Oklahoma’s class of 2023 has been rapidly taking shape over the past few weeks with the Sooners landing almost half of their class in the last two weeks. And on Sunday they added their highest ranked defensive commitment to date in the form of North Kansas City, Mo. Rivals250 defensive end Adepoju Adebawore (Ad-uh-BAR-ay).
For the nation’s No. 116 player, and No. 8 weakside defensive end, it seems the decision to pick Oklahoma had been the most likely possibility since his first visit to Norman on March 25.
“After my first unofficial in March, I wouldn’t say I knew but it was definitely the school I was leaning to the most,” Adebawore said. “It wasn’t like ‘for sure I’m going here’ but after that official visit it really sealed the deal with my parents being able to come down there with me this time – being able to see everything.
“I just had to make sure to take time and really think on it and dwell on it before I made it official but I still knew.”
Missouri’s No. 8 overall prospect, and the second the state product to pledge with the Sooners this weekend – following Cayden Green on Friday – says that while he is aware of Oklahoma’s visit policy with commitments for him it was always just a question of, ‘why wait’?
It’s a feeling that was echoed by his future position coach, Miguel Chavis.
“With (Chavis), he kind of already knew I wanted to go, already. He was trying to figure out ‘if you already know, what’s stopping you?’,” he recalled.
For Adebawore, who also took official visits to Northwestern and Missouri, if it wasn’t for the Sooners not only would his decision have been much more difficult but would have come later in the year.
“A broad group of things (went into my choice), so many different things that fit what I’m about, what my family is about. I remember going through the process and before I’d taken any visits there I remember thinking ‘ this is going to be a hard decision, many this is going to be really tough’.
“If I wasn’t going to Oklahoma, I’d probably take more visits.”
Though that’s not exactly what Brent Venables‘no committed players taking official visits policy is meant to create there is one school that he admits he would have liked to have seen. But in the end, it would have been an empty visit in Adebawore’s eyes.
“I’ve never been to LSU, but it’s one of those things that I’ve asked enough questions. I know it’s not going to change my decision because of the questions I asked,” he explained.
“I mean, I knew that the (LSU) official was going to be good, if I go down there it’s going to be good but I know in my heart where I want to be.”
The edge defender says his decision really came down to Missouri, Northwestern, and LSU along with the Sooners. Even USC was of some interest in Adebawore but he says the Trojans were ‘on the other side of the planet, and that does play a role’.
Adebawore is ready to have his commitment in the rearview mirror and see his phone ringing a bit less but he knows that this won’t remedy all of his recruiting conversations. And to a degree, he embraces that reality.
“Overall I’m definitely done. I mean if other coaches want to talk to me I’m not going to say ‘no, leave me alone’. Because let’s say a coaching staff at Oklahoma changes or coach Chavis or coach Venables leaves I want to make sure I have something to fall back on,” Adebawore said.
“(But), I’m going to continue to let them know that I am committed.”
And though Adebawore is ready to be a committed player he won’t be the type to hound too many recruits about joining him. There is one he is quite familiar with that he’s already begun work on.
Definitely, I really already started to, not necessarily making it public but texting (Hill) personally. Talking about adding him, I’m not a huge social media guy, you got to build your brand and do all of this. I made an Instagram this year because I’m hearing you want to build your brand and do all of this stuff.