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Oklahoma Gearing Up for Major Recruiting Weekend

Brent Venables and his staff will be hard at work trying to close the deal on key defensive recruits this weekend.

One chapter of college football’s hectic recruiting cycle is nearing an end.

Brent Venables and his staff did a nice job filling needs through the transfer portal, but now they turn their focus to finishing off the 2022 recruiting class ahead of National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

OU’s campus will once again play host to many of the nation’s top prospects this weekend, as the Sooners look to make a final push, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

On the back end of the defense, the Sooners will have another shot to host in-state star Gentry Williams.

Though Williams already took his official visit with OU all the way back in September, the Sooners will have a second opportunity to host Williams and his family due to the head coaching change, SI All-American confirmed.

Despite Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch’s departure to USC, Williams never decommitted from Oklahoma, though he opted not to sign his National Letter of Intent during the Early Signing Period.

Venables and his staff have already shown a renewed interest in keeping the best high school talent in Oklahoma close to home, and if Venables and Jay Valai can close the deal on Williams, OU will have a nice foundation. If Williams stays with the Sooners, he will join fellow Tulsa-area defensive backs Jayden Rowe and Robert Spears-Jennings, as well as Deer Creek High School offensive line standout Jacob Sexton in OU’s 2022 recruiting class.

Valai won’t be the only Oklahoma assistant who can strike gold early in their tenure with the Sooners this weekend.

Defensive line coach Todd Bates will have a chance to make an impact as well, as OU will be hosting Fort Lauderdale native Ahmad Moten.

Moten is a talented defensive lineman drawing interest from not only the Sooners, but Miami, Tennessee and North Carolina, as well as others.

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Venables and Moten are no strangers to each other, as Moten said he had previously built a relationship with the new OU coach when Venables was still the defensive coordinator at Clemson.

"Coach Venables recruited me at Clemson," Moten recently told SI All-American. "He was recruiting me hard at Clemson, but then he made the move to Oklahoma, and I was his first offer as the head coach at Oklahoma.

"That is special to me because he is trying to take a chance on me and keep the program where it is at or do even better."

Standing 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, Moten will be able to continue to add to his frame and become a sizable addition to OU’s defensive tackles rotation, helping begin the transition from the Grinch’s Speed D to Venables’ much more physical style.

If the Sooners could land Moten as well as Moten’s high school teammate and current Iowa State defensive line commit R Mason Thomas, Bates and Venables will be incredibly pleased with their initial recruiting haul.

The 6-2, 215-pound edge rusher will be on campus in Norman this weekend alongside Moten, and just as with Moten, the Sooners will have to contend with the Miami Hurricanes to win Thomas’ commitment.

While many are awaiting a few remaining transfer portal announcements, the OU coaching staff will be hard at work this weekend trying to close the deal on key defensive signings who could be centerpieces of the Sooner program for years to come. 

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