🏈 OU's 'secret' signee
Keeping DeMarco Murray on staff might be one of the best decisions Brent Venables makes as OU's head coach
✌🏽 Happy Monday, friends. Let’s ride.
📖 Word count: 766 (About six minutes)
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🔒 OU lands Barnes
Either DeMarco Murray’s name still carries plenty of weight in his hometown or he might just have a knack for this recruiting thing.
No matter the reason, Murray and the Sooners publicly landed a commitment from four-star running back Jovantae Barnes, a fellow Las Vegas product and blue-chip Class of 2022 prospect.
Note the word: publicly.
OU football’s official Twitter account welcomed Barnes to the Sooners’ 2022 signing class with a tweet on Sunday following his announcement at the Under Armour All-America Game.
What this means: Barnes must have already signed his letter of intent during the early signing period (Dec. 15-17) for OU to publicly acknowledge his commitment. Barnes wouldn’t be the first to privately sign with the Sooners during the early period before making their decision known at a later date. Outgoing outside linebacker Nik Bonitto did the same in 2018, receiver Jadon Haselwood in 2019 and Chandler Morris a year ago.
Scouting report: Barnes is a solid runner, who’s not afraid of contact but shifty enough to avoid it when he can. He shows good balance and steady on his feet. Barnes should pair well with fellow 2022 running back signee and four-star prospect Gavin Sawchuk, both of whom have the chance to play as freshman with the departure of Kennedy Brooks and develop into multi-year starters.
Jovantae Barnes (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Pos: RB • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 lbs.
High School: Desert Pines HS, Las Vegas, Nevada
247Sports Composite Rankings
National: 116 • Position: 10 • State: 3
Other offers: Alabama, Florida, Southern Cal and Utah (35 offers total)
🏈 Leaving early
OU safety Delarrin Turner-Yell will declare for the NFL Draft, he announced on Saturday.
Turner-Yell is the fifth Sooners defensive starter to declare for the draft, joining OLB Nik Bonitto, DT Perrion Winfrey, ILB Brian Asamoah and DE/DT Isaiah Thomas. Patrick Fields, OU’s other starting safety, is also leaving OU but will quit football to further his education at Stanford University.
What this means: OU coach Brent Venables will have his work cut out for him in Year 1 with the loss of Turner-Yell and Fields. The safety duo has given OU stability at the position for years, but the long-term hope for Venables has to be upgrading the talent at those positions and those pieces, like a Key Lawrence, could already be on campus. He has the unenviable task of also trying to do the same along the defensive line and at linebacker. For any success OU enjoys defensively, it will undoubtedly be a product of Venables and his staff’s coaching as they essentially start from scratch.
More on Turner-Yell
📊 Career stats: 190 tackles, 6 passes defended, 4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble
🏆 Career accolades: All-Big 12 second-team selection (2021), Academic All-Big 12 second-team honoree (2021), three-year starter at safety
🎓 Sooners in the NFL
Rams 20, Ravens 19: Marquise Brown recorded 28 yards on 3 catches, while Tony Jefferson had 3 tackles for the Ravens. Mark Andrews also had 89 yards receiving on 6 catches, surpassing the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single season.
Cardinals 25, Cowboys 22: Kyler Murray had 263 yards on 26-of-38 passing for 2 touchdowns and 44 rushing yards on 9 carries for the Cardinals. CeeDee Lamb had 51 yards on 3 catches for the Cowboys.
Bengals 34, Chiefs 31: Joe Mixon had 46 rushing yards on 12 carries for the Bengals. Blake Bell had 35 yards receiving on 3 catches for the Chiefs.
Patriots 50, Jaguars 10: Rhamondre Stevenson had 107 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns for the Patriots.
Eagles 20, Washington FT 16: Jalen hurts had 214 yards on 17-of-26 passing for the Eagles.
Tonight: Baker Mayfield and the Browns face the Steelers at 7:15 p.m. CT on ESPN.
🗓 Week ahead
🏀 Men’s basketball: at No. 1 Baylor at 6 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN2); vs. No. 8 Iowa State at 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU or ESPN2)
🏀 Women’s basketball: vs. Iowa State at 6 p.m. Wednesday (Bally Sports OK); at Kansas at 4 p.m. Saturday
🤸♀️ Women’s gymnastics: vs. Alabama at 11:45 a.m. Sunday (ESPN2)
⏰ On this day
Twenty-one years ago today, Oklahoma beat Florida State 13-2 to claim the program’s seventh national title.