Thune's Tidbits from the Trail: Notes from the Week in Sooner Recruiting

Oklahoma misses on Ian Jackson, hopes to land Christian Leary, and offers two 2023 defensive backs
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It's been a pretty quiet recruiting period in Norman ever since Lincoln Riley and company picked up Mario Williams and Clayton Smith on the same day a few weeks back. Since adding the five-star wideout and four-star edge rusher, the Sooners haven't gotten another commitment.

As I mentioned last week, Oklahoma continues to appear on cut-down lists for plenty of elite prospects, including J.Michael SturdivantEmeka Egbuka and Raheim Sanders. Sanders is scheduled to commit on June 8, and based on my interactions with him, I'm pretty confident that Norman is not the destination for the Rockledge, FL athlete. I believe it'll be either Arkansas or Florida State.

In SI Sooners' weekly hit on Toby Rowland's "T-Row in the Morning Show" on SportsTalk 1400 this Tuesday, I addressed another scheduled commitment. Ian Jackson had booked his decision for May 28, and I stated that I felt pretty confident he was headed to Alabama. Indeed, the four-star Prattville product stayed in-state and committed to the Crimson Tide, leaving Oklahoma to scrape the bottom of the barrel for 2021 outside linebackers. Currently, there are only five uncommitted OLBs in the class with an offer from the Sooners, headlined by five-star prospect Smael Mondon.

Meanwhile, four-star wide receiver Christian Leary announced via Twitter that he's no longer planning to commit on June 6. The consensus belief in recruiting circles is that Leary intends to join Mario Williams, a fellow Florida speedster, in Norman. However, Leary also tweeted this week that LSU is his dream school, so he may be waiting on a potential offer from Ed Orgeron's Tigers. 

Two new Sooner offers came across the wire this week. Both went to 2023 defensive backs in Braxton Myers, a DFW-area corner, and Rahmir Stewart, a Philadelphia safety. And while I'm on the topic of elite 2023 recruits, I'm immensely impressed with Rueben Owens, whom I profiled earlier this week. Looking over his tape, I find the fact that he's only a rising sophomore to be simply incomprehensible. I tweeted that I wouldn't at all be surprised if he ends up the top overall prospect in the class, and I stand by that assertion. He's just flat-out special.

That brings us to what has become an absurd situation in Athens. Despite landing Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman and flipping five-star 2021 quarterback Brock Vandagriff from the Sooners to the Bulldogs, Kirby Smart decided to bring in USC transfer J.T. Daniels as well. Daniels is a former kid prodigy - he graduated high school a year early to start for the Trojans as a true freshman, but injuries and inconsistency turned a promising career sour. With a fresh start in the SEC, he'll now compete with Newman for the starting job in 2020 - provided he receives an immediate eligibility waiver.

Here's where this gets interesting. If Daniels doesn't receive the waiver, he'll sit out this year and enter the 2021 season with three years of eligibility remaining. I'll be very blunt here: Brock Vandagriff simply isn't going to wait three years to start for Georgia. Something does not add up.

Why did Smart go after Daniels? I find it hard to believe that he's merely an insurance policy for Vandagriff.

One way or another, I can't imagine that Vandagriff is too thrilled with the move. Let's not forget that he was committed to Oklahoma for over six months - and his offer from the Sooners is still on the table. I've been saying for weeks that I'm very confident Caleb Williams lands in Norman, but if by some minor miracle Williams chooses LSU or Maryland over OU, Vandagriff could re-enter the picture. Let me be clear: I believe Williams is (and should be) the priority. His ability to make plays off-script and throw accurately while off balance is uncanny, to say the very least. But should the Sooners somehow lose out on Williams, Vandagriff isn't a bad consolation prize at all.

Stay up to date with SI Sooners for an upcoming profile on 2022 in-state phenom Gentry Williams, another update from Jacobe Johnson, and plenty of additional recruiting content throughout the week.

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