What Recruiting Battles the Bedlam Outcome Could Affect

Marcus Hicks with Mike Gundy.
Written by Kyle Boone

Bedlam has massive implications across the Big 12 landscape, as well as the College Football Playoff landscape. But on a more granular level, this game also has a big impact on recruiting — specifically within the state of Oklahoma and in the region.

It’s no secret that OSU has struggled mightily to win in this series under Mike Gundy. Keeping it close isn’t the same as taking the W, which fans and recruits alike can both agree on. So Saturday is a big deal for OSU, which will host a number of its top commits and prospects in town for visits. And it could sway those athletes’ minds when it comes to where they choose to spend the next four years.

Here are the six players that could be impacted most by the game in some form or fashion.

Bryce Bray

The big fella out of Bixby committed to Oklahoma State and, specifically, Josh Henson early in the process. He picked the Pokes despite an offer from OU and heralded OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh, and likely with the hopes that OSU would be competitive in the series.

Jalen Redmond

The Midwest City defensive end is one of, if not the most, athletic player in the state. He’s a raw talent who just picked up football two years ago, and as Adam Kemp from The Oklahoman said earlier this week, he might be the best prospect in the 2018 class among those committed to OU. He still holds an offer from OSU, and based off what I’ve heard he’s still locked in with OU. But momentum can change a lot, and an OSU win could certainly put a second thought into his head about the in-state school he sticks with.

Spencer Sanders

The four-star QB out of Denton is OSU’s second-highest rated commitment in the Class of 2018, and one of the best QB’s in the region. He committed to OSU early last year specifically to play in Mike Yurcich’s system, despite a chance to commit to OU. And while OU has a commitment in Tanner Mordecai for 2018, the Sooners still might have an extra scholarship to replace Chris Robison, who was dismissed from the program this year. It’s obviously a stretch, and Sanders himself has said he’s 100% committed to OSU, but a bludgeoning in favor of the Sooners would be bad optics. Especially if the Pokes don’t air it out and let it hang.

Demariyon Houston

Millwood High School’s stud 2019 wide receiver Demariyon Houston is already a top-10 prospect in the state with offers from OSU, Iowa State, Ole Miss and SMU, among others. A win for the Pokes could help inch closer to sealing the deal and convincing him to join his teammate Israel Antwine among OSU’s commitments. A loss might be motivation for him to wait on an OU offer down the line.

Marcus Hicks

Another 2019 prospect, Wichita standout Marcus Hicks is the centerpiece of a recruiting battle being waged between OU and OSU. Both schools have offered, both are recruiting him hard, and both have a chance to make a big impression Friday. He’ll be on hand to watch as an unofficial visitor with his father.

Collin Clay

In my opinion, OU is the frontrunner for Collin Clay, an OKC-area 2019 defensive end from Putnam City. However the Pokes have offered, and OU hasn’t, despite multiple trips to Norman this season as a visitor. A win for OSU could leave a favorable impression on him about where he chooses to attend college if he wants to stay in-state, and I’m operating under the assumption that it’s only a matter of time before the Sooners jump in the mix for him.

  • AC

    I’m fine with looking at most of these (even Bray, who I hope remains firmly committed and have no reason to believe otherwise), but Sanders should absolutely not be on this list. He has repeatedly stated his commitment started and ended with OSU, stopped even listening to other offers, has Tweeted and re-Tweeted constant OSU things, and is as firm a commit to the Cowboys as I have ever seen. Casting doubt on Sooners recruits? Let’s do it. Casting doubt on solid Cowboys? I’d rethink that.

    • jamiles1

      Like Nick Starkel?

      • AC

        Except Starkel didn’t actively shut down or ignore any and ALL other incoming attempts to talk to him or offer him. He may have been committed but he was listening, obviously. Sanders has, by all accounts, made it impossible for anyone else to even try to win him away. He told LSU to take a hike for certain and I believe there were one or two others that he flat out told: ‘I’m at OSU, so no.’

        • TeaTown Cowboy

          Starkel was trash talking zerOU fans he was so solid. It can happen, we lost out on quite a few studs, Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss) and Fred Ross (Miss State) being two I can easily recall who were thought to be solids with us…

          • Brandon Lasley

            $$$$$

          • frankwick

            Treadwell took the cash.

    • Shanon Edwards

      That quarterback we lost last year was saying the same things and was up here on unofficial visits seemingly every week and he flipped to texas a&m out of nowhere never count on a recruit until that letter of intent is in the coaches hand

      • AC

        As I said to literally the only other comment above, talking the talk (Starkel) is one thing. Walking the walk is another and when you tell LSU to go pound sand, that’s enough for me to believe in a kid’s dedication to a commitment.

    • pokes247

      If his reason in committing to us was “Specifically to play in Mike Yurcich’s system” as it says in the article, then we should be anxiously optimistic at best. Whether you like MY or not those smaller HC job opportunities are going to start presenting themselves. (See: Tulane, UTEP) and that could spell trouble for this particular recruit.

      Edit: If Yurcich is still around next year then yeah it’s probably a sure thing.

      • Les Miles

        I think he should evaluate Yurcich’s system a little better because it’s pretty predictable and we lose everyone on the OL this year. He could see himself getting sacked more times than actual pass completions.

  • TeaTown Cowboy

    Has anybody heard if we’ve offered or interested in Wagoner’s Nikia Jones???

    • Josh

      We should be, big fish in a little pond. Even though Wagoner hasn’t lost a game in 4 years

  • Garth Still

    Clay would be a good get for our DL

  • David

    Losing Sanders would suck.

  • Guest

    This game will have no effect on half of the list. Bray, sanders, and Redmond are solid to their respective schools. Win or lose won’t effect these guys. Maybe hicks, clay is looking for that OU offer and Houston won’t wait for OU to offer.

    • Hawk

      Agreed. This game could affect 2019 more than 2018. Dax Hill should probably be on this list.

  • Les Miles

    I’m sure all our higher echelon recruits will decommit now and switch just like after the 2015 Bedlam game.

  • Jack

    With the exception of Redmond, OU is not really pursuing any of these guys. Not really sure where this list came from, but I think you’re safe from OU trying to take any of these guys regardless how Bedlam turned out.

  • Same story

    Houston amd clay are just waiting for the call from OU. Hicks will commit to OU. Next