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College Sports: Oklahoma recruiting report card: An O-lineman headlines Sooners’ 2016 class that lacks star power

With the early signing period approaching, here is the second in a four-part series examining Oklahoma’s past four recruiting classes. This is a look at Oklahoma’s 2016 class. Check out our 2015 recruiting report card here.

Best player in the class

Ben Powers, OL: If an offensive lineman is the best player in your recruiting class, it’s usually not a good sign. Ben Powers may be the exception. Virtually overlooked out of Wichita, Kan., Powers was a full qualifier out of high school but ended up playing JUCO ball at Butler Community College. The Sooners picked him up before the 2016 season, and the rest is history. Earlier this week, Powers was named a consensus All-American and he could be a high pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

Most surprising player in the class

Parnell Motley, CB: Powers is also a candidate for this award, but it goes to cornerback Parnell Motley instead. Often maligned throughout the past couple years, Motley has strung together some good performances in his OU career — which is surprising, considering he wasn’t one of the top 600 players in the 2016 class according to 247Sports’ Composite rankings. The junior has five career interceptions.

Most disappointing player in the class

Parrish Cobb, CB: Parrish Cobb looked to be a rising star in Oklahoma’s program before he was dismissed from the team. Earlier this summer, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for armed robbery.

Austin Kendall, QB: Baker Mayfield. Kyler Murray. Austin Kendall? The first quarterback Lincoln Riley signed at Oklahoma could have a shot at starting in 2019. He’ll have to compete with fellow four-star recruit Tanner Mordecai in the spring and perhaps incoming five-star recruit Spencer Rattler in the summer. But Kendall has more experience in Riley’s system than anyone and should be considered the favorite as of now to land the job.

My grade for the class: C

Provided Kendall doesn’t end up in New York next December for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, it’s safe to say this class lacks star power. Its best player is unquestionably an offensive lineman, and there may not be more than a small handful of draft picks in this bunch. Former five-star recruit Caleb Kelly was a candidate for both “best player” and “most disappointing player” in this class.

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