Oklahoma hauled in its best recruiting class in the modern era in 2023. This class is armed to the teeth with a multitude of impact players on both sides of the ball including Jackson Arnold, Peyton Bowen, and PJ Adebawore. Unlike in years past, the Sooners were able to put together a rather balanced class this year, with multiple key players at nearly every position.
All this to say that there is plenty of elite talent in this group. Naturally though, some will stand out more than others on the field in 2023, whether it’s due to playing a position of need for OU, or just sheer talent alone. Without further adieu, here are the players who will have the biggest impact for Oklahoma in 2023.
Kendel Dolby – CB – Oklahoma
Even though the defensive back room looks really good for Oklahoma right now, I can’t help but think that Kendel Dolby will be an immediate contributor in 2023. The JUCO transfer was rated as the #7 overall player in the JUCO composite (#2 CB) and for good reason. He was a star for the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M this past season, and QBs rarely threw the ball his way.
Even if he isn’t a name that you hear a whole lot, Dolby is still an extremely talented player. He has some experience at the collegiate level, even if it is only JUCO. Fact of the matter is, he’s had a few extra years than everyone else in this freshman DB class to develop, and I think it will show over the course of the off-season.
Adepoju Adebawore – EDGE – Oklahoma
Over the course of last year’s recruiting cycle, Adepoju Adebawore, better known as “PJ,” saw a meteoric rise in the ratings. Going from an unranked tight end prospect, to a five-star defensive line phenom doesn’t happen to often. It’s a similar story to Jared Verse of Florida State, who also came out of high school as a low-rated tight end prospect before switching to the defensive side of the ball.
Oklahoma truly received a one-of-a-kind player in PJ. His speed and athleticism, along with his incredible length combine to make a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen to try and block. He’s enrolling early, so he’ll have an entire off-season to develop both physically, and mentally. Add that to the fact that he’s entering a rather weak defensive line room, and you’ve got a recipe for a day one contributor.
Jaquaize Pettaway – WR – Oklahoma
Last on the list is four-star wide out Jaquaize Pettaway. The speedster out of Langham Creek High School in Houston, TX is rated as the #78 overall player in the country (#14 WR). He is great in the open field with the ball in his hand, and showcases some elite top end speed. For a more in-depth scouting report, click here.
I believe that Pettaway has the talent to get on the field immediately as a receiver if he has a good camp. However, if he is overshadowed by some of the other guys, he could absolutely get some snaps as a returner on special teams. As I mentioned earlier, he has great top end speed, and he can reach that speed very quickly. Combine that with just how shifty he is in open space, and you’ve got yourself a guy that can go out and make a play at any given moment.
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