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Oklahoma Recruiting: 4-Star DB Gentry Williams Was 'Bred to Be a Sooner'

When Williams called Lincoln Riley after the TCU game on Saturday night, Riley said "I got two wins in one night," but now Williams is going after more big-time recruits.
Gentry Williams

Gentry Williams

TULSA — Gentry Williams talked to Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley on Saturday night after the Sooners took down TCU, and told him where he wanted to play college football.

Riley’s reaction will stay with Williams forever.

“He was definitely excited,” Williams said on Monday after announcing his choice to attend OU. “He said he got two wins in one night.”

Williams, a consensus 4-star defensive back at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School, unzipped his Hornets jacket and revealed a “SOONER NATION” shirt underneath while his mom, Ureka, handed him an OU ballcap and the student body outside Nate Harris Fieldhouse erupted. Claire, Gentry’s 11-year-old sister, laughed and joined her big brother throwing the horns down, all while dad Thomas stood in the back and smiled.


"He was bred to be a Sooner."

— Thomas Williams on his son Thomas Gentry Williams II


It was an emotional day for the family, who did what they could to keep Gentry positive through a major knee injury last year that wiped out his junior season. He chose OU over very appealing offers from Florida and USC, Thomas Williams told SI Sooners.

“This has been in the making before he was born,” Thomas said. “Day he was born, first hour, he had a OU suit on. He was bred to be a Sooner.”

Indeed, Gentry said he’s long attended Oklahoma games. His mom received her Ph. D from OU. And his dad has a plaque in his office that swears the unofficial oath: “Sooner Born, Sooner Bred, And When I Die, I’ll Be Sooner Dead.”

Gentry Williams, cousins Morgan and Kairo

Gentry Williams, cousins Morgan and Kairo

“This is what I grew up loving,” Gentry said. I grew up going to OU games since I can remember. So having this opportunity to wear that crimson red, there’s nothing like it. This is an opportunity I’m not gonna take for granted.”

Now a senior and a priority member of Oklahoma’s 2022 class, Williams said he’s relieved the whole process is over. Now he’ll turn his attention to helping the Hornets have a successful season — and recruiting other top prospects to Norman.

“There’s definitely some prospects still out there that we want to get to help build this class and really just start to contend for a national championship,” he said. “Because that’s the automatic goal when you go to a school like OU, so you just get the pieces together.”

Priority No. 1? Owasso defensive lineman Chris McClellan.

“He’ll see this,” Williams said. “Yeah, we want to go get Chris.”

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"Having this opportunity to wear that crimson red, there’s nothing like it."

— Gentry Williams


Historically, Oklahoma hasn’t had a lot of luck landing prospects from Tulsa Washington. The last was linebacker Dominique Alexander in 2013. Meanwhile, recent prospects like receiver Javian Hester (Missouri in 2020) and defensive back Dax Hill (Michigan in 2019) had offers from OU but went elsewhere.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Williams thinks he can change that.

“It really wasn’t a good spot for OU being here at Booker T.,” Williams said. “But things have changed and it’s a new day. Hopefully we can turn the page.”

Gentry Williams

Gentry Williams

Ultimately, Williams felt at home at OU because the coaching staff’s communication hasn’t wavered since they first started recruiting him.

“It was probably two things,” Eureka Williams told SI Sooners. “The family atmosphere that he found at OU, and the consistency. They’ve been recruiting him since he was a freshman, and their message was always the same. I think that’s what it was. They never changed how they spoke to him, how they spoke to us. So that was huge with him. There wasn’t any holes in anything they said.”

“All those official visits (to OU, Arkansas, Florida and USC) were real nice,” Thomas Williams said. “But OU, it was something different. It was an official visit, but they didn’t treat it like an official visit. They knew him. They knew he came. And they treated him like, ‘You’re family.’ It was family. They had already done all they could do.”


"We got on the phone, I told him I want to stay home and I want to do this thing. He said, ‘Let’s ride.’ The rest is history.”

— Gentry Williams on his conversation Saturday with Lincoln Riley


Ureka said she’s glad her son will be playing football only two hours down the turnpike, but said he was “very reflective in this process. He just really thought about everything, talked to a lot of people, talked to players at the different schools. And this is where he wants to be.”

Like the whole Williams family, Riley couldn’t be happier. Gentry Williams said he called OU cornerbacks coach Roy Manning earlier in the day to tell him he had decided. Later that day, after the Sooners dispatched TCU 52-31, Riley sent Williams a text.

“When I told coach Riley, I didn’t even plan on it until he texted me and said ‘Hey, you wanna talk?’ ” Williams said. “It was like 11 o’clock at night. We got on the phone, I told him I want to stay home and I want to do this thing. He said, ‘Let’s ride.’ The rest is history.”

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