Breaking down Michael Thompson's commitment to OU
The biggest fish left in the Midwest’s 2018 class coming into National Signing Day was St. Louis (Mo.) Parkway North defensive tackle Michael Thompson. The Rivals100 prospect never did make a commitment to a school throughout the process, taking his first official visits to USC and Missouri shortly after his senior season had completed. He came back out of the winter dead period and scheduled an official visit to Oklahoma for the weekend of Jan. 19. Upon returning from Norman, Thompson announced he was shutting down his recruitment, and the Sooners and Missouri were his finalists.
WHY IT'S BIG FOR OKLAHOMA
The Sooners and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux just went into St. Louis and took two four-star defensive linemen from a lot of schools that put a lot of work into the city. That is going to make a statement in a metropolitan area that has exploded with Division I talent in recent classes, and it could Oklahoma up for future successes in the Gateway City. With Thompson specifically, Oklahoma is getting a prospect who not only has outstanding physical tools, but also brings versatility. He was recruited for both sides of the football by different schools, and could still end up on offense if defense does not work out. Thompson dropped in the Rivals100 toward the end of the cycle because he put on too much weight and had stopped progressing, so Oklahoma’s staff will need to get him back on track.
WHY IT HURTS MISSOURI
With Thompson heading out to the Big 12, Missouri ends up with just one of the top 15 prospects in its own state during a recruiting cycle when the top-end talent in the state was really strong. The Tigers were the favorites for Thompson at different stages of this recruitment, but could not maintain momentum through National Signing Day. Missouri does not get shut out on the defense line and was able to sign some bodies at the position, including four-star Kansas City defensive end Daniel Parker, but it will be hard not to look back at the talent in this Show-Me-State 2018 class and see it as anything other than an opportunity missed for Barry Odom and Co.