The Oklahoma Sooners are looking to land elite defensive line talent in the 2022 class.
Alex Grinch hasn’t been sitting around and waiting for the Sooners to make their move to the SEC, and is in for some of the top edge rushers in the country.
Two OU targets have been highly regarded for a while now, but they were recently named to the top 10 at their position by Sports Illustrated All-American.
Duncanville, TX, product Omari Abor was ranked the No. 4 edge prospect in the country, while Hollywood, FL, pass rusher Kenyatta Jackson was rated the eighth best edge rusher entering the 2021 high school season.
Outside linebackers/defensive ends coach Jamar Cain hopes to stay right in OU’s back yard and land Abor, who looks more like an elite defensive prospect from the early Bob Stoops days with his 6-foot-5, 248-pound frame.
SIAA’s John Garcia Jr. and Matt Solorio agree.
“A strong combination of technical ability and instincts off the edge, the Texan can win in many ways. The first step and edge bending ability is obvious, but a closer look at how Abor combines it with his hands is where he becomes special,” Garcia and Solorio wrote. “Advanced hand-fighting and block-shedding ability allow him to pressure the passer and/or gear down and play the run, even getting his hands on ball carriers well down the line of scrimmage at times.
“Abor is as disruptive as it gets in high school football, with that knack for making a play in the backfield and attacking the ball in the process -- not to mention doing it against some of the best prep competition anywhere. Few at any position have a stronger floor than he.”
As with any top defensive line prospect, the Sooners have their work cut out for them. Alabama, LSU and Ohio State loom as most of the elite programs in the country battle to earn Abor’s signature.
Jackson would be another great addition to OU’s Class of 2022.
“Jackson is a crafty, bendy defensive end from the Sunshine state. He’s one of the most complete players at his position in this class,” Garcia and Solorio wrote. “Explodes off the ball, and keeps his feet moving through the entire play. He’s got discipline hand placement and controls the middle part of the tackle’s pads. Seldom gets washed due to his strength and constant foot fire. His hands never stop punching and swiping at the hands of the lineman. Great lateral quickness makes him a complete edge defender.
“Jackson is one of the gems of this position group. Probably strongest player on the field throughout his career. Physicality is one of his best strengths.”
Oklahoma will have an uphill battle to fight for Jackson, but the talented defensive end told SIAA that the Sooners were still heavily involved.
Alabama, Florida and Ohio State are considered the leaders for Jackson for now, and unfortunately for Oklahoma, Jackson told SIAA that the rumors of OU’s impending move to the SEC won’t play a major factor in his recruitment.
Grinch has done a remarkable job of resurrecting Oklahoma’s once proud defense, but landing one or two of the top defensive line prospects in the country would be a statement to college football that the Sooner defense is truly back.