Oklahoma football: The best of the defensive players in the ’23 class

Oklahoma football made big strides as a program recruiting on the defensive side of the ball even with the disappointing news about Akana and Bowen. The Sooners have impact players at every level of the defensive side, and we here at Stormin’ In Norman will introduce you to a handful of those stalwarts.

Five-Star Edge Adepoju Adebawore

Talk about a crown jewel, Adepoju, or PJ as he is called, is a beast. He is listed at 6-foot-4-inches and 240 pounds. He could play both defensive end or the Cheetah position at Oklahoma. The kid is a strong get for the Sooners and one of the better edge prospects to come to OU in several years. Oklahoma has done a good job recruiting the state of Missouri this season, snagging OT Cayden Green.

Four-Star Defensive back Makari Vickers

Seatbelt! While Makari is listed as a safety, there is serious talk about the 6-foot-2-inch, 180-pound superstar from Tallahassee, Florida playing cornerback for Jay Valai and Brent Venables. This kid has elite speed and is physical. He is not afraid to help against the run, takes good angles, and on rare occasions, he is beaten and has elite makeup speed. Sooners won this battle head-to-head with Alabama.

Four-Star LB Samuel Omosigho

A freaky twitchy athlete from Crandall, Texas. He was somewhat a late riser as he did not get as much attention earlier in the cycle, but he ended up being a top 100 player before everything was all said and done. Sam played both offense and defense, he has very good ball skills and shows a ton of promise in coverage. He also possesses sideline to sideline speed you want.

Four-Star DT Derrick Leblanc

While it is likely Oklahoma doesn’t land DJ Hicks, all is not lost in the interior defensive line department. As coach Dabo Sweeny would say, Derrick Leblanc, is, “no slapdick.” He is not a consolation prize, the highly sought-after DT from Kissimmee, Florida, is a big prize for the Sooner staff. He is currently listed at 6-foot-5-inches and 270 pounds and has a huge frame. He is a good anchor in the run game, but he is also super athletic and twitchy, showing explosion and the ability to make impact plays. It could be a three-tech or get blown up and play a hybrid role as a nose guard in the future as well.

Defensive recruiting takes a massive step forward with new staff

There are no two ways about it losing out on Akana and Bowen hurt, and they should. Those players are the kinds of building blocks that make classes great, but Oklahoma still signed a great class without their pledges. For the defensive side of the ball, this is one of Oklahoma’s better classes in a while, and while we highlighted these four today, there are so many others to be excited about. Oklahoma football is in great shape as they gear up for the move to the SEC at least from the talent perspective.