Oklahoma football: Sooners put out Saturday best for big recruiting weekend

The West Virginia game was the last Saturday home game of the 2023 Oklahoma football season — hard to believe, I know — and as such the last big recruiting weekend of the season.

A few remaining 2024 targets, namely four-star offensive lineman Grant Brix, and a larger number of 2025 prospects were on hand for the full OU experience as the Sooners unfurled their best performance of the season in a 59-20 demolition of the visiting Mountaineers.

You couldn’t have drawn it up any better in terms of putting your best foot forward in an effort to close on commitments from some prized recruiting targets. The Sooners’ 2024 class, which appears to be headed for a third straight top-10 national finish, is nearly complete with 26 commitments to date, but Brent Venables and Co. are still working hard to add one or two more before early national signing period opens on Dec. 20.

The Sooners are already way ahead of where they were a year ago in putting together the 2024 class. At this time last season, Oklahoma had no commitments yet for 2024. The first three in that class — QB Michael Hawkins, WR KJ Daniels and OT Isaiah Autry — did not give a verbal pledge until April this year.

As of Saturday, OU already had eight commitments for 2025, including a pledge on Friday night from three-star edge rusher Alexander Shieldnight from Wagoner, Oklahoma, rated the No. 12 player in the state by 247Sports. Shieldnight is the sixth player from the state of Oklahoma to commit to the Sooners for 2025, including three from the same Oklahoma City high school (powerhouse Carl Albert High School).

Oklahoma’s 2024 class currently ranks No. 6 in both the 247Sports and Rivals team rankings, and the 2025 class is 4th (behind Alabama, Georgia and Notre Dame), according to 247Sports. Thirteen members of the Sooners’ 2024 class were on campus for the recruiting event and at the game on Saturday.

One of the final few commitments Venables and his staff would like to add in closing out the 2024 class is 6-foo, 5-inch, 280-pound offensive tackle Grant Brix from Logan, Iowa. The Sooners are in a battle with Kansas State and Nebraska for Brix’s commitment, but the four-star prospect was one of the top recruits in Norman for the West Virginia game weekend.

Brix, rated as the top player in the state of Iowa in the 2024 class, may have been the highest priority of the recruits on hand at OU over the weekend, but there were multiple high-priority targets for 2025 in attendance.

Among the 2025 top targets who viewed the Sooners demolish West Virginia with 644 yards of total offense were four-star tight end prospect Nate Roberts out of Washington, Oklahoma, and four-star defensive back CJ Jimcoily, who hails from Nashville, Tennessee.

Jimoily is rated by 247 Sports as the No. 11 safety prospect in the 2025 class nationally. This was not his first visit to the OU campus. He attended Brent Venables’ Elite Camp this past summer.

Also in attendance for an official visit over the weekend was four-star edge rusher Max Granville from the Houston area. All three are being heavily recruited by a number of major programs, including the Sooners. Roberts decommitted over the summer from a previous pledge to Notre Dame.

The advantage Oklahoma may have in landing the 6-foot, 4-inch, 235-pound Roberts is the reported relationship he has developed with fellow OU 2025 commits QB Kevin Sperry and WR Elijah Thomas.

Kaydin Jones, the son of former Oklahoma running back Kejuan Jones (2002-05), was one of several 2026 prospects who were in Norman for the recruiting weekend. The younger Jones is a sophomore at Jenks High School in the Tulsa area. He is regarded as one of the top running backs in the state but is being recruited as an athlete because of his athleticism and versatile skills.

In addition to OU, Jones has offers from Colorado, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech among others.