Making the Case: Will it be Oklahoma or USC for Taylor Tatum?
Taylor Tatum is the lone uncommitted running back among the top six in the 2024 class but his pledge is now only days away.
Two top programs remain for the four-star running back and on July 21, Tatum will pick either the Sooners or the Trojans.
Tatum has great relationships with both schools and there’s no doubt there are positives about each place but the third-best running back in the class and the No. 48 recruit overall can only pick one.
In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Tatum ending up.
“Oklahoma has had all the momentum in Tatum’s recruitment ever since hosting him on a June 16 official visit, and the opportunity to play SEC competition in both football and baseball is a huge draw for the four-star East Texas rusher. OU running backs coach DeMarco Murray and head baseball coach Skip Johnson have both made strong impressions on both Tatum and his family. The Sooners have the advantage in proximity and prestige, and they’ve been able to provide the entire family a degree of comfort in the fit at Oklahoma. There’s little reason for worry in the OU camp as Tatum’s decision draws near.” - Parker Thune, OUInsider.com
“Tatum loves Lincoln Riley’s offense and how he’d be utilized if he picked the Trojans. That’s what USC has always had working in its favor. If that was the only factor, I’d like USC’s chances. But that may not be enough. When we visited with Tatum a couple weeks ago, he said the most important factor in his decision was picking the school where he felt most at home and wouldn’t feel out of place or homesick. He also said that Norman, Oklahoma, reminds him very much of Longview, Texas. It’s hard not to connect those dots. USC has continued to communicate almost daily with him since his visit and will keep trying to sell him on the football advantages. If the Trojans win this recruiting battle, it will be because Riley’s offense was too attractive an opportunity to pass on. But he’s also very close with OU RBs coach DeMarco Murray, the Sooners’ baseball program probably offers a slight edge depending on how much the two-sport star weighs that factor and it’s closer and more similar to home. That’s a lot working in the other direction.” - Ryan Young, TrojanSports.com
“If this question was asked of me in the spring or even into early June, I would have said that Tatum was almost a near-lock to USC. He had taken visits out to California, loved the environment and the vibe around the program and coach Lincoln Riley’s offense could be a perfect fit for him.
“But in recent weeks my opinion has totally shifted to Oklahoma. One of the biggest reasons is because of location as Tatum as Norman is a decent drive but five hours is very doable and there could be some concerns that while he loves USC it might just be too far for him. His relationship with DeMarco Murray is great, playing in the SEC is great and the location is better. I’m picking the Sooners.” - Adam Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director