The top high school recruit in Oklahoma is staying home.
Gentry Williams, the No. 11-ranked cornerback in the 2022 class per Sports Illustrated All-American, announced his verbal commitment to the Oklahoma Sooners on Monday afternoon.
Williams selected the Sooners over Florida, USC and Missouri.
"This is probably the best decision for me," Williams said during his live commitment on CBS Sports HQ. "Get to stay home, represent my state and represent the great state of Oklahoma in the right way. We're ready."
The 6-foot-0, 170-pound athlete made the pledge, ending a long journey where the Sooners were the second school in the country to issue him a scholarship offer.
Williams is one of the best athletes in the country, getting work all over the field on both offense and defense throughout his high school career at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa.
"Hopefully I'll bring the Speed D to Oklahoma's defense," Williams told CBS Sports HQ. "I'm ready to complete. I'm ready to grind. Let's go get that Natty."
His road to Oklahoma hasn’t been totally straightforward, however. William’s junior season was cut short due to an ACL injury, but Williams told SI Sooners he’s getting more and more confident since returning to the football field last spring.
“It feels good,” Williams said of his knee at the start of September. “I definitely try to push myself at practice to make these games a lot easier and, shoot, I think I did okay today. Still some stuff to clean up but we’re gonna get better.”
Since the Sooners have been on Williams since the very beginning, he’s had plenty of time to build relationships with the coaching staff, but the talented defensive back was sure to take his time and make sure he saw everything college football had to offer before making the decision to commit to OU.
Williams took visits to Florida and USC, but his pair of visits to OU, specifically during the ChampU BBQ, stood out.
“It was a good experience,” said Williams. “I was glad I went because in the beginning I didn’t know if I really wanted to go just for personal reasons, but I’m really glad I went (to the BBQ). I think my bond with Coach (Alex) Grinch and Coach (Lincoln) Riley helps and we’ll see what it’s like for the future.
“…I think we can say that Coach Grinch has really turned that defense around.”
The talented corner, ranked a 4-star recruit by 247 Sports and Rivals, is the second major commitment for Alex Grinch and the Oklahoma defense in as many weeks, as the announcement comes on the heels of defensive lineman Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy picking the Sooners over Texas A&M.
But more importantly, it was a major step in Oklahoma erecting a fence around their home-state — especially in Tulsa.
In previous years, Owasso’s Josh Proctor slipped through OU’s fingertips, opting to play safety for the Ohio State Buckeyes. A year later, another Booker T. Washington product turned down the Sooners. Daxton Hill, a 5-star safety recruit and the younger brother of former Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, looked at Alabama before ultimately committing to the Michigan Wolverines, compounding the previous defensive staff’s struggles to keep elite DB talent from leaving the state.
Williams is now commit No. 16 for OU’s 2022 class, and he’s the fourth member of the class from Oklahoma.
He will join a pair of defensive backs in Tulsa Union’s Jayden Rowe and Broken Arrow’s Robert Spears-Jennings, as well as Deer Creek offensive tackle Jacob Sexton as the Oklahoma contingent of the class.
Williams is the ninth defensive commit in the class, and the commitment moved Oklahoma to the seventh ranked class by 247 Sports.
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