The 2011 recruiting class represented the first in a string of six straight Oklahoma classes which finished ranked outside of the top 10 nationally.
Rankings dinged the class due to its smaller size, just 17 players, but Bob Stoops felt he was getting a quality crop of talented athletes to compensate for the smaller quantity.
“We think obviously by the way people have respected our class with all the different rankings, though there are only 17 players in it, it is still regarded as one of the better ones in the country and again I think it speaks to the quality of players,” Stoops said in his signing day press conference in 2011. “We feel we’ve met all our needs.”
Finishing as the No. 13 class by 247 Sports, the class was headlined by a pair of 5-star recruits who didn’t pan out for Stoops and his coaching staff.
Breakout NFL Star: Jordan Phillips
Jordan Phillips flashed great potential in 2013, recording seven tackles and 1.5 quarterback sacks in four games before suffering a back injury. After healing up, Phillips burst onto the scene for the Sooners in 2014. Proving to be a destructive force from the center of the defensive line, Phillips finished the 2014 season with seven tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. Phillips opted to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, and was rewarded by being selected in the second round by the Miami Dolphins. Struggling through the first few years of his career, Phillips made a name for himself during the 2019 season for the Buffalo Bills. Logging 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, Phillips’ performance in 2019 resulted in a three-year, $30 million dollar free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
Right Player, Wrong Time: Brandon Williams
Oklahoma’s landed two 5-star offensive players in the class. Running back Brandon Williams was supposed to be the next great ball carrier at OU. Williams struggled to adjust early on, finding himself behind a log jam on the depth chart with Brennan Clay, Roy Finch and surprise breakout star Dominique Whaley taking a big chunk of the snaps. After rushing for 219 yards on 46 carries in his freshman season, Williams elected to transfer back closer to home, making the move to Texas A&M. The Aggie backfield was too much for Williams as well, until a career-saving decision was made. Kevin Sumlin moved Williams over to the other side of the ball, and Williams revitalized his career as a cornerback. The Arizona Cardinals selected Williams in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and Williams is still in the league today, playing for the Houston Texans.
Class Gunslinger: Kendal Thompson
Son of Sooner quarterback Charles Thompson, Kendal Thompson came to Oklahoma rated as a 3-star quarterback prospect by 247 Sports. After Landry Jones' graduation, the Moore, OK, product found himself in a three-way position battle with Trevor Knight and Blake Bell. Thompson ultimately didn't win the starting job, but he played a role in OU's 33-24 Bedlam win in 2013. Replacing Knight in at the end of the first half, Thompson battled through the third quarter even though he wasn't 100 percent healthy himself. Bell then took over for Thompson, leading Oklahoma to victory. Knight's performance in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama closed the door on Thompson taking the starting job full time, and he elected to transfer to Utah. Switching to wide receiver got Thompson NFL camp invites with both Washington and the Los Angeles Rams.
Biggest Miss: Trey Metoyer
OU's other 5-star in the class was the Sooners' first 5-star wide receiver recruit in program history. Trey Metoyer started off strong, but quickly faded to ignominy. As a freshman, he hauled in 10 catches for 90 yards in his first three games, but the grind of college football caught up him. He only caught seven passes for 58 yards the rest of his freshman season. After making four starts as a freshmen, he barely saw the field his sophomore year, and Metoyer was unceremoniously dismissed from the program after being accused of indecent exposure. He was sentenced to eight years probation and was never able to work his way back into college football.
Viral Sensation: Nila Kasitati
The 2011 Sooners entered the season with lofty of expectations, and ESPNU decided to feature the program with their series ESPN All-Access: Oklahoma. Ahead of the opening practice of fall camp, a freshman offensive lineman named Nila Kasitati was asked to come to the center of the team and preform the Haka ceremonial dance, firing up the team. Kasitati’s performance was a viral sensation, but it wouldn’t be the last OU fans heard of Kasitati. Working throughout his career, Kasitati eventually earned a spot starting along the offensive line by 2014, and he was named to the All-Big 12 First Team in 2015 as a right guard. Kasitati signed with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent, but was unable to make the roster.
Oklahoma's 2011 Recruiting Class:
- DL Marquis Anderson (Cibolo, TX)... 4-star
- OL Dylan Dismuke (Duncan, OK)... 3-star
- OL Derek Farniok (Sioux Falls, SD)... 3-star
- DL Nathan Hughes (Spring, TX)... 4-star
- WR Kameel Jackson (Arlington, TX)... 3-star
- OL Nila Kasitati (Euless, TX)... 3-star
- LB P.L. Lindley (Round Rock,TX)... 3-star
- WR Trey Metoyer (Chatham, VA)... 5-star
- DB Bennett Okotcha (Coppell, TX)... 3-star
- DL Jordan Phillips (Towanda, KS)... 4-star
- LB Frank Shannon (Dallas, TX)... 4-star
- TE Max Stevenson (Spring, TX)... 4-star
- TE Dan Tapko (Kansas City, MO)... 4-star
- QB Kendal Thompson (Moore, OK)... 3-star
- DL Jordan Wade (Round Rock, TX)... 4-star
- RB Brandon Williams (Brookshire, TX)... 5-star
- RB Danzel Williams (Arlington, TX)... 4-star