Oklahoma football: No commitments yet for 2024; what’s going on?

Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Oklahoma Sooners helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Oklahoma Sooners helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oklahoma football program has had a top-10 recruiting class in five of the last six recruiting cycles.

The Sooners are coming off a 2023 recruiting year in which they landed the 4th-best class, according to both 247Sports and ESPN. Since National Signing Day in February, the recruiting focus of head coach Brent Venables and his staff has fully shifted to 2024 and beyond.

Although it is still very early in process, it is not unusual for teams to have several commitments by this time for the next recruiting cycle. Georgia and LSU, for example, already have 10 verbal commitment each for the 2024 class.

Eleven Big 12 teams (including three of the four new schools that will join the conference for the 2023 season) have at least one commitment for 2024. Oklahoma, notably, is not one of them. And the leaders in the 2024 team rankings, Georgia and LSU, already have 10 verbal commitments each.

Is this reason for concern if you’re an OU football fan? No, not really, because you have to understand where Brent Venables is coming from when it comes to recruiting.

Venables approach is in sharp contrast to many of his coaching peers. As a result, Oklahoma’s recruiting commitments are going to come later than many other programs.

Oklahoma has hosted a couple of major recruiting weekends since the beginning of the year and both events were attended by a number of elite 2024 and 2025 prospects. The Sooners have also hosted several unofficial individual visits by prime prospects Venables and Co. are targeting in the current recruiting cycle.

Venables is very open about the fact that he does not want a recruit to make a commitment to Oklahoma until he is absolutely certain that is where he wants to be. If a recruit is considering several schools, including OU, he wants him to visit those schools, talk to whomever he needs to and get all the facts.

When a player commits to Venables and the Oklahoma program, the OU head coach wants that to mean that the recruit is done taking visits and that his verbal commitment is rock solid.

Venables has often said, “The key to being a good recruiter is through relationships. That’s why we don’t want to force a commitment, because once they commit, they’re ours.

"“You’re essentially taking your time, not being in a hurry to make sure that you know that you know that you know that you know,” he said.“I tell our coaches, we don’t want (our recruits) to have buyer’s remorse. Once you make that decision, it needs to be till we graduate.”"

Oklahoma has received a number of crystal-ball projections from experts who follow college recruiting, including for five-star defensive linemen Williams Nwaneri out of Lee’s Summit High School in Kansas City, Mo., and David Stone from Bradenton, Florida, who Michigan State is also heavily recruiting. The Sooners are also leading the field for four-star quarterback Michael Hawkins from McKinney, Texas, and four-star wide receiver Bryant Wesco out of Midlothian, Texas.

Hawkins has announced that he will reveal his commitment on April 8.

Here is the latest breakdown of top prospects Oklahoma is targeting in the 2024 recruiting cycle as compiled by the staff at 247Sports.

The point is, Venables and his staff aren’t sitting on their hands and waiting for prospects to come to them. They’re out there actively recruiting the best in the country along with other top programs. Oklahoma reportedly has made at least 50 scholarship offers for 2024 since late January.

So, no 2024 commitments for Oklahoma thus far? No need to panic.

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It may take the Sooners a little longer to dot the I’s and cross the T’s because of the way they like to go about things, but when all the dust settles, Oklahoma should be right there where it needs to be with another highly regarded recruiting class with which to continue feeding the beast that Oklahoma football is known for.