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College Sports: Recruiting report card: Oklahoma’s 2015 class saved by offensive firepower after some misses on defense

With the early signing period approaching, here is the first in a four-part series examining Oklahoma’s last four draft classes. Here is a look back at Oklahoma’s 2015 class.

Best player in the class: 

Rodney Anderson: Running back Rodney Anderson’s eight-game stretch in 2017 is enough to give him the nod here over Dede Westbrook, Neville Gallimore and Austin Seibert. He totaled 1,333 scrimmage yards and 16 total touchdowns over that stretch. If not for a season-ending injury earlier this year, Anderson could have gone down as one of the all-time greats at Oklahoma. The Katy native has already graduated and will forego his final year of eligibility for the NFL.

Most surprising player in the class: 

Cody Ford: Offensive lineman Cody Ford wasn’t one of the top 500 players in the class of 2017 according to 247Sports’ composite ranking. But if he declares for the 2019 NFL Draft, Ford could hear his name called in the first two rounds. He’s been excellent at right tackle for the Sooners this season, and has great tape at left guard as well. He joins Bobby Evans, Ben Powers and Dru Samia with a unique distinction: Those four have blocked for back-to-back Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks.

Most disappointing player in the class: 

Ricky DeBerry: There’s not much to say here. Linebacker Ricky DeBerry was supposed to be one of the crown jewels of this class, but he never made an impact in Norman. He transferred to Towson before the 2018 season.

Player who hasn’t broken out who still could: 

Kenneth Mann: Defensive end Kenneth Mann has made a few big plays in his career, but not much else. For now, he’s known for a Bedlam-changing sack of Mason Rudolph in 2017 and a fourth-quarter interception against Army back in September. He’s expected to return in 2019 for his senior season, so the light bulb could still come on.

My grade for the class: C+

Oklahoma missed on nearly all of its defensive swings in this class. DeBerry, cornerback PJ Mbanasor, safety Will Sunderland, defensive end Gabriel Campbell and cornerback Antoine Stephens all transferred. Linebacker Arthur McGinnis and safety Prentice McKinney failed see any meaningful snaps. This class was saved by some offensive firepower, though: Anderson, Westbrook, Evans, Samia and Ford also came to Norman in 2015. Not to mention the Big 12’s all time leading scorer, kicker Austin Seibert.

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