Sooners Sign Three to Cap 2018 Recruiting Class

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Mike Houck
By Mike Houck
Assistant A.D. / Strategic Communications
FEBRUARY 07, 2018

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent Wednesday, increasing the Sooners' 2018 recruiting class to 22 members. The class is ranked in the top 10 nationally by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals, marking the second straight year OU has assembled a top-10 group.

Riley announced Wednesday that defensive tackle Michael Thompson, linebacker DaShaun White and tight end Brayden Willis will join OU for the 2018 season.

"Signing these three guys is an excellent cap to a great class and we're certainly excited to get them to campus," said Riley.

"We hit a big need at linebacker with DaShaun White, a guy we've been recruiting for a long time and who we think has the chance to be a great player here. We also filled another big need with Michael Thompson, who was one of the most heavily recruited defensive linemen in the country. His recruitment went down to the wire, and he was a big, big get for us. He gives you that huge, athletic presence that you need in the middle of your defense. And we found what we feel is a diamond in the rough a little bit in Brayden Willis. He's a guy we think is going to continue that great tradition we've had of tight ends and H-backs who've been very successful here and gone on to great NFL careers."

"Signing these three guys is an excellent cap to a great class and we're certainly excited to get them to campus."
Lincoln Riley

Thompson and White are consensus four-star recruits and U.S. Army All-Americans. Thompson, from St. Louis, is ranked in the top 125 nationally by 247Sports (No. 76), Rivals (No. 96) and ESPN (No. 122), and is rated as the nation's fifth-best defensive tackle by 247Sports and Rivals. White, who hails from North Richland Hills, Texas, is rated the No. 116 overall recruit in the country by 247Sports, No. 248 by Rivals and No. 271 by ESPN. He is slotted as the No. 9 outside linebacker by 247Sports, No. 14 by ESPN and No. 22 by Rivals.

The versatile Willis is a consensus three-star recruit who is rated as the nation's No. 19 tight end/H-back by ESPN. The Arlington, Texas, product caught 29 passes for 586 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, rushed for 572 yards and 16 TDs, and threw for 521 yards and four scores.

As it stands, OU's 2018 recruiting class is comprised of 13 defensive players and nine offensive players. Three Sooners earned five-star status by at least one recruiting service. Cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles is rated as a five-star prospect by Rivals, while defensive end Jalen Redmond and offensive tackle Brey Walker are regarded as five-star recruits by 247Sports.

Eight of the Sooners' signees are already enrolled in OU spring classes and will participate in spring practice. They are defensive backs Radley-Hiles, Starrland Baldwin, Miguel Edwards and Patrick Fields, receiver Jaquayln Crawford, defensive ends Redmond and Ronnie Perkins, and running back T.J. Pledger.

Oklahoma finished 12-2 in 2017, Riley's debut season as a head coach. The Sooners won their third straight Big 12 title, advanced to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at The Rose Bowl and finished No. 3 in the AP and coaches' polls.