Two Deep and Recruiting Class Evaluation: Oklahoma Sooners

Continuing my summer homework, here’s the next deep dive into a two deep and recruiting class, this time Oklahoma’s. You can see Alabama’s, LSU’s, Texas A&M’s, Oregon’s and Stanford’s evals herehereherehere and here.

Again, let’s get a few things in order before you read these evals. It’s very important to read this if you want to understand where I’m coming from.

1. Rather than rank someone with a nebulous star rating or a happy face, I am applying an NFL draft grade to them since this is a metric that many of us understand. To be clear, when I write that someone is a first-round talent, I am not predicting that they will be selected in the first round of the draft (though some certainly will). What I am saying is that this player has physical ability or skills commensurate with players who are typically drafted in the first round. The same standard applies with other denominations by round.

2. The two deeps, heights and weights are typically taken from either the school’s web site or from If you quibble with who I have on the depth chart, I have no answer for you as the goal is to evaluate players and not to predict who will start. Just go with the eval provided. Some of the recruit lists might not include late signees or it might include guys who won’t qualify or will grayshirt. Just take the evals for what they are in that case.

3. The purpose of these evals are to give myself and the HP audience an insight into the raw talent levels of the schools in question. Coaching and scheme are not taken into account.

4. I did not look at anyone else’s evals when doing my own evals. I did not look at stats. I did not read what coaches had to say. I did not peek to see how many or which schools offered a given recruit. In other words, I avoided outside influences as much as possible and basically just looked at as much tape as was available and made my call.

5. I know evaluations of this nature are controversial. Some of you are going to vehemently disagree with some of them. Some of you will wonder what my qualifications are for making them. All I ask is that you put my evaluations to the test in the coming seasons and we’ll see how accurate I was. In the meantime, I welcome any insights or helpful comments on these players.

6. In some cases, for speed’s sake, my evals are very brief, especially with players who I don’t need to evaluate further. A guy like Johnny Manziel? We all know about him. I don’t waste much words adding to what we already know. In other cases, I have limited or bad tape on a player and have to make a snap eval based on what I am able to see.

7. When I have all my evaluations, I will rank the teams and players according to talent level and also overall.

And here we go:

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Terms: COD = Change of direction; FBI = Football instincts; Pass Pro=pass protection; YAC=yards after catch



9 Trevor Knight (RFr. 6-1, 197)
Excellent athlete. Strong arm. Accurate. Tight release. Good runner. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

10 Blake Bell (Jr., 6-6, 254)
Massive athlete with quick feet, coordination and speed. Strong arm with decent accuracy. Oblong release. Powerful runner. Good FBI. 1st round talent.


26 Damien Williams (Sr., 6-0, 208)
Very good speed for his size. A boom/bust type of back. Decent vision and power. Good FBI. Mid-round talent.

24 Brennan Clay (Sr., 5-11, 201)
Average speed. Good balance and strength. Patient runner with decent vision. Late round talent.


33 Trey Millard (Sr., 6-2, 256)
Very good downhill blocker. Decent athlete with good hands and running ability. Very good FBI. Late round talent.

48 Aaron Ripkowski (So., 6-1, 260)
Tough grinder. Decent athlete. Good FBI. Free agent talent.


13 Durron Neal (So., 5-11, 201)
Good athlete. Thickly built. Good COD. Very good YAC. Good, not great long speed. Raw. 2nd round talent.

16 Jaz Reynolds (Sr., 6-2, 198)
Long strider. Decent speed once he gets rolling but not very quick. Average YAC. Lean, angular body. Not very strong. Good hands. Mid-round talent.


18 Jalen Saunders (Sr., 5-9, 160)
Nimble and quick slot guy. Undersized. Very good YAC and COD. Slippery. Good burst. Mid-round talent.

3 Sterling Shepard (So., 5-10, 188)
Good athlete. Undersized. Good feel for the game. Great body control. Average long speed. Good FBI. Mid-round talent.


17 Trey Metoyer (So, 6-1, 190)
Lean and athletic. Good body control and leaping ability. Hand catcher. Average YAC. Decent long speed. 3rd round talent.

18 Lacoltan Bester (Sr., 6-3, 205)
Good speed for his size. Wiry and athletic. Explosive out of cuts. Physical. Good YAC. 2nd round talent.


