Lincoln Riley may have left Oklahoma but Jovantae Barnes is still coming. Long though to be a favorite to land with the Sooners, doubt began to creep in after Lincoln Riley left for USC. The fact that one of the final three schools that he had narrowed down his 35 scholarship offers to was, in fact, USC only made the doubt even greater. However, it turned out that Barnes was higher on OU running backs coach DeMarco Murray, than he was on Riley and on Sunday he made his commitment to the crimson and cream over the Trojans and Florida State.
Barnes went on to discuss his relationship with Murray and how that was a guiding factor for him. “He just played a big role,” Barnes said about Murray and his recruitment. “He’s been staying on me ever sense he was at Arizona and I knew there was something special over there at OU. He was just like me, a west coast kid, that his top two schools was USC and OU and he ended up choosing OU and I know there’s something special over here that made him choose it.”
At 6-0/190, Barnes is ranked on the 247Sports composite as the #10 running back in the 2022 recruiting class. He had been the highest-ranked uncommitted recruit until this point and will join a class that already ranked #10 nationally and #2 in the Big 12. With 15 signed Letters of Intent, and two un-signed verbal commitments, the Sooners are poised to make a possible run at Texas for the top recruiting ranking in the Big 12.
Barnes joins Littleton, Colorado (Valor Christian) running back Gavin Sawchuck in the 2022 class. Sawchuck (5-11/185) is the 247Sports composite #5 running back in the class, giving the Sooners two of the Top 10 backs for 2022 even though Lincoln Riley is long gone. Perhaps DeMarco Murray needs a raise.
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