National Signing Day also commemorates the five-year anniversary of the 2016 recruiting class, a class that produced only a handful of impact players.
The class finished at No. 19 in 247 Sports’ final team rankings, the lowest mark for an Oklahoma recruiting class since 2000.
At the time, head coach Bob Stoops praised the academic acumen of the class.
"It is really a strong class academically as well, and to me that matters along with size and speed and all of that," Stoops said in his signing day media release. "The academic success and the players' academic backgrounds translate into better and more consistent play. It's better leadership on your team.
"We want guys who are serious about their business. Guys who are serious about going to school and being team guys that play hard and physical. The off-the-field stuff is just that they are serious about their success and they want to work and compete for whatever they are going to get."
Of the 21 members of the class who made it to campus, 11 failed to finish their career with the Sooners, either by way of transfer or removal from the program.
Top Talent: Caleb Kelly
In 5-star linebacker Caleb Kelly, the Sooners thought they were getting a difference maker who could turn around the defense. and Kelly has shown flashes of game-changing potential. Unfortunately for Kelly, injuries have derailed his progress — especially under Alex Grinch's new coaching staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly will get another season of eligibility to help Oklahoma chase a national title in 2021, so there is still hope the highly touted recruit can make his mark on the field.
Opportunity Lost: Parrish Cobb
Waco, TX, defensive back Parrish Cobb couldn’t keep out of trouble off the field. The highly touted corner flashed his potential as a true freshman, but serious legal issues ensured he would never set foot on the field again in Norman, a major blow to the development of defensive depth, which contributed to the Sooner defense reaching new lows on the field.
JUCO Star: Ben Powers
Transferring to OU from Butler County Community College, Ben Powers went on to become a key member of Bill Bedenbaugh’s 2018 Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line. The guard was named a consensus All-America in 2018, and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, where he spent much of the 2020 season as the starting right guard.
Underdog Story: Parnell Motley
Recruited as a wide receiver before finding a place on the other side of the football, Parnell Motley became the face of the defensive revolution at OU. Bursting onto the scene with an interception in Oklahoma’s landmark win at Ohio State, Motley had a roller coaster first three years of his career. In Alex Grinch and Roy Manning’s first season in charge of the defense, Motley took his play to another level his senior season. Motley earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors in 2019, and was brought into camp by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent before finishing the 2020 season with the Denver Broncos.
Record-Setter: Abdul Adams
Though he would ultimately transfer to Syracuse after being passed up by Trey Sermon and Rodney Anderson on the depth chart, 4-star running back Abdul Adams will always hold a place in Sooner history. Adams' 99-yard touchdown run against Baylor in 2017 will never be topped as the longest rush in program history. In his two-year career for Oklahoma, Adams logged 825 rushing yards and his lone, historic touchdown.
2016 Oklahoma Sooners Recruiting Class:
- RB Abdul Adams (Durham, NC) ... 4-star
- LB Emmanuel Beal (Scranton, PA)... 3-star
- DL Amani Bledsoe (Lawrence, KS)... 4-star
- DB Parrish Cobb (Waco, TX)... 4-star
- LB Travis DeGrate (Oklahoma City, OK)... NR
- LB Kapri Doucet (Scranton, PA)... 3-star
- WR Zach Farrar (Southlake, TX)... 3-star
- WR Adrian Hardy (Houston, TX)... 3-star
- DL Mark Jackson Jr. (Cibolo, TX)... 4-star
- WR Mykel Jones (Patterson, LA)... 4-star
- QB Spence Jones (Nashville, TN)... NR
- OL Ashton Julious (Scranton, PA)... 3-star
- LB Caleb Kelly (Fresno, CA)... 5-star
- QB Austin Kendall (Waxhaw, NC)... 4-star
- DB Parnell Motley (Washington D.C.)... 3-star
- DB Jordan Parker (Pittsburg, CA)... 4-star
- OL Ben Powers (El Dorado, KS)... 3-star
- OL Logan Roberson (Harrah, OK)... 3-star
- DL Jon-Michael Terry (Tulsa, OK)... 3-star
- OL Erik Swenson (Downers Grove, IL)... 4-star
- DB Chanse Sylvie (Shreveport, LA)... 3-star