The Oklahoma football rivalry with Texas is about more than what takes place on the gridiron every October.
It’s also about luring prospects from the talent-rich Lone Star State to come north across the Red River to play football at Oklahoma. The Sooners’ roster annually contains as many players from the state of Texas as any school outside of that state.
The current 2020 Oklahoma football roster contains 49 players from the bordering state of Texas. Five of the 15 commitments in the OU 2021 class are from the Lone Star State, and the Sooners have their eyes on several more highly touted recruits that they hope to convince to leave the state and turn their allegiance to the 13-time Big 12 champions.
The annual OU-Texas game isn’t just huge because of the national prominence of both programs, state bragging rights and the historic significance of the century-old rivalry.
Just a few days before this year’s Red River Showdown, four-star prospect Billy Bowman, out of Denton, Texas, backed off of his year-long pledge to Texas and announced that he was reopening his recruitment. In so doing, the No. 1 athlete and No. 34 player overall in the 2021 class, revealed his new top-three schools — Oklahoma, LSU and Georgia — according to Ari Wasserman of The Athletic.
Several national recruiting experts believe Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma have the inside track to land Bowman, who excels on both sides of the ball at Ryan High School in Denton. Wasserman says Bowman has expressed a preference to play offense, most likely at wide receiver.
It helps that Oklahoma beat Texas on Saturday and that the Sooners have won nine of the last 12 games against the Longhorns. But it’s even more relevant to point out that Bowman’s girlfriend, Jayda Coleman, is committed to play softball at Oklahoma.
Oklahoma could end up gaining commitments from five of the top 10 players in Texas for 2021.
The Sooners are also in prime position to land the No. 1 recruit at running back, Camar Wheaton, out of Garland, Texas; four-star offensive tackle Savion Byrd of Duncanville, Texas; and four-star offensive guard Bryce Foster of Katy, Texas.
Clayton Smith, a four-star linebacker from Texarkana, Texas, and the No. 10 player in the state of Texas, committed to the Sooners in May.
The best Oklahoma recruit to come out of Texas in recent seasons was Adrian Peterson, the No. 1 overall player in the 2004 class. Although you could also count Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as Texas natives who found their greatness playing at Oklahoma. Both transferred to OU after beginning their collegiate careers at Texas Tech and Texas A&M, respectively