Oklahoma football: Five-star TE’s commitment could be a 2024 catalyst?

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 /

Often in the college recruiting process, gaining a commitment from one top target can be the tipping point that makes the difference for others to follow. That could well be the prospect with the latest Oklahoma football recruiting commitment from tight end Davon Mitchell.

The five-star tight-end prospect out of Los Alamitos, California, by way of Allen, Texas, committed to Oklahoma on Saturday, choosing the Sooners over the equally strong interests of Alabama and Miami (Florida). Originally classified as a 2025 recruit, Mitchell also announced that he is reclassifying to the 2024 cycle and will graduate from high school in December.

The 6-foot, 4-inch, 245-pound tight end, as described by my StorminNorman colleague Brandon Self, “is receiver fast, tight-end strong and looks more like a defensive end than an offensive weapon. Mitchell is ranked as the top player in the state of California, the No. 2 tight end in the 2024 class and the No. 19 player overall nationally in the class, according the 247Sports.

He was a teammate and good friend of OU 2024 quarterback commit Michael Hawkins at Allen (Texas) High School before both transferred (Hawkins in-state to McKinney and Mitchell to Southern California). Mitchell readily acknowledged that the opportunity to play with Hawkins in college was a big part of his decision to come to OU.

It could well be — and the Oklahoma coaches are hoping it is so — that Hawkins’ commitment will serve as an incentive and trigger for other elite 2024-25 prospects that the Sooners have in their recruiting crosshairs. It should be noted that Mitchell is also a close friend of another five-star target Oklahoma is hoping to land in this cycle: Defensive lineman David Stone.

Several top Sooner targets for 2024 have said they will announce their commitment later this month or in August. These include four-star wide receiver Zion Ragins of Gray, Georgia. The speedy WR is reported to have 10.3 speed in the 100-meter dash and reminds people of former Sooner Marquise “Hollywood” Brown with his 5-foot-9, 170-pound size and elite speed.

Ragins is scheduled to announce on July 18. Both On3 recruiting and Rivals currently favor Oklahoma in Ragins’ recruitment, but Georgia and Florida State reportedly are gaining some steam.

Four-star safety Mykel Patterson-McDonald from nearby Westmoore High School in Moore, Oklahoma, is set to announce on July 31. Both Rivals and 247Sports project him to sign with the Sooners.

While the Sooners await a decision from 2024 No. 1 running back recruit Taylor Tatum, they are also heavily pursing four-star RB Caden Durham out of Duncanville, Texas. Projections have long favored Durham heading to OU, but his final decision appears to be between the Sooners and LSU. He is expected to announce that decision on August 25.

These are the Oklahoma targets that we know of who plan to announce soon, but there could certainly be others in the coming days and weeks because July recently under both Lincoln Riley and Brent Venables has been a very active month for Sooner football commitments