The Oklahoma Sooners had a field day in the 2023 recruiting cycle, closing with a recruiting class that ranked in the top five according to 247Sports and ESPN and were seventh nationally according to On3 and Rivals.
With the early signing period, much of the 2023 cycle is finished, which has led several publications to release their final player rankings for the class. Over at ESPN, 13 of Oklahoma’s signees for the recruiting class were ranked inside their top 300. By comparison, Alabama had 23 players and Georgia had 21 of the top 300. The Sooners still have a ways to go to get the number of top recruits like the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs. Another team relevant to the Sooners, the USC Trojans, only earned signatures from five players in the ESPN 300.
Led by Jackson Arnold, Oklahoma had seven players in the top 100, including four on the defensive side of the football. And that’s the biggest difference in this recruiting class compared to those from the past. The Sooners added a ton of defensive talent, 10 blue-chip prospects on defense, according to 247Sports.
Here’s a look at where each player ranked in the ESPN 300 and where they ranked at their position.
Jackson Arnold - No. 3 Overall, No. 3 QB
Oklahoma signee Jackson Arnold, the 2022 Gatorade National Player of the Year, jumps from No. 8 to No. 3 overall after a stellar senior season against some of the best competition in the country. He completed 69% of his passes for 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also performed at a high level during the Under Armour All-America week. – Haubert and Luginbill, ESPN
A phenomenal 2022 for Jackson Arnold saw him climb the ESPN 300. There will be a lot of hype that follows the freshman quarterback, but it’s unlikely he sees extended action until 2024.
Peyton Bowen - No. 17, No. 2 S
One of the more dramatic endings to a recruitment finally ended up in Oklahoma’s favor. The Sooners landed Peyton Bowen, who will be a cornerstone of the secondary for years to come with his athleticism and range.
Adepoju Adebawore - No. 20, No. 2 DE
Defense was a need for Oklahoma in this cycle, and coach Brent Venables addressed it in Adebawore. Known as PJ, he is one of the biggest risers in this update based off his elite measurables (6-5, 230, 84-inch wingspan), strong testing numbers and high ceiling. He uses his length and frame to wreak havoc as an edge rusher. He still has plenty of room to fill out and grow as a player, but he showed during Under Armour All-America week that he is already translating his physical gifts into impact play. – Haubert and Luginbill, ESPN
Like Jackson Arnold, Adepoju Adebawore made the most of his senior season, earning consensus five-star status, and is considered by many to be a top 20 player in the 2023 class. With his traits, Adebawore could have an impact as a true freshmen in 2023.
Jaquaize Pettaway - No. 45, No. 7 WR
Speaking of players that could have an impact in year one, Jaquaize Pettaway probably has the best chance to be a game-changing player in 2023. Though he won’t be with the Sooners until the Summer, his speed is simply too good not to utilize.
Jacobe Johnson - No. 48, No. 7 CB, No. 2 ATH
Getting Jacobe Johnson out of Mustang was a huge win for Jay Valai, Brent Venables and the ret of the staff. The long, athletic cornerback prospect will be a gamechanger on the outside when he gets his opportunity to take the field.
Cayden Green - No. 55, No. 2 Guard
Cayden Green has the size and athleticism to be the next great offensive lineman from the University of Oklahoma. An offseason with strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt could have him ready to contribute in year one, but he likely plays a rotational role along the offensive line.
Makari Vickers - No. 82, No. 10 Cornerback
Another big addition for the Oklahoma Sooners as the look to add talent to transform their secondary. Makari Vickers can help the Sooners at cornerback or at safety and brings an edge with him to Norman.
Samuel Omosigho - No. 115, No. 10 Outside Linebacker
Over the last two recruiting cycles, the Oklahoma Sooners have added quite a few talented linebackers and Samuel Omosigho is one of them. Linebacker depth won’t be a problem in the future like it was in 2022.
Lewis Carter - No. 124, No. 11 OLB
Lewis Carter is a player that would be capable of starting at running back for a lot of schools. That athleticism and toughness will be huge assets to the Sooners’ revamped defense.
Derrick LeBlanc - No. 125, No. 17 DL
If there’s one area where the Sooners need to add talent as they prepare to make their way to the SEC, it’s along the defensive interior. Bringing in a player like Derrick LeBlanc is the start. He’ll be a force rushing the passer from the interior.
Daylan Smothers, No. 230, No. 12 RB
The Sooners added some serious speed on offense with Pettaway and at running back with Daylan Smothers. Smothers will bring a breakaway element to the Sooners similar to Gavin Sawchuk. He’ll be dangerous in the return game.
Keyon Brown - No. 232, No. 26 WR
A big wide receiver with a large catch radius, Keyon Brown has the route-running chops to be a dangerous player at every level of the route tree.
Jasiah Wagoner - No. 245, No. 32 CB
Another addition to the secondary that will have a big impact, Jasiah Wagoner, plays bigger than his 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame. If Vickers ends up at safety, then Wagoner will make an impact on the outside. Otherwise, he’ll be a fantastic slot corner option for Oklahoma in nickel situations.
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