National Signing Day was wholly uneventful for the Oklahoma Sooners, as they took care of all of their business in the Class of 2021 during the December signing window.
Even carrying just 16 recruits, the Sooners picked quality over quality, finishing with the No. 12-rated class in Sports Illustrated All-American’s final team rankings. Of the 16 signees in 2021, four players finished rated in SIAA’s top 99 prospects, the SI99.
Lincoln Riley bolstered the smaller class with hit after hit in the transfer portal, making it two straight seasons where OU addressed their positions of need. With members of the 2020 recruiting class already making plays on Saturdays for Oklahoma, here is a breakdown of recruiting depth chart from the past two recruiting cycles entering the 2021 season, including transfer portal additions.
Caleb Williams (6-1, 210) (Class of 2021)
Micah Bowens (6-0, 195) (2021)
Chandler Morris’ decision to transfer to TCU leaves Lincoln Riley with his pair of additions to the quarterback room in 2021. Caleb Williams enters campus ranked the No. 1 overall player in the 2021 class in Sports Illustrated All-American’s SI99. Williams is expected to take the reins of Riley’s offense after Spencer Rattler moves on to play on Sundays, whether that takes place after 2021 or 2022. Micah Bowens is a great addition as well, landing the Penn State transfer. OU needed to fill the hole left by Tanner Mordecai as far as depth goes, and Bowens will be able to compete for the backup job from day one, with a year of college football experience already under his belt.
Seth McGowan (5-11, 215) (2020)
Eric Gray (5-10, 205) (2021)
Considering the circumstances, Oklahoma’s running back haul could look a lot worse. After missing out on Jase McClellan and Camar Wheaton, the Sooners brought Seth McGowan to campus in 2020 where he made an impact in the absence of Rhamondre Stevenson. Rushing for 370 yards and three touchdowns in 2020, McGowan also added 201 receiving yards and an addition score through the air. Riley hit the transfer portal again to add depth, landing Tennessee’s leading rusher in 2020, Eric Gray. Gray rushed for 1,311 yards and eight touchdowns in his two seasons in Knoxville, and he will bring experience needed to fill out the running back room.
Marvin Mims (6-0, 173) (2020)
Mario Williams (5-11, 178) (2021)
Cody Jackson (6-0, 175) (2021)
Trevon West (6-0, 165) (2020)
Jalil Farooq (6-1, 200) (2021)
Brian Darby (5-11, 192) (2020)
Not only did Marvin Mims lead the 2020 class in receiving yards, he was OU’s leading pass catcher outright last season. Mims will obviously get the nod heading into 2021, but a talented group of playmakers could establish themselves as well. Mario Williams, another member of the SI99, and Cody Jackson will compete for time early in an already loaded wide receiver room for Dennis Simmons and Cale Gundy.
Mikey Henderson (6-1, 234) (2020)
Jalin Conyers’ decision to transfer leave Mikey Henderson as the Sooners only tight end/H-back from the last two cycles. Joe Jon Finley shouldn’t mind, as Henderson flashed his athletic ability every time he touched the ball in 2020. Carrying the ball nine times for 81 yards and a touchdown, Henderson also reeled in 12 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown.
Wanya Morris (6-5, 320) (2021)
Anton Harrison (6-5, 310) (2020)
Noah Nelson (6-8, 295) (2020)
Though he’s not new to college football, Wanya Morris could make an immediate impact for his new team in 2021. In fact, once Anton Harrison is factored in, both of OU’s starting tackles could be from the last two recruiting classes, including Morris’ commitment from the transfer portal. Harrison pushed Erik Swenson for playing time most of the season in 2020, though Swenson ultimately held on to the starting spot through the home stretch of OU's schedule.
