SoonerScoop – Report Card 2023

Oklahoma’s class of 2023 currently sits seventh in the country. The standings tied with the Sooners’ second-highest finish in the Rivals standings since 2008. The pack was led by five-star duo Denton (Texas) Guyer, but it’s time to take stock of the position packs and see how well the ‘Oklahoma behaved in class.

Contractor

Signatories: Jackson Arnold

Thoughts: There’s not much to tell about Oklahoma’s most visible effort of the class of 2023. He’s not only huge to the Sooners for his talent, but also how important he’s been in helping this class stick together during some rocky stretches of autumn. Arnold is a guy his teammates believe in and his classmates seem to feel the same way.

Overall grade: A+

Run back

Signatories: Kalib Hicks, Daylan chokes

Thoughts: Not the flashiest group as far as big names go but Demarco Murray he did another outstanding job continuing to build his run room. Hicks carries an incredible amount of power and just does a great job wearing down defenders as the game goes on. Meanwhile Smothers is a back with big feet and athleticism who will be extremely dangerous in the space and passing game. The two complement each other very well.

Overall grade: b

Wide receiver

Signatories: Keyon Brown, Jaquaize Pettaway

Thoughts: Oklahoma’s wide receivers in the class of 2023 may not have the numbers the Sooners were looking for, but they’re the vertical threats that Jeff Lebby like offensively. Brown is a big wide receiver who seems as comfortable running over runs as he is in between. The same can be said of Pettaway due to his impressive speed, but beyond that he is very agile and a surprisingly aggressive blocker.

Overall grade: b

Narrow end

Signatories: Kade McIntyre

Thoughts: McIntyre is a player we could look back on and see this ranking as wholly unfair to the Nebraska big man. McIntyre is a unique athlete who has the ability to catch passes to work the field, but he’s big and powerful enough—and growing—to become a quality all-around tight end.

Overall grade: B-

Offensive line

Signatories: Joshua Bates, Caiden green, Logan Howland, Heath Ozaeta

Thoughts: This offensive line group could be one of the true barometers for this class’ overall on-field success. If there are more multi-year rookies, then you have a real chance for the class of 2023 to live up to some of its recruiting buzz. Howland and Green have great tackling potential and have a chance to be NFL boys across the board if all the pieces come together. Bates and Ozaeta will be inside and the former looks like the heir apparent Andrea Raym while Ozaeta has some versatility but figures to end up on guard.

Overall grade: b

Defensive tackle

Signatories: Derrick LeblancAshton Sander, Mark Strong

Thoughts: Oklahoma came this close to having one of the elite classes in the nation at the position, but they missed out on a couple of elite chances. However, there is potential in this group with lots of length and quickness that has yet to be fully honed. Adding to the Sooners’ hopes is that both Leblanc and Sanders are already taking part in bowl practice and will be available for spring training with Jerry Schmidt and the rest of the Sooners strength and conditioning personnel.

Overall grade: C+

Defensive end

Signatories: PJ Adebawore, Taylor Wei

Thoughts: There was probably room for one more, but it’s hard to argue with a group of four and, potential five stars, in one location. Adebawore may have more edge than any prospect in the class and has all the makings of a future star for the Sooners. Meanwhile Wein may have been overlooked for too long, but his offer list quickly grew once Oklahoma got involved and looking at his blowout and overall engine on tape it’s not hard to see why.

Overall grade: YES+

Linebackers

Signatories: Lewis Carter, Samuel Omosigho, Phil Picciotti

Thoughts: Skills-wise, it’s hard to imagine a group that’s better suited to what Brent Venables he wants in his linebackers. He has his big thumper in the middle which plays the run into Picciotti very well. Meanwhile he has two linebackers to partner him who can really run in Carter and Omosigho. Carter is a Venables guy to the bone with Omosigho with the length and speed of him having a lot of advantages.

Overall grade: b

Cornerbacks

Signatories: Jacob Johnson, Makari Vickers, Jasia Wagoner

Thoughts: It may be a while before this group is seen nationwide as the big win it was for Jay Vallei but he’s not only found some great talent, but also some kinds of angles for the Sooners to play with. Wagoner is a highly competitive guy who has the looks of an outstanding nickelback in the future. Vickers and Johnson are a pair of smooth and easy defenders who always seem so in control. Both are massive in size and while Vickers has made many plays defensively, Johnson has yet to be truly challenged, but has shown prodigious playmaking ability up front.

Overall grade: YES+

Safety

Signatories: Peyton Bowen, Erik McCarty, Dae McCullough, Kendel Dolby

Thoughts: Oklahoma may have signed two 2023 starters in this safety group and beyond that they have two players who carry a load of versatility. Bowen and Dolby are two of the most talented defenders in the class and have the potential to make an immediate impact. Bowen is a pure safety with great ability in the return game while Dolby could also play some angles if needed, he is remarkably gifted. McCarty and McCullough aren’t just safeties, but they could morph into Cheetah or linebacker-type roles. Once again it is a group with impressive versatility.

Overall grade: A+

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