NORMAN — The Sooners completed another wild Signing Day, stealing two commitments away in the final hours while losing one of their own.
OU lost defensive end Cooper Washington, a longtime Sooner commitment, to Texas Tech, but snagged Coppell, Texas, cornerback Bennett Okotcha and Euless, Texas, offensive tackle Nila Kneubuhl, who didn't sign with the Sooners until Wednesday afternoon after reportedly wavering between Baylor and OU.
A lot of times, you have guys you've been working for a long time,” coach Bob Stoops said during halftime of the OU-Baylor basketball game. “Fortunately, it came together in the last week.
“They're guys we think can really have great careers here. They're similar to guys that have had great careers that we've signed, sometimes late.”
Okotcha, who had been committed to Notre Dame since December, and Wisconsin before that, began telling people Monday night that he had planned to sign with the Sooners.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Okotcha is ranked the No. 98 overall prospect in Texas, and the No. 64 cornerback in the country by Rivals.com. ESPNU ranks him the No. 50 cornerback nationally.
A spot opened up for Okotcha to sign with OU after Brandon Carter de-committed from the Sooners a few weeks ago and pledged with TCU.
“Bennett has excellent size for a corner, strength and height to him,” Stoops said. “Great ball skills. We're really excited about him.”
Kneubuhl, meanwhile, had been committed to Baylor for almost a year, but going into Signing Day, was unsure of where he would sign. Kneubuhl, who was high school teammates with Carter, attended Euless Trinity's Signing Day ceremony, but left without announcing his college destination. After talking it over with his family, however, Kneubuhl faxed in his letter of intent to OU by early afternoon.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Kneubuhl is ranked the No. 50 offensive lineman in the nation by Rivals, though he played tight end in high school. Stoops said the Sooners will wait for Kneubuhl to get on campus before deciding whether to play him on offense or defense, though offensive line seems most likely.
“Nila is a very physical guy on either side of the ball,” Stoops said. “He weighs 290 and looks like he weighs 240. You love guys like that. He's going to have great strength and ability to be a physical player for us, one side or the other.”
The only disappointment of the day came from Washington, a native of Muleshoe, Texas. Washington committed to the Sooners last summer, but stunned even his own classmates when he announced he was signing the Texas Tech. Behind Washington's ceremony, students had hung banners that read “Boomer Sooner/Cooper Sooner Time!” and “Congrats Cooper” with an OU logo on it.