Originally Published: Jan 20, 2010 5:40 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NORMAN, Oklahoma – ESPN.com released its recruitment class rankings Wednesday and placed Oklahoma at No. 7.
The Sooners are ranked behind Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and Penn State. OU already has 29 verbal commitments, the most among the top 10 classes. Florida earned the top spot by getting five five-star recruits, by far the most in the country. No other team in the top seven has more than one, according to ESPN.
Rivals.com’s player ratings differ from ESPN’s, resulting in Oklahoma being ranked No. 5 among this year’s classes. Rivals.com lists only four of Florida’s recruits as five-star players, but has Oklahoma with the third-most four-star recruits in the nation behind Texas and Florida.
Among OU’s most highly-anticipated recruits is local product Austin Haywood, who played tight end for Southmoore last season. Haywood has optimum size (6-foot-2, 248 pounds) and athleticism to play tight end at the next level, and should help the Sooners solidify a position that was a weakness this season.
All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham did not play this season after sustaining a knee injury days before OU’s season opener against BYU. Without Gresham, OU’s tight ends combined to catch only 19 passes for 219 yards and no touchdowns.
OU’s recruitment ratings could change drastically if the Sooners are able to sign Jackson Jeffcoat, widely considered the best defensive end recruit and among the top recruits at any position in the country.
The Sooners recently lost defensive ends coach Chris Wilson to Mississippi State, and former NFL player Jim Jeffcoat –Jackson Jeffcoat’s father – is considered to be one of the most likely candidates for the job. The hiring of Jim Jeffcoat could make the signing of his talented son much more likely.
Listed below are all of the verbal commitments Oklahoma has received and the hometowns of the players. Their quality rating, measured in stars, is listed in parenthesis with ESPN.com’s rating first and Rivals.com’s second.
Oklahoma’s 2010 recruits:
ATH Tony Jefferson – Chula Vista, California (4/4)
TE Austin Haywood – Moore, Oklahoma (4/4)
QB Blake Bell – Wichita, Kansas (4/4)
S Quentin Hayes – Lancaster, Texas (4/3)
RB Brennan Clay – San Diego, California (4/4)
ATH Justin McCay – Shawnee, Kansas (4/4)
WR Sheldon McClain – Cibolo, Texas (4/3)
DE/DT Eric Humphrey – Dallas, Texas (4/4)
OT Tyrus Thompson – Pflugerville, Texas (4/4)
OLB Aaron Franklin – Marshall, Texas (4/3)
WR Kenny Stills – Carlsbad, California (4/4)
DE Chuka Ndulue – Dallas, Texas (4/3)
ATH James Haynes – Orange, Texas (4/4)
RB Roy Finch – Niceville, Florida (4/4)
ATH Julian Wilson – Moore, Oklahoma (4/3)
DT Daniel Noble – Flower Mound, Texas (3/3)
OT Bronson Irwin – Mustang, Oklahoma (3/4)
DT Torrea Peterson – San Antonio, Texas (3/3)
ATH Jarrett Lake – Jenks, Oklahoma (3/3)
WR Joseph Powell – Dallas, Texas (3/3)
OC Austin Woods – Rockwall, Texas (3/4)
OG Adam Shead – Cedar Hill, Texas (3/3)
OLB Rashod Favors – Fort Worth, Texas (3/3)
ATH Trey Franks – Orange, Texas (3/3)
S Aaron Colvin – Owasso, Oklahoma (3/3)
ATH Trey Millard – Columbia, Missouri (3/4)
OT Daryl Williams – Corinth, Texas (3/4)
DE Geneo Grissom – Hutchinson, Kansas (3/4)
DT Damon Williams – Irving, Texas (2/3)
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