oklahoma is coming off the No. 4 class in the nation in the 2023 cycle, which was one of the best classes in program history. That came after securing the No. 8 class in the 2022 cycle.
There’s no doubt Oklahoma’s future in the SEC is helping land guys such as Cayden Green, David Stone and Adeopoju Adebawore. It may not be the primary reason Oklahoma’s having success, but it certainly moves the needle on the recruiting trail.
Nobody creates more NFL draft selections or first round picks than the SEC. The level of competition
This year’s class is ranked 11th in the nation by 247Sports. No. 11 is a good spot to climb higher, but that is seventh among SEC schools thus far.
Obviously, Oklahoma isn’t close to being done recruiting this cycle. Five-star defensive lineman Dominick McKinley is committing on Friday. Then Friday, Sept. 8, four-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith II is announcing his decision.
Right now, Oklahoma is the favorite for Smith, but not for McKinley. There aren’t decision dates for four-star prospects Grant Brix and Danny Okoye. The Sooners are in a good spot with those top prospects. There are targets that could end up in their 2024 signing class. At No. 11, the Sooners may not end up with a top-five class in the SEC, let alone the nation.
Oklahoma knows what it has to do and how well it needs to recruit. It’s why it went after Brent Venables. He knows what it takes to compete against the best in the nation.
It’s why you haven’t heard any doubt after a 6-7 season from the administration. They know they’ve got the right guy for the job.