Interior Offensive Line
Chris Murray (6-3, 300) (2020)
Andrew Raym (6-5, 285) (2020)
Robert Congel (6-3, 315) (2021)
Nate Anderson (6-5, 262) (2020)
Aaryn Parks (6-4, 320) (2020)
Savion Byrd (6-5, 295) (2021)
Cullen Montgomery (6-5, 315) (2021)
Another pair of offensive line starters could come from the last two seasons, with Chris Murray, Andrew Raym and Robert Congel all contending for playing time on the interior of Bill Bedenbaugh’s unit. Murray and Congel, both Pac-12 exiles from UCLA and Arizona respectively, bring experience to the room, and Raym was one of the premiere prospects in the country in 2020. Expect to see plenty of fresh faces across the front for OU in 2021.
Interior Defensive Line
Perrion Winfrey (6-4, 305) (2020)
Joshua Ellison (6-3, 295) (2020)
Isaiah Coe (6-3, 305)
The play of Perrion Winfrey and Josh Ellison leaves few snaps for anyone else to break into the rotation anchoring the defensive line. Add in the potential of Jalen Redmond playing defensive tackle in his return to the Sooners, and Isaiah Coe will likely have some time to get acclimated to the program and Alex Grinch’s defense.
Exterior Defensive Line
Reggie Grimes (6-3, 242) (2020)
Kelvin Gilliam (6-3, 250) (2021)
Ethan Downs (6-4, 240) (2021)
Noah Arinze (6-5, 240) (2020)
Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge (6-7, 240) (2021)
Plenty of guys will have a shot at replacing Ronnie Perkins’ production in 2021. Reggie Grimes could get the first crack, as he was finding snaps to close out 2020. Behind him, Grinch has loaded the defensive line/rush end position with plenty of versatile prospects who could make names for themselves over the next few years. Kelvin Gilliam brings a lot of hype with him, as his skillset appears to be the perfect fit for what Grinch asks of his pass rushers.
Shane Whitter (6-0, 222) (2020)
Danny Stutsman (6-2, 215) (2021)
Clayton Smith (6-4, 220) (2021)
Brynden Walker (6-3, 230)
Shane Whitter has a head start on this group, as Grinch and Brian Odom gave Whitter plenty of run against Florida in the Cotton Bowl. Behind him will be a pair of recruits Grinch loved in the 2021 class. Both Danny Stutsman and Clayton Smith will enter with plenty of time to digest the Sooners defense. Caleb Kelly’s reintroduction to the lineup, as well as the returning DaShaun White, Brian Asamoah and David Ugwoegbu will all allow the young linebackers to develop every day in practice.
D.J. Graham (6-0, 178) (2020)
Joshua Eaton (6-2, 175) (2020)
Billy Bowman Jr. (5-10, 175) (2021)
Latrell McCutchin (6-1, 176) (2021)
Damond Harmon (6-1, 178) (2021)
Kendall Dennis (6-0, 174) (2020)
Tre Brown’s decision to opt out of the Cotton Bowl and head to the NFL gave D.J. Graham a chance to show what he can do throughout an entire game for the Sooners. The freshman did not disappoint, flashing potential to be OU’s most talented corner in a group that will also return Woodi Washington and Jadon Davis. Incoming freshmen Billy Bowman and Latrell McCutchin will hope to get on the field as well, as Roy Manning loves to rotate guys in and out on the back end. Tre Norwood heading to the NFL and Brendan Radley-Hiles’ announcement that he’ll enter the transfer portal will leave plenty of snaps at the nickel back spot for someone to make the position their own.
Key Lawrence (6-2, 200) (2021)
Justin Harrington (6-3, 214) (2020)
Bryson Washington (6-2, 196) (2020)
Jordan Mukes (6-4, 192) (2021)
Pat Fields and Delarrin Turner-Yell should get some reinforcements, as the Tennessee transfer Key Lawrence and the now healthy Justin Harrington can push for playing time from day one in spring ball. Bryson Washington should also factor into the rotation, leaving plenty of depth allowing Jordan Mukes to continue to develop under the tutelage of Grinch.