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Why landing 4-star Collin Oliver is important for Oklahoma State

Is the highest rated defensive commit in five years a sign of things to come for OSU?

Collin Oliver (@cloliver25)

Oklahoma State added a huge piece for their 2021 class with four-star linebacker Collin Oliver’s commitment Friday.

Oliver, a four-star inside linebacker from Edmond (Santa Fe), isn’t just the Cowboys’ highest rated player in the class so far, he’s the highest rated — and first four-star — defensive player OSU has had since Darrion Daniels in 2015 (assuming he signs of course).

It’s been five years since OSU coach Mike Gundy has signed a four-star defensive player, the longest stretch of his tenure at the helm in Stillwater.

OSU used to have a habit of landing talented defensive prospects. Between 2005 and 2010, the Cowboys signed nine four-star defensive players, including three in 2010.

Class Player Position Rating
2010 Shaun Lewis OLB 0.9484
2010 Justin Gilbert Corner 0.9059
2010 Caleb Lavey ILB 0.8904
2009 Daytawion Lowe Safety 0.9053
2008 Markelle Martin Safety 0.9005
2007 Richetti Jones DE 0.9786
2007 Tonga Tea DT 0.9000
2006 Ugo Chinasa DE 0.8938
2005 Ryan McBean DE 0.9000

Most of those players became stars or solid contributors with many being drafted and spending some time in the NFL.

But then, the players stopped committing.

From 2011 through 2019, OSU signed only three four-star defensive players, and one of them* never played a snap.

Darrion Daniels (2015)
Gyasi Akem (2014)
Naim Mustafaa (2013)*

Some of this could be considered nitpicking. Some of the four-star guys signed from 2005-10 were on the edge of becoming three-stars. Meanwhile, Trace Ford, who is part of the 2019 class, was a three-star who should have been a four.

But considering the success rate OSU has with four-star players, one can see why signing them has been beneficial.

With Oliver’s commitment, OSU lands a player who can not only have an immediate impact, but one for the next three to four years.

The questions is; is he the start of a trend back to the early days of the Gundy era? Or just a one-off?

If you want my opinion, it’s the former. Do I guarantee OSU lands a four-star defensive player every season moving forward? No. But if you add Ford into this equation, OSU has now landed a highly sought-after in-state defensive player two years in a row. That’s a trend I can get behind and hopefully one that catches the attention of other players of their like.