🏈 Recruiting check-in: May 12, 2022
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📖 Word count: 760 (About five minutes)
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On the trail
Commitments are coming less frequently for OU football. The previous staff did a lot of the heavy lifting during the spring, but under coach Brent Venables, he wants guys to commit only when they’re absolutely ready to commit.
If you’re unaware, Venables is taking from the Dabo Swinney playbook and does not want any players to take official visits to other schools after they have committed to Oklahoma.
This, as you can imagine, is going to make the recruiting process more of a marathon for the Sooners. The philosophy worked out well for Clemson, which won two national titles conducting business that way.
This policy has a lot to do with why OU hasn’t had a new commitment for its 2023 recruiting class in over three months. Kaleb Spencer, a three-star prospect from Colonial Heights, Virginia, ended that drought, however, on Monday.
Spencer had plenty of options, including OU's future conference mates LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee. The likes of Michigan State, Penn State and Virginia Tech were also after his services.
So, why did Spencer pick the Sooners? Apparently, the way OU fans greeted Venables back to Norman for the Sooners’ recent spring game went a long way for the three-star safety.
"I loved the atmosphere there and everything coach [Brent] Venables brought back to the program," Spencer told 247Sports.com. "It really stood out to me that they came back out to show love like that for coach Venables, so I knew that program would be good for me.”
Spencer expects to play a diverse role in Vebales' defense. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect out of Life Christian Academy told 247Sports.com he anticipates playing OU's "Cheetah" position, which will allow him to move around anywhere from the secondary to lining up in the trenches.
Spencer is one of the top safeties in his recruiting class, ranking No. 52 nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
He is the first defensive commitment of the Venables era. (No pressure)
In the portal
OU’s quarterback room was fairly thin behind Dillon Gabriel. So, no one should have been happier than first-year offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby to recently land the commitment of Davis Beville, who started his college career at Pitt. Beville is an intriguing addition to the Sooners' offense. Gabriel is still the Sooners' best option, but the former three-star prospect brings two years of college development and should push the rest of the group to become OU’s backup option in 2022. Beville, who's listed at a towering 6-foot-6, obviously didn’t have the benefit of going through spring practices like reserves Nick Evers, Micah Bowens and Ralph Rucker. But this is a quality get for OU’s staff, which desperately needed insurance at the position.
Javian Hester, a native Tulsan who played at Booker T. Washington, is returning to the Sooner State. Hester originally signed with Mizzou out of high school, where he was rated a four-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite. The 6-foot-3 receiver finished with 225 yards on 12 catches and two touchdowns last season for the Tigers. He provides a boost to a receiver that has plenty of roles to fill following the departures of Jadon Haselwood and Mario Williams.
On3 national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman posted a prediction for OU to land three-star receiver Anthony Evans. The Converse, Texas, native was previously committed to Arkansas, but withdrew his verbal pledge late last month. The speedy 6-foot-1 receiver, who attended OU’s spring game, is expected to take an official visit to Oklahoma next month.
Class of 2023 four-star DL Kelby Collins has narrowed his options to OU, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Collins is a top-100 prospect nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Upcoming official visits
June 3, 2022
5-star RB Richard Young
4-star WR Jaden Greathouse
4-star OT Payton Kirkland
4-star CB Dijon Johnson (Ohio State commit)
4-star OL Brycen Sanders
3-star WR Anthony Evans
Offers: 163 (+7 from last week)
247Sports National Team Ranking: 20 | Big 12: 4
⭐️⭐️⭐️ OL Joshua Bates (Durango, Colorado), Committed: Aug. 13, 2021
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ QB Jackson Arnold (Denton, Texas), Committed: Jan. 24, 2022
⭐️⭐️⭐️ ATH Erik McCarty (McAlester, Oklahoma), Committed: Jan. 29, 2022
⭐️⭐️⭐️ WR Ashton Cozart (Flower Mound, Texas), Committed: Feb. 4, 2022
⭐️⭐️⭐️ S Kaleb Spencer (Colonial Heights, Virginia), Committed: May 9, 2022