88 Taylor McNamara (RFr., 6-5, 238)
Nimble, fluid athlete with great hands. Good speed for his size. Good FBI. 2nd round talent.

82 Brannon Green  (Sr., 6-2, 250)
Average athlete. Rugged. Good hands. Good FBI. Free agent talent.


79 Daryl Williams (Jr., 6-6, 320)
Excellent athlete who bends his knees and uses his feet well. Good mobility and size. Long arms with a good frame. Thick base. Lean upper body. 1st round talent.

55 Josiah St. John (Jr., 6-6, 305)
Very good athlete. Good frame. Good feet. Average FBI. 3rd round talent.


74 Adam Shead (Jr., 6-4, 307)
Decent athlete. Very strong. A bit of a waist bender. Short arms. Average pass blocker. Mid-round talent.

54 Nila Kasitati (So., 6-4, 312)
Very good athlete. Good feel for the game. Good feet and speed. Mid- round talent.


64 Gabe Ikard (Sr., 6-3, 290)
Very good athlete.  A bit undersized. Good FBI. Good first step with quick feet. Plays with good leverage and technique. Second round talent.

56 Ty Darlington (So., 6-3, 288)
Undersized. Quick hands. Good shuffle. Needs to get stronger. Great first step. Pulls well. Good FBI. Third-round talent.


68 Bronson Irwin Sr., (6-5, 315)
Big bodied knee bender. Average athlete. Some stiffness in the hips. Late round talent.

75 Tyler Evans (Sr., 6-5, 315)
Average athlete. Slow footed. Free agent talent.


71 Tyrus Thompson (Jr., 6-5, 305)
Good frame. Decent athlete with some stiffness in his hips. Not very strong. Mid round talent.

72 Derek Farniok (So., 6-9, 319)
Massive body and frame. Long arms. Can’t redirect well. Stiff in hips. Free agent talent.



91 Charles Tapper (RFr., 6-4, 265)
Good size and strength. Solid athlete. Good COD. Average FBI. Mid-round talent.

10 Rashod Favors (Jr., 6-1, 250)
Not athletic and can’t run. Good strength. Free agent talent.


80 Jordan Phillips (So., 6-6, 318)
Athletic and coordinated for his size. Quick feet and superb COD. Strong. Great size and wingspan. Must learn to play with better leverage. 1st round talent.

94 Torrea Peterson (Jr., 6-3, 295)
Average athlete. Undersized. Good at point of attack. Average COD and FBI. Free agent talent.


98 Chuka Ndulue (Jr., 6-3, 274)
Average athlete. Good strength. Undersized. Average COD. Decent speed. Good hands. Good at point of attack. Late round talent.

95 Quincy Russell (Jr., 6-3, 311)
Nimble athlete for his size. Excellent COD. Good burst. Good FBI. 1st round talent.


85 Geneo Grissom (Jr., 6-4, 247)
Good flexibility and athleticism. Good COD. Good FBI. Long arms. Strong at point of attack. 3rd round talent.

99 Chaz Nelson (Jr., 6-2, 244)
Great athlete. Undersized but superb pass rusher. Relentless motor. Great speed and COD. 1st round talent.


7 Corey Nelson (Sr., 6-1, 225)
Good athlete. Very quick. Can cover backs out of backfield. Physical. Takes on blocks. A bit undersized. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

25 Aaron Franklin (Jr., 6-1, 222)
Undersized and light in the ass. Decent quickness. Good COD and FBI. Late round talent.


20 Frank Shannon (So., 6-1, 230)
Big hitter and good athlete who pursues from sideline-to-sideline. Better than average speed. Struggles taking on blocks. Good FBI. Mid-round talent.

19 Eric Striker (So., 6-0, 219)
Undersized. Really fast and athletic with a great burst. Excellent coming off the edge. Good COD. 2nd round talent.


9 Gabe Lynn (Sr., 6-0, 199)
Good athlete. Good COD. Decent hips and burst. Not a burner. Mid-round talent.

4 Hatari Byrd (Fr., 6-1, 198)
Physical. Good in run support. Average speed. Good COD and FBI. Mid-round talent.


14 Aaron Colvin (Sr., 6-0, 181)
Excellent break to the ball. Good hips. Very good athlete. Agile. Great FBI. Skinny and not very physical. 1st round talent.

