Not positive any Oklahoma fan knew precisely simply how excessive up P.J. Adebawore was going to shoot up the rankings, however everyone knew he was on the verge of being one thing particular.
The Sooners, beneath then-first-year head coach Brent Venables and first-year defensive finish coach Miguel Chavis, joined the chase for Adebawore on Feb. 11.
A 3-star prospect from North Kansas City (Mo.) High, Adebawore slowly started his ascent up the rankings, with every passing replace.
That all culminated with Adebawore, now signed with the Sooners and a mid-year enrollee, incomes five-star standing this week and ranked No. 21 total for the 2023 class.
“Miguel, that defensive employees, recognized P.J. final January as a man that we actually felt may develop into one thing particular,” stated Venables final month. “And develop a relationship with him and was fairly flippantly recruited till about halfway by the summer time after which issues actually began heating up for P.J, however once more, understanding his household and the kind of people who they’re, he is a really loyal, do what he says he will do.
“And actually by no means had an issue in any way with him, though individuals continued to attempt to recruit him. He did a terrific job of managing that alongside along with his household. He’s obtained an incredible, great upside. He’s concerning the work, wonderful scholar, obtained great humility, extremely clever, nice, nice expertise, pure pass-rush capability.”
The phrases upside and potential obtained thrown round rather a lot with Adebawore, however what he confirmed throughout his senior season and throughout the Under Armour All-America week was that he’s already beginning to determine the whole lot out.
It’s a credit score to Chavis and Venables that they have been in a position to get Adebawore to make the selection July 10. And similar to each different elite recruit in OU’s class, different colleges got here calling when the Sooners have been going by their 2022 struggles.
A really constructive sample for OU, although, was that it by no means mattered. Adebawore knew what he was on the lookout for, and OU was all the time the spot.
“He values what we worth,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof stated. “He values accountability, he values toughness, he values construction, he values connection, he values household, he values training. Regardless of how this panorama of school soccer adjustments, these issues final eternally. The different issues that got here with it don’t final eternally, however these issues final eternally. He’s a terrific match right here.”
Adebawore is one in every of three five-star signees for OU, with the opposite two being Denton (Texas) Guyer teammates quarterback Jackson Arnold (No. 23) and security Peyton Bowen (No. 12).
But Arnold and Bowen have been fairly well-known at the moment final 12 months. There’s no query they earned the five-star rating primarily based on their great senior seasons, however you hardly ever see somebody from as far again within the rating pool as Adebawore get to that five-star spot.
“P.J. Adebawore is only a improbable younger man,” Venables stated. “His brother is on the brink of get drafted excessive. He’s a defensive lineman at Northwestern. He’s broad, he is lengthy and he is all arms and limbs. He can actually run with very explosive and pure instincts as a move rusher. He’s obtained a terrific body, simply south of 230 kilos. I actually like the place he is at and what his future appears to be like like.”
OU followers have been believers of Adebawore for some time, however it really was that Under Armour week of practices and performances that turned everyone’s heads.
With his body, his wingspan, all of it provides as much as what ought to be one thing extremely particular for Adebawore and the Sooners.
“Another man that’s actually, actually explosive and actually, actually lengthy,” Roof stated. “I don’t know what his wingspan is, however it’s huge. You have a look at him speeding the passer and doing issues like that. It’s not solely speeding the passer for sacks, it’s getting his palms as much as bat balls. That’s a giant deal as properly. He’s a terrific match right here. I really like his spirit and he has power – a whole lot of actually good constructive power on high of a whole lot of capability with a whole lot of dedication and loyalty to the University of Oklahoma.”
Defensive finish is an attention-grabbing spot. You have returning starters like Ethan Downs and Reggie Grimes. Incoming portal additions like Rondell Bothroyd (Wake Forest) and Trace Ford (Oklahoma State). How does Adebawore slot in?
Sounds like a crowded room, however Adebawore surpassed the highschool expectations. He’s seeking to do it once more.