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Oklahoma fans breathed a sigh of relief on Friday when the Sooners secured the commitment of Dallas Skyline defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins. The three-star prospect decommitted from Texas A&M before choosing the Sooners over the Aggies, Texas Tech, Colorado State, SMU and others.
Landing Huggins is terrific news for the Sooners, as the 6-foot-3, 285-pounder is a great fit for OU’s defense. With his size and strength, Huggins could develop into the type of defender who can hold his own along the interior and be a force against the run.
Huggins' commitment also shows why Sooners fans should be concerned, but not overly worried, about the defensive tackle class. While OU likely is still looking to land at least two more defensive tackles in this class, there’s plenty of time for the Sooners to secure more talent along the defensive interior.
And Huggins' decision proves that nothing is guaranteed until a recruit puts his signature on his letter of intent in February. That means OU can take its time, make quality evaluations, then pursue the defensive tackles who, like Huggins, fit their system the best.
Having just one defensive tackle commit gives the Sooners the chance to account for late-blooming seniors, who emerged as quality prospects during their final prep season. In addition, the Sooners' struggles to secure defensive tackles earlier in the recruiting cycle is allowing OU to re-evaluate defensive tackles on other schools’ commit list, then sell those recruits on the opportunity to contribute immediately in Norman with Stacy McGee, Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker -- three of four members of OU’s defensive tackle rotation -- playing their final collegiate game in the Cotton Bowl.
Make no mistake, the Sooners aren’t in an ideal position with regards to landing a quality group of defensive tackles in their Class of 2013.
Yet, things aren’t nearly as bad as they might seem.