Oklahoma football: Sooners’ 2018 recruiting class first step in revamping defense


Lincoln Riley should be extremely pleased. His 2018 Oklahoma football recruiting class is one of the country’s best.

Oklahoma ended National Signing Day Part II signing three more players to fill out a 22-member 2018 class. Signing letters of intent on Wednesday were Sooner prospects Michael Thompson, a four-star defensive tackle from St. Louis, four-star linebacker Deshaun White from Dallas area and Brayden Willis, a tight-end/H-back from Arlington, Texas.

“It was a really, really good day for us,” OU head coach Riley told OU insider Joey Helmer of 247 Sports and other reporters on Wednesday. “(Today) was more different than the first (signing) day in December because this is normally such an action-packed day and really 90 to 95 percent of our work was done here before the day even started.”

The Sooners were ranked as the eighth best recruiting class by Rivals.com and are No. 10 class, according to ESPN.

What makes the 2018 Oklahoma recruiting class such a special group is not just the talent alone, but the fact the mix of players fills the Sooners biggest personnel needs and adds depth to positions where the team is already strong.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

Everyone who follows Oklahoma football knows that defense has been a big black eye in  recent years and easily represents the teams biggest area of need. The 2018 Sooner class is loaded up with top defensive talent. Thirteen members of the class were recruited specifically to fill needs on the defensive side of the ball.

The last player to complete his recruiting process signing with Oklahoma on Wednesday was one of the biggest, both physically and figuratively. Michael Thompson is a 6-foot, 3-inch, 315-pound kid who Riley believes can be a dominant force in the middle (of the defensive line), which you need regardless of what kind of front you’re playing.”

"“Big Mike was a big get,” Riley said. “As we all know, defensive linemen, they’re the toughest position to recruit. Everyone want them, and there’s not very many of them out there.”"

Some of the other defensive recruits that Riley and the Oklahoma coaching staff are very high on are linebackers White and Brian Asamoah, a four-star prospect from Ohio State’s backyard in Columbus, Ohio; Brendan Radley-Hines, a five-star cornerback out of Bradenton, Florida. and Starland Baldwin, another defensive back, rated four stars, from Cypress, Texas; and defensive end Jalen Redmond, rated by Rivals as the eighth best at his position nationally, from Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Next: Earlier post: Sooners' ink 17 on early National Signing Day

Hines is the Sooners’ highest-rated recruit, the No. 2 cornerback nationally, according to Rivals. Offensive tackle recruit, Brey Walker, from nearby Moore, Oklahoma, is rated fourth nationally at his position by Rivals.