Oklahoma has done a nice job making it to the College Football Playoff since its inception. In six attempts, the Sooners have made four appearances, tying Ohio State for the third-most in college football.
The issue isn’t getting there, however; it’s having success in the Playoff.
In those four appearances, Oklahoma is 0-4, and only one of the four games was competitive. The average margin of loss was three scores (18 points). In other words, OU needs to do more than just get there.
Three of the losses have come against SEC teams: Georgia, Alabama and LSU. So, what better way to get over the top than to raid the transfer portal of top SEC talent? It’s a method the Sooners have adopted, and so far, so good.
As it sits, the team has added five players from the portal, three of whom come from Tennessee: a running back, safety and offensive tackle. Here are those names, and their recruiting rankings coming out of high school:
- OT Wanya Morris: 5-star / No. 28 overall / No. 6 OT (2019)
- S Key Lawrence: 4-star / No. 81 overall / No. 6 S (2020)
- RB Eric Gray: 4-star / No. 184 overall / No. 3 APB (2019)
The Sooners might not be done either.
After the Vols missed out on Auburn transfer Big Kat Bryant, there’s a growing belief that he could be heading to Norman. He was also a four-star, top-200 prospect coming out of high school in 2017. His statistical production isn’t great, but he’s got plenty of starting experience.
That would give Oklahoma four former SEC players on its 2021 roster, and three of those guys have plenty of starting experience on both sides of the football, too.
Earlier this month, Brandon Drumm, who covers the Sooners for 247Sports, pointed out something interesting. If you include the transfer additions, Lincoln Riley’s 2021 class could actually be ranked higher than Alabama’s, which finished No. 1. That’s pretty impressive, right?
If you add OU transfer additions/potential additions to the LincUp21 class, the #Sooners would have the number 1 class on 247Sports.
— Brandon Drumm (@BrandonDrumm247) February 3, 2021
It’s a creative strategy. Let’s see how it works out for them.
A lot of people believe Oklahoma will field one of the top college football teams in 2021. Adding these players — even if only to have quality depth — will only further that belief.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.