You’ve almost made it. The first wave of the transfer portal is about to come to an end as the window for players to enter comes to a conclusion Thursday.
Now announcements can and will happen well after Thursday, but the paperwork needs to be filed and processed by Thursday for it to be allowed.
There’s still work to be done for Oklahoma, but the news of the weekend was the Sooners being able to pull off the rare transfer portal flip with former Stanford offensive tackle Walter Rouse flipping his commitment from Nebraska to OU.
With OU classes starting Tuesday, that will be when you can breathe that sigh of relief that the transfer portal additions are Sooners once they attend class.
It’s OK to miss the first days of class and still be eligible for the spring and spring football, and if you look at what OU needs from the portal, that will have to be the case.
All eyes are turning toward wide receiver. Targets have come and gone, and it’ll be interesting to see what Emmett Jones attempts to do, after formally being introduced as OU’s wide receiver coach last week.
A couple of portal targets are crossed off, so where will Jones and Brent Venables go from here? Former Bowling Green receiver Tyrone Broden committed to Arkansas on Sunday, after delaying his initial Wednesday announcement date.
Former Oklahoma State receiver Bryson Green appeared to be a major OU priority, but that bubble burst when Green became another prominent offensive name to head to Wisconsin over the weekend.
The Sooners did add former Michigan receiver Andrel Anthony last Tuesday, but everybody knows OU still needs more.
Alabama wide receiver Tyler Harrell hit the portal Saturday, and Jones and other OU coaches are following on social media. It will be interesting to see if anything develops on that front.
#CHO23N has arrived
In non-portal news, it was move-in weekend for OU’s mid-year enrollees. The Sooners are bringing in a whopping 14 recruits to begin the spring semester and go through winter conditioning and spring football.
Even more amazing than having 14 is the news from recruiting director J.R. Sandlin saying all 14 are successfully moved in.
No grade transcript issues. No last-second change of heart or something. All 14 ready to roll and help Team 129.
Quick rundown of the 14? Defensive end P.J. Adebawore, quarterback Jackson Arnold, offensive tackle Cayden Green, defensive back Jasiah Wagoner, running back Kalib Hicks, running back Daylan Smothers, center Joshua Bates, defensive end Derrick Leblanc, safety Peyton Bowen, defensive tackle Ashton Sanders, linebacker Phil Picciotti, safety Erik McCarty, defensive back Makari Vickers and junior college defensive back Kendel Dolby.
That’s a strong foundation from OU’s top-tier 2023 class getting a head start to helping the Sooners.
Hawkins returns to OU
The 2023 class was coming to Norman, and OU was still hard at work with the portal, but you betcha, it’s time for the 2024 class.
OU quarterback target Michael Hawkins returned to Norman on Saturday. The four-star OU legacy has the Sooners among his final choices. He is expected to announce Jan. 31.
It feels like this visit might have cleared up a lot of potential lingering issues that could have existed between Hawkins and the staff.
It’s still a couple of weeks away, and Arkansas is making its own push, but the Sooners are in a very good spot after this weekend
Every week, we’ve sort of set the table for some potential decisions from OU players in regard to the 2023 season. Are they going to stay in Norman, hit the portal or enter the NFL Draft?
This is the final week of having to make that choice. Classes are starting, the portal window is closing and this week is the deadline to declare for the Draft. We’re going to know, one way or another.
We had another massive decision last week with multi-year starting linebacker David Ugwoegbu electing to hit the portal.
Now? A lot of the same names, and again, it’s not a guarantee they’ll make any sort of formal announcement. Like Jaden Davis’ tweet Sunday, maybe that might indicate they’re returning?
Some names that still have that COVID option year include Davis, defensive tackle Jordan Kelley, defensive end Marcus Stripling and defensive back Justin Harrington.
It’s been a process, but all the pieces are finding their place as Venables begins his second year calling the shots at OU.