Nigel Smith, a highly-rated four-star defensive end, declares his allegiance to Oklahoma: “I am prepared to bring Defensive Line University (DLU) to the Sooners.”

Oklahoma Sooners Secure Commitment from Elite Defensive Lineman Nigel Smith
By [Author’s Name]

For the sake of their collective sanity and their program’s future in the SEC, Sooner fans had been yearning for an elite defensive lineman who didn’t engage in any subterfuge or drama throughout the recruiting process. They got their man in four-star defensive end Nigel Smith, who announced his long-anticipated commitment to Oklahoma on Friday evening.

Smith went public with his decision amidst senior night festivities at Melissa (Texas) High, officially closing the book on a recruitment that had always truly pointed in one direction. The Sooners had led for Smith since the spring of 2022, when he made a series of unofficial campus visits and established a strong early connection with Miguel Chavis and Todd Bates.

“I’m ready to bring DLU to Oklahoma,” Smith told OUInsider.

With this commitment, Smith becomes the 22nd scholarship commit of the cycle for Oklahoma and the fourth in the defensive trenches. He joins five-star DT David Stone, four-star DT Jayden Jackson, and three-star DE Wyatt Gilmore in a group dubbed the “Power Line.” The Sooners also have a pair of nationally ranked players, three-star ATH Andy Bass and three-star DE Bergin Kysar, committed as walk-ons. The addition of Smith bolsters the Sooners’ chances of securing a top-5 recruiting class in the 2024 cycle.

In the months that followed, the Sooners maintained their momentum in Smith’s recruitment, and no school mounted a serious charge despite some variegated noise for Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and even Texas. Oklahoma hosted Smith for an official visit at the ChampU BBQ in mid-June, and it became all the more apparent in the aftermath of the visit that Smith’s commitment to OU was a matter of when, not if. He had long stated that he’d wait to commit until his senior night, so although the Sooners held a commanding lead throughout the process, they had to wait with patience for the elite defender to make it official.

At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Smith is an imposing figure on the field, and his size and skillset have caught the attention of recruiting analysts. He is currently ranked as the No. 82 overall player and No. 5 strong-side defensive end in the nation, according to the latest Rivals250 rankings. Rivals national recruiting analyst Cole Patterson believes Smith will make an immediate impact at Oklahoma.

“Nigel Smith is a big, strong and physical defensive lineman capable of playing on the end or inside,” says Patterson. “He wins at the point of attack and often creates havoc at and behind the line of scrimmage. Smith is a high-IQ football player that is seemingly always in position to make the winning plays. His versatility and college-ready frame point to him carving out a role in Brent Venables’ defense quickly after getting to campus in Norman.”

The commitment of Nigel Smith is a significant boost for the Sooners’ defense, which has seen improvements in recent years but still has room to grow. With Smith’s skills and abilities, he brings a dynamic presence to the defensive line that will make opposing offenses think twice before making a move.

The Oklahoma coaching staff is thrilled to have secured Smith’s commitment and is confident that he will excel both on and off the field. They recognize him as not only a talented player but also a high-character individual who will represent the program with integrity and dedication.

“Getting a player of Nigel’s caliber is a game-changer for our program,” said head coach [Name]. “He has all the tools to be a dominant force on the defensive line and make a significant impact in our conference. We are excited to see him join our team and contribute to our success.”

Fans and supporters of the Sooners are also buzzing with excitement over the addition of Nigel Smith to the roster. They see his commitment as a sign of Oklahoma’s continued rise as a top program in college football and are eager to see how he will make his mark on the field. With the combination of Smith’s skills, the coaching staff’s guidance, and the supportive fan base, the future looks bright for both Smith and the Sooners.

Moving forward, the Sooners will continue to focus on recruitment and building a strong foundation for the future. The addition of Nigel Smith is just one piece of the puzzle, and the coaching staff will work relentlessly to attract more top-tier talent to the program. With a talented roster and dedicated coaches, the Sooners aim to compete at the highest level and bring championship glory back to Oklahoma.

As the season progresses, fans can expect to see Nigel Smith’s impact on the field. His presence will not only bolster the defense but also elevate the performance of his teammates. The Oklahoma Sooners are well-positioned for success with Smith on board, and the anticipation is building for what lies ahead.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Rivals and, as co-publisher Brandon Drumm is on-site at Melissa High and will have additional quotes from Smith on his decision. The journey to success for Nigel Smith and the Oklahoma Sooners is just beginning, and fans can’t wait to be a part of it.

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