Which players have signed to Oklahoma football's 2023 recruiting class?
It's signing day and the letters of intent have started to roll in for OU football.
Here's a look at the players who have officially signed to the Sooners in the 2023 recruiting class.
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Oklahoma football 2023 recruiting class signees
Jackson Arnold, QB, Denton, Texas
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Arnold became the first 2023 commitment under Brent Venables on Jan. 24. Arnold is a five-star prospect according to Rivals and the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the class. He was the MaxPreps Texas Player of the Year after accounting for 4,400 yards of total offense and 57 touchdowns this season — throwing for 3,476 yards with just three interceptions and running for 924 yards and 24 touchdowns.
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Adepoju Adebawore, WDE, North Kansas City, Mo.
One of the biggest pieces of the Sooners’ defensive recruiting class, Adebawore is the No. 3 weakside defensive ends in the class according to Rivals. The site ranks Adebawore as the No. 35 overall player in the class. Only quarterback commit Jackson Arnold ranks higher among the commits the Sooners held going into signing day. His brother, Adetomiwa, was a senior at Northwestern this season.
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Joshua Bates, C, Durango, Colo.
Bates is the lone 2023 commit of the Lincoln Riley era to still be committed to the Sooners. Bates, who reaffirmed his commitment shortly after Brent Venables was hired, is a four-star prospect according to Rivals, and the No. 3 center in the class. His father, Justin, played at Colorado.
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Peyton Bowen, S, Denton, Texas
After flipping from Notre Dame to Oregon on signing day, Bowen ultimately signed with OU. The Rivals five-star prospect is ranked as the No. 10 player in the class and the No. 2 safety. Bowen played alongside Arnold at Denton Guyer, where he was named the Texas District 5-6A Most Valuable Player as a senior.
Keyon Brown, WR, Tallahassee, Fla.
The Rivals four-star prospect chose the Sooners over a group of offers that included Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Tennessee. Brown (6-foot-3, 187 pounds) committed to the Sooners in early June shortly after visiting for a camp, becoming the first wide receiver commit in the 2023 class for OU.
Lewis Carter, OLB, Tampa, Fla.
Rivals ranks Carter as the No. 158 player in the class and the No. 9 outside linebacker. Carter also visited Auburn, Clemson, and North Carolina. At Tampa Catholic, Carter (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) also played running back, safety, cornerback, receiver and returned kicks.
Kendel Dolby, CB, Springfield, Ohio
The Sooners didn’t have to go far to find the player they hope will be able to contribute immediately in the secondary. Dolby (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) had 44 tackles and a sack with three pass break-ups for NEO this season. Rivals ranks Dolby as the No. 5 junior college player in the class, and the No. 2 cornerback.
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Cayden Green, G, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Green was part of the flurry of Sooners commitments in July. The Rivals four-star prospect is ranked No. 44 overall by the site, the highest-rated of OU’s offensive line commits. He’s the No. 3 guard in the class, and the No. 2 player in Missouri — behind only fellow OU commit Adepoju Adebawore.
Taylor Heim, Ath., Bethany
Heim's recruiting ascension peaked Jan. 27 with his commitment to the Sooners. A versatile player, Heim (6-foot-5, 190 pounds) could play tight end of at a variety of positions on defense for the Sooners.
Kalib Hicks, RB, Denton, Texas
The No. 8 all-purpose back in the 2023 class according to Rivals, Hicks chose the Sooners over a group of finalists that included Alabama, Arkansas, Miami and TCU. Hicks’ measurables don’t jump off the page but the production is hard to argue with, as he ran for 1,448 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. His numbers this season weren’t quite as prolific, but he still ran for 929 yards and 8 touchdowns, averaging 7.74 yards per carry. The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Hicks’ running style is reminiscent of Kennedy Brooks, who just wrapped up a stellar career with the Sooners.
Logan Howland, OT, Westfield, N.J.
Howland (6-foot-7, 280 pounds) is a three-star prospect and the No. 37 offensive tackle in the 2023 class, according to Rivals. Howland starred at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. and chose the Sooners over Iowa. Howland’s athleticism could make him a versatile piece, though he figures to fit in primarily at tackle.
Jacobe Johnson, CB, Mustang
The Rivals four-star prospect committed to the Sooners on Aug. 13. The other schools in his top five were Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Stanford. Johnson, who will likely play on defense in college, had more than 1,000 receiving yards, 13 total touchdowns, 35 tackles and an interception during his junior season. A standout basketball player, he holds an offer from the Sooners in that sport. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder told The Oklahoman in July he'd like to play both football and basketball at the next level. Johnson is also a star in track and field. As a junior, he placed sixth in the long jump at the Class 6A state meet with a leap of 22 feet, 1 inch. As a sophomore, he placed second with a jump of 22-2½. Rivals ranks Johnson as the No. 226 player overall in the class and the No. 8 athlete.
Derrick LeBlanc, SDE, Kissimmee, Fla.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder chose the Sooners over Florida and Penn State. LeBlanc had 37 tackles with 11 sacks as a senior for Osceola High. He finished his high school career with 28 sacks. LeBlanc has some versatility, with a frame that could fit in inside as well as outside in Brent Venables’ defense.
