Sooners have been in search of another defensive lineman to fill the gap of losing Jacoby Jones to Texas earlier in November. Tonight the Sooners accomplished just that by getting a verbal from fast rising three-star defensive lineman, LaRon Stokes, from NEO.
Stokes was offered just a few weeks ago, but he has a different back story in that the Sooners and Stokes had some communication when he was playing for NOAH Homeschool, in Tulsa, back in 2017. Stokes and the Sooners never really got going, so the underrated OKPreps star went to NEO to see if he could garner more attention from D1 colleges. Stokes did just that amassing 76 tackles, 7 sacks, 8 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles during his sophomore year at NEO.
When I spoke with Stokes about his offer, a little over a week ago, Stokes was more than excited. The former OKpreps star told me, “I grew up in Tulsa and it was always a dream of mine to play at the University of Oklahoma growing up. This is just a dream come true.” Before the Sooners extended the offer Stokes had a visit set up to Virginia Tech. VaTech is ironically coached by former OU quarterback, Justin Fuente, who has strong connections to the Sooners state. Stokes, though, quickly changed his visits up and took an official to Norman instead to the Hokies in Blacksburg (VA).
Va Tech wasn’t the Sooners only competition. Stokes was also looking at schools like Oklahoma State, Oregon, Houston and UCONN. Stokes took a visit to Oklahoma State earlier this week, but to him it just didn’t hold up to Norman, “Out of all three of my visits this one just felt like home and there was a genuine family feeling.” Stokes added, “The staff was awesome, as well. Coach Riley was so down to earth and I really liked my defensive line coaches in Calvin Thibodeaux and Ruffin McNeill. They both seem like they are very great coaches and very knowledgable.”
As for Stokes arrival to Norman? The three-star defensive lineman tells me he is scheduled to be moved in on campus on January 12th. So, that means he will be able to go through winter workouts, spring ball and summer workouts before the start of the 2019 season. All good news for OU and their defensive line depth.
Stokes is ranked the 45th overall JUCO prospect and the number three ranked strong side defensive end, according to 247sports.
With Stokes commitment the Sooners now have four defensive line commits with a chance to land two more, in the near future, if things play out like the OU staff would like it to do so. Stokes commitment puts the Sooners total points at 260.83. That is moved up from 257.96 and makes OU the number 8 class according to 245sports composite rankings.