Sooners continue the hot July as Todd Bates brings in a highly-touted defender.
As soon as the regime change happened for the Oklahoma Sooners, many people wondered who Brent Venables might bring with him from Clemson, if anybody. Brent brought several assistants and staff members from the Palmetto State to Oklahoma, but the biggest defensive staffer of them all was Todd Bates. The man has a history of recruiting quite well and for getting the most out of his men along the defensive line. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Bates was leading the charge for four-star DL Derrick LeBlanc of Kissimmee Florida. Leblanc was a heavy lean for the Sooners for a while until he affirmed his commitment to Venables and the University of Oklahoma over programs as Florida, Penn State, Alabama, and the rest of the who’s-who of college football.
BREAKING: Four-Star DL Derrick LeBlanc has Committed to Oklahoma!
The 6’5 265 DL from Kissimmee, FL chose the Sooners over Florida and Penn State.
— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) July 28, 2022
LeBlanc is exactly what Venables is looking for in this new iteration of the defense. Standing at a frame of 6’4” and 270 lbs, he already possesses strength but is a terrific athlete, as well. Because of his frame and natural athleticism, working with Jerry Schmidt will work wonders for LeBlanc and certainly enable him to play at a high level within a 4-3 scheme at the three and five technique (playing inside and outside the offensive tackle). He typically anchors his defense in run support, but with his length and natural ability can also be an elite pass rusher.
Leblanc is Oklahoma’s 18th commitment for the 2023 recruiting cycle and the ninth commitment in the month of July for the Sooners. According to 247Sports Composite, LeBlanc is the No. 13 overall defensive lineman, the No. 24 overall player from the State of Florida, and is currently the No. 101 player nationally. In order to be as successful that the Sooners and their fans are used to experiencing, Oklahoma’s staff will have to continually bring in top notch defenders with high ceilings like LeBlanc. Also, Oklahoma still consistently bringing in talent from Florida should be noted. This makes four commitments (if you include Phil Picciotti, who’s now going to IMG Academy) from a state that may be a legitimate pipeline when the Sooners fully transition to the SEC.