NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma boosted one of the nation’s top recruiting classes with the addition of linebacker Caleb Kelly late Wednesday.
Kelly, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from Clovis West High School in Fresno, California, was listed as a five-star prospect by Rivals and Scout. He chose the Sooners over Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas and others.
Kelly’s addition is critical because Oklahoma lost five of its top six linebackers from its squad that reached the College Football Playoff, including second-team All-American Eric Striker.
The Sooners also added linebackers Kapri Doucet, Mark Jackson, Amani Bledsoe, Emmanuel Beal and Jon-Michael Terry to help step in.
Rivals considers Bledsoe the top player in Kansas. Doucet is considered a three-star prospect by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports. Jackson is a four-star, according to ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Terry is considered a four-star by ESPN and the No. 3 player in Oklahoma by Rivals.
“We feel like all these players gives us some opportunities there,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “They’re all dynamic players.”
The Sooners took steps toward replacing standout receiver Sterling Shepard when they added Zach Farrar, Mykel Jones and Adrian Hardy. Farrar, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Southlake (Texas) Carroll High School, caught 18 touchdown passes as a senior.
“Zach has that big, strong outside presence that we continue to really push for,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
Jones, a 6-foot, 180-pound deep threat from Patterson (Louisiana) High School, was injured for part of last season but still was productive. Adrian Hardy was a dual-threat quarterback in high school.
Backup quarterbacks Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas left the program, but Austin Kendall is an early enrollee who is one of the nation’s top pro-style passers. He’ll fight for the No. 2 job.
“He’s obviously going to factor into what we’re doing sooner rather than later,” offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: Yes.
Best in class: Caleb Kelly, LB, Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.)
Best of the rest: Zach Farrar, WR, Southlake Carroll (Texas).
Late addition: Mykel Jones, WR, Patterson (La.).
One that got away: DB Calvin Bundage, who chose Oklahoma State.
How they’ll fit in: Kelly, Jones and Farrar will likely be expected to contribute immediately. They will help fill critical voids at linebacker and receiver.
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