Oklahoma football: Upcoming commitment dates to watch

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 /

Any way you slice and dice it, this has been a highly productive summer for Oklahoma football recruiting, and it’s not over yet with several high-profile commitment announcements coming this month.

Since June 20, the Sooners have received commitments from 12 of the 18 members of their current 2024 class and the momentum continues to build with at least four more announcements expected over the next month that have a high probability of going Oklahoma’s way.

Since the beginning of June, the Sooners have risen from as low as No. 53 in the 247Sports 2024 Recruiting Team Rankings to their present position of No. 14, and that number is expected to get even smaller as Brent Venables and his staff hope to reel in their second-consecutive top-five recruiting class.

Here are the upcoming commitment dates of interest to Sooner fans to keep an eye on:

August 10

Jaden Nickens, a four-star wide receiver from Oklahoma City is expected to announce his commitment on Aug. 10. He currently has offers from Oklahoma State, Penn State, Missouri, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU and others. The 6-foot, 3-inch wide receiver is rated as the No. 4 prospect in the state of Oklahoma and the No. 12 player at his position in the 2025 class nationally, according to 247Sports. There are several predictions by recruiting experts favoring the Sooners in the recruitment of Nickens. If he were to commit to OU, as expected, he would be the third highly rated in-state recruit to do so.

Caden Durham is a four-star running back out of Duncanville, Texas. He has been a top 2023 target for the Sooners for a long while and until just recently has been widely projected to land at Oklahoma. However, LSU has also been heavily recruiting Durham, and when Taylor Tatum, the No. 1-ranked running back in the 2024 class committed to OU recently, LSU emerged as the slight favorite to pick up Durham’s commitment. This past week, the highly touted RB named his three finalists. Oklahoma remains in the mix along with LSU and Texas A&M. Durham was originally scheduled to announce his commitment on Aug. 25, set to coincide with his first game of his final high school season. He changed the timing of the announcement to Aug. 1 and subsequently to Aug. 10. Durham is rated as the No. 9 running back in the 2024 class and the No. 95 player overall nationally.

August 14

On Aug. 14, five-star defensive lineman Williams Nwaneri will announce his commitment, which is heavily predicted to go the way of the Sooners. The 6-foot, 5-inch, 250-pound D-lineman is out of Lee’s Summit North High School in the Greater Kansas City area is rated as the No. 1 DL in the 2024 class, the No. 1 player in the state of Missouri and the No. 3 player overall in the class. He would be the highest rated player to commit to Oklahoma since Adrian Peterson in 2004. Missouri appears to be the closest challenger to OU, although Georgia may also be in the mix. Needless to say, this would be a huge get for Brent Venables and the Oklahoma program.

August 26

One five-star defensive line commitment would be a huge pickup for the Sooners, who have made it a top priority to recruit elite defensive talent in this cycle. How about two five-star, top-rated D-lineman. That is what Oklahoma is hoping for when David Stone announces his college choice on Aug. 26. Stone is from Oklahoma, but he is out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where another Oklahoma 2024 commit (DL Jayden Jackson) is also from. Stone is rated as the No. 2 defensive lineman in the class behind Williams Nwaneri. I think you get the picture of how big it would be for the Sooners to land Stone’s commitment. He reportedly has been a fan of Oklahoma since his youth, and he says he has developed a strong relationship with the OU coaches, and especially Sooner defensive line coach Todd Bates, through several on-campus recruiting visits. The battle for Stone’s commitment appears to be down to just two schools: Oklahoma and Michigan State.

September 8

If it isn’t obvious by now that the Oklahoma coaching staff is really serious about building the best defensive line in college football — especially moving to the SEC, which is widely known for the biggest, strongest and best defensive linemen in all of college football — maybe this will get your attention. In addition to heavily targeting and favored in the commitment of the No. 1 (Williams Nwaneri) and No. 2 (David Stone) in the 2024 class, the Sooners are seriously after four-star D-lineman Nigel Smith II, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 260-pounder out of Melissa, Texas. Smith is rated as the No. 12 defensive lineman in the class and a top-100 player nationally. All three major recruiting services (247Sports, Rivals and On3) project Smith going to Oklahoma.

If the crystal-ball guys are right, by this time next month, Oklahoma will easily have the best 2024 defensive line class in college football. Just what the doctor ordered for the future rebuild of the Oklahoma defensive unit.