Sooners recruit strong defensive class despite late misses

February, 4, 2009
2/04/09
7:56
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma attracted a typically solid group that was stacked with defensive playmakers.

The Sooners missed out Wednesday on three highly publicized offensive recruits who all opted to remain closer to home and play with Southeastern Conference schools.

Two of the more notable whiffs came for wide receiver prospects which would have met one of the Sooners' most notable recruiting needs.   

The biggest disappointment came when Rueben Randle of Bastrop, La., the nation's No. 1 wide receiver recruit, decided to play for LSU. Marlon Brown of Memphis, Tenn., the nation's No. 3 receiver, chose Georgia.

And Eddie Lacy, ESPNU's No. 143 ranked prospect and Scouts Inc.'s No. 17 running back,, announced on Wednesday he would attend Alabama.

The Sooners' class is strong defensively with all six of their ESPNU top 150 recruits defensive players. Included in that group were defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland of Lufkin, Texas; safety Gabe Lynn of Jenks, Okla.; outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis of Dewar, Okla.; inside linebacker Tom Wort of New Braunfels, Texas; defensive end Justin Chaisson of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School and safety Kevin Brent of Dallas South Oak Cliff. 

The two most intriguing prospects are Lewis and Wort. Lewis played eight-man football at a small town in Oklahoma. And Wort, a potential special-teams standout, moved to America from England when he was 13 years old.

"We approached recruiting like we do in most years," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said in a prepared statement. "If a player isn't leaving this year, it's possible that he'll be gone in the next one or two so it's important to maintain depth across the board.

"The caliber of these players will allow us to continue to compete at a high level. We like their skill, their football intelligence and their character. All classes are better judged two or three years down the road, but this one certainly gives every appearance of being one that gives us a very solid group of players and individuals."

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