Oklahoma football recruiting: Four-star LB Clayton Smith commits to the Sooners

Oklahoma’s recruiting success on Friday continued into the afternoon with a verbal commitment from four-star linebacker Clayton Smith. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect from Texarkana, Texas, picked the Sooners over a bevy of offers that included Florida State, LSU, Texas, and more recent ones from Michigan and Penn State

Earlier on Friday, Oklahoma also got a commitment from four-star wide receiver Mario Williams. The big day is a plus for the Sooners’ 2021 class, which started the day just inside the top 50 nationally. However, quality is greater than quantity at this stage in the cycle and now more than half of the seven-member class is made up of blue-chip prospects. 

Smith is the eighth-ranked outside linebacker recruit for the 2021 cycle and the No. 107 overall recruit, per 247Sports Composite rankings. He projects as an outside linebacker/edge rusher hybrid at the next level. 

Per 247Sports, Smith’s scouting report says the Sooners are getting an athletic defender who can both play off the edge and off the line: 

Possesses a great frame that could translate to hybrid edge role, while showing the athleticism to play traditional off-line linebacker spot. Good height and length with ample frame potential. Explodes off the line as a pass-rusher. Gets good extension and uses inside arm well for leverage. Bends well relative to height and length. Flies around the arc. Showed improved move set with more nuance in junior season. Plays both ways and provides big-play ability as a pass-catcher. Excellent ball skills for projected edge/linebacker prospect. Functional athleticism appears outstanding. Closes with impressive acceleration and top-end speed. Dangerous in backside pursuit. Length disrupts passing lanes. Three-sport athlete who competes in basketball and the high jump. Athletic context lacks verified testing or sprint times. Plays high at times. Can clean up tackling technique consistency. Will need to build strength to maximize hit power and disengaging ability, particularly in the run game. High-major defensive prospect who fits multiple spots in different schemes. Possesses very high ceiling that could lead to multi-year Power Five starter status and early-round NFL Draft potential.

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