It's not even Saturday yet, and the Sooners have already scored a huge victory over their rivals in burnt orange this week.
All the way back in July, I mentioned that Oklahoma could flip SI99 athlete and longstanding Texas commit Billy Bowman. On Wednesday, that scenario came to partial fruition, as Bowman officially re-opened his recruitment. Bowman's girlfriend, Sooner softball commit Jayda Coleman, was as excited by the news as anyone.
Bowman is one of the most explosive athletes in the 2021 class, with elusiveness and versatility reminiscent of a young Tyler Lockett. He's long been high on Caleb Williams' wish list, and Williams promptly chimed in when Bowman announced his decommitment.
With Bowman back on the market, it stands to reason that Oklahoma will make a serious play for the Denton Ryan dynamo. Here are 3 things to be mindful of as Bowman's recruiting process ramps back up.
1) Ja'Tavion Sanders could come as part of a packaged deal with Bowman.
I'd imagine that Tom Herman's first order of business upon learning of Bowman's decommitment was to get on the phone with Sanders and make sure he's not jumping ship too. At risk of stating the obvious, the only thing worse than losing a pledge from your second-best recruit is losing a pledge from your best recruit. Sanders and Bowman, who are teammates and close friends, are (or were) the headliners in Texas' 2021 class. Both are members of the SI99. I'm sensing some major Kelvin Gilliam/Damond Harmon vibes with this pair. If Bowman is out on Herman and the Longhorns, Sanders may not be far behind.
On his part, Sanders is a one-man wrecking crew on both sides of the football, and could play rush end or tight end at the collegiate level. Oklahoma still has an offer outstanding to the 6-foot-3, 220-pound stud. Keep an eye on this.
2) Oklahoma's early-season Big 12 blues aren't hurting recruiting efforts.
Let's be clear: the overwhelming odds are that Bowman commits to Oklahoma. I can't confirm this yet, but consider the signals here. Bowman tweeted news of his offer from the Sooners while still committed to Texas; Caleb Williams has been leveraging his own influence with Bowman for months; the Jayda Coleman situation is significant. Every single sign points toward Oklahoma landing Bowman, and it might not be long before he pulls the trigger.
When Williams reiterated his belief in Riley and the Sooners this past Monday, it became evident that there's nothing to worry about with regard to the 2021 cycle. Williams has catalyzed this class, and he's developed personal relationships with just about every single Oklahoma commit. They're a tight-knit bunch, and only some waffling on Williams' part could cause some fraying at the seams. That simply isn't happening, especially given that Williams' family is preparing to move to the OKC area.
3) Circa 2023, this Oklahoma offense could be scary good.
The pieces are falling together for the Sooners in absolutely flawless fashion. Consider who's already on board. Caleb Williams will take the snaps. Barring an early leap to the NFL, Seth McGowan will anchor the backfield. Oklahoma's passing-game weapons will include Marvin Mims, Mario Williams, Cody Jackson, Jordan Hudson, Jalil Farooq and Jalin Conyers. The Sooners are still hoping to add Bowman, Emeka Egbuka and Camar Wheaton in the 2021 cycle. 2022 additions could include Caleb Burton, Luther Burden, Talyn Shettron, Gentry Williams, Gavin Sawchuk and Raleek Brown.
That's an absolutely ridiculous haul.
Did Bowman trigger a domino chain to that effect? Well, Burden's Twitter lends reason for optimism.
Will the Sooners reel in all of their priority targets? Probably not. However, they certainly weren't planning on signing Bowman three months ago at this time. And looking over that loosely cobbled list of offensive standouts, is there any defense (let alone a Big 12 defense) who could keep pace with Oklahoma's theoretical 2023 lineup?
Things may be rocky in Norman at present, but the future should have Sooner Nation dreaming big.
There will no doubt be more on this front in the coming days, so stay up to date with SI Sooners for all the latest updates and insights.
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