NORMAN — It certainly isn’t odd for Oklahoma to reach well beyond its borders for recruits. The program went well beyond regional status a couple generations ago.
But the crop the Sooners harvested on National Signing Day, which consisted of 26 players from 10 different states and all four time zones, showed a strong national appeal.
“We are one of those national brands and we always have strong and excellent interest from players around the country,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Our coaches did a great job of connecting with these different guys from different states and being able to finish and sign them today.”
Finish is what OU did on Wednesday.
The Sooners inked three players that were not committed at the start of the day — Fresno, Calif., athlete Michiah Quick, West Valley City, Utah offensive tackle Kenyon Frison and the biggest surprise of the day Duluth, Ga., offensive tackle Orlando Brown.
The group gave OU a unanimous top 15 class (No. 15 Rivals.com), (No. 13 ESPN), (No. 13 Scout) and (No. 14 247) and the unanimous top class in the Big 12 Conference.
Topping the list is five-star running back Joe Mixon from Oakley, Calif. The U.S. Army All-American was one of four prep players from California the Sooners landed.
This isn’t the first time OU has pulled players out of California, but the program’s appeal seems to be growing on the West Coast.
“In California, there’s just the Pac-12, and the Pac-12 doesn’t have the fan base, it doesn’t have the excitement around a lot of the programs, the stadiums, just the fervor that our conference does and our state does,” said OU co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Jay Norvell. “So that attracts kids.”
It helped to add 6-foot-5, 210-pound La Mirada, Calif. wide receiver Dallis Todd to go along with Quick for the receiver group and Murrieta, Calif., linebacker Curtis Bolton.