ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class was rattled off to Kenneth Murray on Monday afternoon.
Murray. CeeDee Lamb. Marquise Brown. Creed Humphrey. Grant Calcaterra. How big of an impact has this group made for the Sooners?
“We joke around about this all the time. We say we’re the greatest class to come to Oklahoma,” Murray said during Big 12 Media Days at AT&T Stadium. “It’s a special class. We have a bunch of special players in our class. We’re really proud of everybody in our class.
“We came in with that mindset that we were going to make things happen and we are going to come in and try to win a national championship. We haven’t finished the mission yet, but we get a good opportunity this year.”
The goal has been set for OU, which met the media at the site of December’s Big 12 Championship game.
There were no major revelations at the annual event, including the quarterback race. Head coach Lincoln Riley was quick to remind the media incoming transfer Jalen Hurts hasn’t officially been named the starter, and he’s battling sophomore Tanner Mordecai for the vacant position.
Newcomer Spencer Rattler, a five-star recruit, is the highlight of the 2019 recruiting class. The freshman quarterback enrolled in school shortly before the summer session began.
“Spencer’s done well. It’s been fun to have him in there. He’s very eager, very excited. I think a bunch of his buddies were here mid-term and he was hearing all about it and he was, I think, champing at the bit to be here,” Riley said. “It’ll be fun to throw him into the mix. There’s no doubt, he wants to be right in the middle of it. We’ll throw him out there in August and see where he’s at.”
The quarterbacks room now includes Mordecai and Rattler. The program also recently received a commitment from junior-to-be Brock Vandagriff, considered the nation’s top overall 2021 prospect by Rivals.
After having transfer quarterbacks at his disposal over the past five seasons — including 2019 with Hurts — does Riley look forward to developing a high school quarterback like the aforementioned trio?
“It’s going to be fun,” Riley said. “I had Baker (Mayfield) and Kyler (Murray) for so long that I know they were transfers, but I had those guys for a long time. Most good quarterbacks you aren’t going to have for four years anyway … I feel like I had a full career with those guys. Jalen will certainly be different. It’ll be fun to go through the whole journey with Spencer and Tanner both. I love the talent they have. It’s fun recruiting them and starting to develop (them) is fun, but them getting a chance like they do right now to compete for the job and turning them loose, that’s definitely the best part.”
The 2019 recruiting class also includes talented five-star wide receivers Trejan Bridges, Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease as well as tight end Austin Stogner.
What advice does Murray have for the 2019 recruiting class?
“They’re a great class. The biggest thing that, as an older guy, that I harp on to freshmen is to just be yourself,” Murray said. “Greatness does not come from just being around other people. A lot of times you have to walk alone being great.
“I just challenge them to be themselves and go out there. Whatever you feel the need to do within yourself, that’s what you do. Don’t come in here trying to be someone else. Don’t come in here thinking it’s going to be anything other than what it is. Come in here ready to work and do what you need to do.”