Erik McCarty, S, McAlester
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder became OU’s first in-state commit in the 2023 class on Jan. 29. McCarty starred on both sides of the ball for McAlester, as a running back and in the secondary. With the Sooners, McCarty figures to play safety. McCarty rushed for nearly 5,000 yards and recorded nearly 350 tackles during his career with the Buffaloes. His senior season was cut short due to a knee injury that might limit his ability to make an early impact in Norman. McCarty’s father, also named Erik, played for the Sooners.
Daeh McCullough, S, South Bend, Ind.
The most recent pre-signing day commitment for the Sooners, McCullough is the son of Notre Dame running backs coach Deland McCullough. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder was committed to Indiana for more than a year before decommitting not long after his father left Indiana’s staff to join Marcus Freeman’s with the Fighting Irish. McCullough is a package deal. His older brother, Dasan, an outside linebacker/edge rusher was a freshman with the Hoosiers in 2022 committed to the Sooners after entering the transfer portal.
Kade McIntyre, ATH, Fremont, Neb.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder figures to start out at tight end with the Sooners, but like several other OU tight ends in recent years, figures to have the ability to play receiver as well. McIntyre rushed for 540 yards and had 41 catches for 413 yards and 16 total touchdowns as a senior. He also added 4.5 sacks. McIntyre chose the Sooners over a group of offers that included Kansas State, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Tennessee.
Samuel Omosigho, OLB, Crandall, Texas
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Omosigho could wind up in a number of places, but figures to start off his career at the “cheetah” position in Brent Venables’ defense. Omosigho has the athleticism to cover receivers along with the power to play a traditional linebacker role. Long term, his place might be as a middle linebacker. Rivals ranks Omosigho as a four-star prospect, the No. 200 player and No. 13 outside linebacker in the class. Omosigho picked the Sooners over Florida.
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Heath Ozaeta, OT, Snoqualmie, Wash.
Though the Pacific Northwest hasn’t usually been one of the Sooners’ areas of recruiting focus, Ozaeta was a natural fit for OU since he was born in Oklahoma. The Rivals three-star prospect chose the Sooners over Utah and his other offers included BYU, Cincinnati, UCLA and Stanford. Ozaeta figures to need some time to develop physically, but his athleticism made the 6-foot-6, 296-pounder an attractive prospect for Bill Bedenbaugh and the Sooners.
Jaquaize Pettaway, WR, Houston
The Rivals four-star receiver, ranked No. 76 overall in the 2023 class and No. 11 at his position, chose the Sooners over Texas after an official visit to Norman swayed him to OU. Pettaway (6-foot-0, 170 pounds) stuck with the Sooners even after Cale Gundy — his primary recruiter — left the OU staff. He’s also a track standout. Pettaway figures to have a chance to earn early playing time, as the Sooners will look to replace the production of Theo Wease and Drake Stoops — and perhaps Marvin Mims — at the position next season.
Phil Picciotti, LB, Perkasie, Pa.
Picciotti, who committed on July 4, chose the Sooners after also taking official visits to Michigan, Nebraska and Auburn. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder looks as if he fits in well as an inside linebacker in Brent Venables’ defensive scheme, though could have some flexibility. The Pennsylvania native starred at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The Rivals four-star prospect is ranked as the No. 10 inside linebacker in the class.
Ashton Sanders, DT, Los Angeles
The 6-foot-2, 280-pounder has slimmed down in recent months, dropping at least 20 pounds in anticipation of his move to OU. The three-star prospect, No. 25 in California according to Rivals, committed to the Sooners in the immediate aftermath of their Bedlam victory. He was committed to Cal for nearly two months earlier this year.
Daylan Smothers, RB, Charlotte, N.C.
Smothers is a four-star prospect according to Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 189 player overall in the 2023 class and the No. 11 running back. He chose the Sooners over Alabama, Florida State and North Carolina State. The 6-foot-0, 183-pounder didn’t play as a senior after being ruled ineligible following a transfer to West Charlotte High.
Markus Strong, SDE, Lake Butler, Fla.
The first signing-day addition for the Sooners, Strong is a Rivals three-star prospect. The 6-foot-4, 268-pounder had 33 tackles, 13 for loss, with seven sacks as a senior. Strong didn't draw a ton of recruiting interest until late in the process, picking up an offer from OU in late October and then visiting shortly before signing day. He has versatility to be able to play inside if needed but figures to be primarily a defensive end.
Makari Vickers, CB, Quincy, Fla.
The four-star prospect — No. 132 overall in the 2023 class and the No. 17 cornerback according to Rivals — committed to the Sooners in late August, choosing them over Alabama and Michigan. While Vickers is listed as a cornerback, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder figures to have the versatility to play in a number of spots in the Sooners’ secondary.
Jasiah Wagoner, CB, Spanaway, Wash.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Wagoner is a four-star prospect and the No. 41 cornerback overall in the 2023 class according to Rivals. He chose the Sooners over Texas, Oregon, and Cal. Wagoner developed a strong relationship with Sooners’ cornerbacks coach Jay Valai during the recruiting process.
Taylor Wein, SDE, Nolensville, Tenn.
Wein was the second player to commit to the Sooners in the aftermath of Bedlam, committing a day after defensive tackle Ashton Sanders. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder was a bit of a late bloomer in recruiting circles, as OU was the first Power 5 program to offer. Once the Sooners did, others followed suit but ultimately the edge rusher chose OU over a group that included USC, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma State among others.
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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma football recruiting: OU Sooners' 2023 signings