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Aden Kelley’s Commitment Highlights Importance OSU Has Put on In-State Talent

A fun look at the last decade for the Pokes when it comes to recruiting.



Over the past decade, Oklahoma State has sometimes struggled to keep other Power Five schools from coming in and raiding the top in-state football talent in Oklahoma.

From 2010-15, OSU landed just one top-five kid from Oklahoma (Devon Thomas … that did not go well). So let’s take this back to 2016 and look at where the top five players in the state have gone and how many Oklahoma State has landed. Then let’s compare that with the work OSU is doing in 2021.


OSU: 1
OU: 1
Other: 2

OSU actually landed Calvin Bundage and Tramonda Moore, but obviously only Bundage ended up working out in Stillwater.


OSU: 0
OU: 4
Other: 1


OSU: 1
OU: 3
Other: 1

This was the C.J. Moore year.


OSU: 2
OU: 0
Other: 3

Trace Ford and Grayson Boomer went to OSU from this class.


OSU: 1
OU: 1
Other: 3

Brennan Presley was this year’s top-five guy.


OSU: 2
OU: 1
Other: 1

One top-five player from Oklahoma — Kendal Daniels — is undecided between Texas A&M and OU. OSU landed Aden Kelly and Collin Oliver over the last two months and also has the sixth-ranked player in Oklahoma — Ty Williams from Muskogee — in the fold as well. This is a big deal.

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As Lincoln Riley has taken OU’s recruiting show on the road more nationally, the opportunity of landing in-state players for Mike Gundy and OSU has increased. You might not be able to beat out OU for most of the top guys, but you should be able to beat out the Mizzous and Nebraskas and Arkansas of the world for premium in-state players.

And OSU is! Over the last three years, OSU has landed more top-five guys from the state of Oklahoma (5) than OU (2). Over the last three years, OSU has landed more top-five guys from the state of Oklahoma (5) than it did from 2010-18 (3). This is insane!

While the biggest talent pool and thus the most recruiting hits come from the state of Texas, top-five guys from Oklahoma — like Ford and Bundage — have played a huge role in recent years.

Sure, it’s nice to hit on hidden gems like Justice Hill and Kevin Peterson, but you can’t bank on those guys with as much consistency as you can the top-five guys from a smaller state like Oklahoma. It also just feels good when in-state kids wear orange. Think about the Kye Staley story. Superduperstar at Guthrie turned role player who had some massive moments at OSU. It was fantastic.

There’s no guarantee of course that Kelley, Oliver or Williams will work out, but it’s nice to see OSU going after the best high school players in the state. One interesting wrinkle here is that with the pandemic going on, staying closer to home might start to be more appealing. Kelley told Marshall Scott that very thing the other day in this interview.

Regardless, every program is stronger when it lands top in-state talent, and OSU has made great strides on that front in recent years. Hopefully it plays out the way we think it might over the next several seasons and OSU continues going after the best in-state guys for many years to come.

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