Sooners pick up commitment from DT Ashton Sanders Sunday night

It’s not something that you can emphasize too much in game preparation, but everybody in the Oklahoma football program knew how massive Bedlam vs. Oklahoma State could be.

Not just for the product on the field, but in recruiting. The Sooners brought the house for the first time this season, and it paid off with the 28-13 victory.

Now it’s paying off on the trail as Los Angeles Cathedral three-star defensive tackle Ashton Sanders announced his commitment to OU on Sunday night, following his official visit to Norman this weekend.

Head coach Brent Venables made it clear a few weeks ago that you cannot just move on toward the 2024 class. There are always going to be guys who emerge stronger, faster, better, etc., during their senior season.

Sanders has been one of the guys and became a huge OU target in recent weeks. The question was just about getting him to campus and that was answered this weekend.

Then the Sooners, particularly the defense, did their job in a dominant outing against the rival Cowboys.

“We’re always going to bounce back,” defensive tackle Jordan Kelley said. “We can have a bad week, two or three bad weeks, but we’re always going to bounce back.”

A defense that had been scarred up for the better part of the conference season came to play against OSU. OU’s defense had six sacks, seven pass breakups, 12 quarterback hurries, 13 tackles for loss and four interceptions in allowing just one touchdown in 19 possessions and 102 plays.

“If you look at today’s game, on offense and defense, it shows how good we can be,” running back Eric Gray said. “That first quarter, anybody who’s an offensive recruit can see how they want to play in that offense. Any defensive recruit, the defense played lights out today. I think this game is good for both sides.”

Sanders becomes OU’s first commitment in nearly three months and now the 21st overall after OU has lost a couple of pledges in the last month.

The Sooners are ranked No. 9 overall for Rivals, and OU hopes to keep riding the wave of recruiting momentum from the Bedlam weekend where OU knocked it out of the park, on the field and on the trail.