Oklahoma football: Sooners in the fight for several highly rated 2021 recruits

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 08: Oklahoma Sooners helmets
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 08: Oklahoma Sooners helmets /

Oklahoma football recruiting for the class of 2021 has been at a slow boil relative to other major programs.

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But Lincoln Riley and the Sooners are hoping that the slow boil will keep a number of highly rated recruits uncommitted long enough for the OU hook to snag them.

Chief among them is Oklahoma’s No. 1 target, five-star quarterback Caleb Williams, who has OU, LSU and Maryland among his three finalists and has announced he will declare on July 4 where he is headed to play college football.

Meanwhile, the Sooners are hot on the trail of several other top 2021 prospects who have also caught the active attention of some of the biggest programs in the game.

The Oklahoma 2021 class, currently with nine commitments, ranks 24th in the latest ESPN class rankings. That is sure to change if the Sooners are successful in landing one or more of the players on their prime target list.

Here are some of the top 2021 prospects in the crosshairs of the OU coaching staff as preparations for the problematic 2020 season move forward.

Running back Camar Wheaton

The Sooners lost out to Ohio State on two of the top running backs in the class, which is why they are putting a full-out blitz on Wheaton, rated a five-star prospect out of Garland, Texas. Wheaton is rated the No. 1 running back in the 2021 class by Rivals and the No. 7 player overall. This is a main reason why Lincoln Riley brought former Sooner RB and NFL star DeMarco Murray onto the coaching staff, to keep the OU pipeline full of top running-back talent.

Wheaton has made two visits to Oklahoma, but he is also being hotly pursued by Alabama and Texas.

Running back Donovan Edwards

Oklahoma also has it eyes on four-star running back Donovan Edwards, whose suitors incluse most of the top programs in the country. It appears Michigan has the inside road to land Edwards, who hails from West Bloomfield, Michigan. He is the No. 2 running back in the class, behind Wheaton, and rated 61st overall.

The Sooners probably have a better chance of getting a commitment from Wheaton, but would love to be able to reel in the top two RBs in the class.

Safety Kendal Daniels

Most of Oklahoma’s top prospects over the years have come out of the neighboring state to the south. But they don’t want to lose out on the best the home of Oklahoma has to offer. And the best player in the class of 2021 in Oklahoma is four-star safety Kendal Daniels. Rivals rates Daniels the No. 11 safety in the class and 230th overall.

The Sooners are the favorites to gain Daniels’ commitment, but he also has Clemson, LSU and
Texas A&M among his four finalists.

Daniels is from Beggs, Oklahoma, a town approximately 30 miles south of Tulsa. At 6-feet, 4-inches, he has the length OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is looking for in the Sooner secondary, but the coaching staff has also talked to Daniels about moving to linebacker.

Offensive guard Bryce Foster

One of the reasons Oklahoma has led or been among the top-five offensive teams in the nation over the last five years is because of the quality of its offensive line. Bill Bedenbaugh is considered one of the best O-line coaches in college football, and hot on his radar for 2021 is Bryce Foster out of Katy, Texas.

Foster has already made three visits to Oklahoma, and the Sooners are believed to be in the lead insofar as his recruitment, but at least four other schools are reported to be recruiting him hard. One of those schools is Texas A&M, where Foster’s brother was a former player. Oregon, Texas and LSU are also in the mix.

Some believe that should Caleb Williams ultimately commit to the Sooners, Foster could be close behind.

Wide receiver Jalil Farooq

No. 1 QB recruit Caleb Williams has said he has been working hard to bring some of his close friends along with him wherever he commits to play his college football. One of those close acqaintances is four-star, wide-receiver prospect Jalil Farooq from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

The Sooners already have two WR commitments in the 2021 class, but Lincoln Riley is of the belief that you can never have too many talented receivers, and Farooq is easily a top talent.

Rivals rates Farooq the No. 37 wide receiver in the class and the No. 9 player in the state of Maryland.

When we learn where Williams is headed, Farooq is another who may not be far behind.