6 Stanvon Taylor (Fr., 5-11, 165)
Not a burner. Undersized. Good quickness and agility. Good athlete. Late round talent.


2 Julian Wilson (Jr., 6-2, 191)
Decent speed and range. Average COD. Decent athlete. Good size. Late round talent.

23 Kass Everett (Sr., 5-10, 189)
Good hips and feet. Pretty good closing speed. Good in coverage. Undersized. Mid-round talent.


29 Quentin Hayes (So., 6-0, 193)
Average athlete. Good FBI. Decent COD. Late round talent.

13 Ahmad Thomas (Fr., 6-1, 215)
Very physical in run support. Could end up at OLB. Very good speed and COD. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.


22 Cortez Johnson (So., 6-2, 191)
No video available.

15 Zack Sanchez (Fr. 5-11, 170)
Good athlete with good speed and hips. Mid-round talent.


42 Dominique Alexander, LB, 6-2, 216 — Good athlete. Decent speed. Decent COD. Undersized. Late round talent.

27 Dakota Austin, DB, 5-11, 167 — Good athlete. Smooth hips. More quick than fast. Undersized. Mid-round talent.

83 Austin Bennett, WR, 6-0, 163 — Above average speed. Good YAC. Good body control. Hand catcher. Mid-round talent.

4 Hatari Byrd, S, 6-1, 198 — Physical. Good in run support. Average speed. Good COD and FBI. Mid-round talent.

6 Dannon Cavil, WR, 6-5, 215 — Good speed for his size. Big hands but not a natural catcher. Fluid long strider. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

70 Christian Daimler, OL, 6-6, 280 — Good frame. Decent athlete. Some stiffness in hips. Late-round talent.

90 Matt Dimon, DE, 6-2, 252 — Solid athlete. Good burst. Strong at point of attack. Might grow into a tackle. Mid-round talent.

26 Jordan Evans, LB, 6-3, 215 — Good athlete. Very good speed. Quick feet and good COD. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

53 Andrew Feo, OL, 6-4, 292 (Jr.) — Big powerful road grader. Waist bender. Late round talent.

21 Keith Ford, RB, 5-11, 205 — Runs with good forward lean and balance. Patient runner with good vision and power. Not a burner, but has a good second gear. 3rd round talent.

1 L.J. Moore, DB, 6-1, 166 — Good speed but not a true burner. Very quick with excellent vision, agility and COD. Good ball skills. Smooth hips. 3rd round talent.

82 Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, 6-3, 215 — Incredibly quick with a great motor. Undersized. Naturally strong. Good FBI. Nimble feet. 2nd round talent.

92 Matthew Romar, DT, 6-3, 286 — Incredible jumbo athlete. Great COD. Fluid. Strong. Good motor. Good FBI. 1st round talent.

95 Quincey Russell, DT, 6-4, 315 — Nimble athlete for his size. Excellent COD. Good burst. Good FBI. 1st round talent.

77 Dionte Savage, OL, 6-5, 340 (Jr) — Behemoth road grader with great feet. Nimble. Naturally strong. Bit of a waist bender. 2nd round talent.

80 Jordan Smallwood, WR, 6-2, 190 — Decent athlete. Average speed. Possession receiver. Good hands. Late round talent.

55 Josiah St. John, OL, 6-6, 315 — Very good athlete. Good frame. Good feet. Average FBI. 3rd round talent.

6 Stanvon Taylor, DB, 5-11, 170 — Not a burner. Undersized. Good quickness and agility. Good athlete. Late round talent.

13 Ahmad Thomas, DB, 6-1, 199 — Very physical in run support. Could end up at OLB. Very good speed and COD. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

14 Cody Thomas, QB, 6-5, 220 — Great size. Good arm strength, foot work and accuracy. Above average athlete. Good FBI. 3rd round talent.

97 Charles Walker, DT, 6-4, 280 — Tremendous athlete with great feet and agility. Naturally strong at the point of attack. Explosive pass rusher. Good COD and FBI. 1st round talent.

87 DJ Ward, DE, 6-3, 245 — Very good athlete. Good burst off the edge. Good COD. Good FBI. 2nd round talent.

85 KJ Young, WR, 6-0, 180 — Good long speed. Good YAC. Good body control. Good hands. Mid-round talent.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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