After rounding out the 2024 recruiting cycle with a top-10 class in the nation, Oklahoma is already on pace to do the same with its 2025 class.
The Sooners already have 10 commits in the fold, as of Feb. 12. The best may be yet to come, as well. Brent Venables and his staff are trending for multiple elite prospects, including Galveston (Texas) Ball five-star linebacker Jonah Williams.
The No. 13 overall prospect and No. 2 LB in the On3 Industry Ranking was recently back in Norman for a January Junior Day visit. Soon after, Oklahoma recruiting insider Josh McCuistion logged a pick in the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM) in favor of the Sooners landing the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder.
Multiple reasons have OU considered a frontrunner for one of the best recruits in The Lone Star State. For starters, Williams is eyeing the chance to be a two-sport athlete — something that is far from a turn-off for the Sooners staff.
“Jonah is a guy that — I think you’re seeing Oklahoma have success with a couple of things that have kind of worked in their favor. First of all, big-time baseball background and Oklahoma has done a good job with those kind of athletes,” McCuistion said on ‘The Inside Scoop’.
Sooners see Williams as a safety — not at linebacker
The five-star is listed as a linebacker, but Williams is seen as a safety in the eyes of the Sooners. Starting out as a DB differentiates the new SEC program from other contenders for his pledge.
“I think you’re seeing Oklahoma work well there…I think Jonah has bought into that. Also, a lot of schools early on were talking to Jonah about linebacker, which is obviously where On3 has him ranked as well. Oklahoma’s been very adamant — they want him as a safety, that’s where they see him starting out,” McCuistion said.
“He’s a big kid, linebacker is a possibility in any scheme, but I think they’re sincere in letting him have that opportunity, which is what I think he wants to start with.”
Ohio State and Texas A&M also had Williams on campus to kick off 2024. Texas and Oregon also figure to be factors in his recruitment before he puts pen to paper. It’s still early in the 2025 cycle, but the Sooners look to be in good shape to wrangle a pledge from another elite prospect.
Williams has an On3 NIL Valuation of $139K. The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets high school and college athletes’ projected annual value (PAV). The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete’s value at a certain moment in time.
Bill to remove cell phones from school classrooms advancing through Oklahoma legislature
Okla. (KXII) – A bill with the goal of removing cell phones from school classrooms advanced past the Appropriations and Budget Education Subcommittee on Monday.
The bill is House Bill 3913, authored by Oklahoma Rep. Chad Caldwell.
“This seemed like a pretty simple change that could really have a dramatic, positive impact for our students,” Caldwell said.
The bill would provide schools with grant money for their own system for keeping cell phones out of the classroom.
“It’s a one year pilot that encourages nine schools to establish a phone free program at their school,” Caldwell said. “We wanted to give them the ability to try and find the solution that that maybe makes the most sense for this school in their community.”
Caldwell says they would track the information over the course of the year and review it after the school year is over to see the impact on things like education outcomes, discipline and mental health issues.
Some believe that the removal of cell phones would also represent the removal of distractions during learning opportunities.
“I am certainly old enough to remember a time that every kid didn’t have a cell phone, and everybody seemed to get along just fine,” Caldwell said.
Some wonder about the wisdom of taking phones away should an emergency arise.
“I think the best thing is to try and limit the distractions,” Caldwell said. “To make sure that they are able to completely focus on the adult in the front of the room who is able to give them instructions and say what exactly to do to keep them safest.”
The exact protocol in emergencies will be left up to the individual schools.
Caldwell said that they’re still at the beginning of the process, but he feels good about getting across the finish line.
“I’m pretty confident that we can find a solution that really makes the most sense for our schools, but really also for our students and their parents as well,” Caldwell said.
Copyright 2024 KXII. All rights reserved.
Oklahoma State women’s basketball live score updates vs UCF in Big 12 game
Oklahoma State Cowgirls coach Jacie Hoyt talks about loss to Texas
Oklahoma State Cowgirls coach Jacie Hoyt talks about loss to Texas Longhorns
Coach Jacie Hoyt and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (12-13, 5-9 Big 12) host the UCF Knights (12-12, 3-11) on Wednesday in Stillwater. Here’s what you need to know:
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What time does OSU basketball vs. UCF start?
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 21
- Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
- Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater
What channel is OSU vs. UCF basketball on today?
Oklahoma State vs. UCF basketball betting odds
Odds courtesy of BetMGM as of Wednesday, Feb. 21:
- Spread: OSU (-7.5)
- Over/under: 130.5
- Moneyline: OSU -400 | UCF +320
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Edmond Public Schools challenges Oklahoma State Department of Education's attempted book ban
Edmond Public Schools is asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to intervene in an attempt by state officials to ban two books from school library shelves.
Edmond Superintendent Angela Grunewald said the Oklahoma State Department of Education ordered her district to remove “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini and “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls from high school libraries.
The agency threatened a potential downgrade to Edmond’s accreditation status if it doesn’t comply, Grunewald said.
The agency’s Library Media Review Committee decided both books are “pornographic” and contain “sexualized content,” according to the district’s legal complaint.
The same library review committee made national news last month when Chaya Raichik, who runs the controversial social media account Libs of TikTok, was appointed as a member.
Grunewald said none of Edmond’s school libraries contain pornography, but the books’ material isn’t the central issue of the district’s legal challenge.
“It’s not about the books,” she said in a news conference Tuesday. “It’s about who has the right to decide what books should be in a library and who can say what books should be removed.”
In ordering the removal, the state agency relied on new administrative rules passed last year that prohibit books from containing pornographic or sexualized content, Grunewald said.
The Edmond Board of Education voted Tuesday in favor of asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to deem the state agency’s administrative rules an unconstitutional overreach of executive authority.
Edmond’s attorney, F. Andrew Fugitt, said he expects the Court to respond within 30 days.
State Superintendent Ryan Walters, who heads the agency, called the district’s legal filing an “ongoing subversion of accountability.”
“Edmond Public Schools not only allows kids to access porn in schools they are doubling down to keep pornography on the bookshelves,” Walters said in a statement. “Parents and kids should have the confidence of going to schools to learn. Instead of focusing on education, EPS has chosen to peddle porn and is leading the charge to undermine parents in Oklahoma.”
The state Education Department received five complaints about the books being part of the curriculum at Edmond high schools, Grunewald said. Parents already have a choice in which books their children read for high school classes, she said.
Although the complaints pertained to school lesson plans, Grunewald said the state’s Library Media Review Committee advised the books be removed from high school libraries, as well.
In a Jan. 19 letter, the state agency gave Edmond administrators 14 days to take the books off library shelves, according to Edmond’s legal filing. If they don’t comply, they will have to appear at Thursday’s state Board of Education meeting and risk an accreditation penalty.
The district has had a policy since 1997 for parents to request a book be reviewed and possibly removed. The decision of whether to keep the book is made at the local school level, Grunewald said.
Both award-winning bestsellers, The Kite Runner and The Glass Castle include references to child sexual abuse and violence.
The Kite Runner highlights the friendship between two boys amid a tumultuous period in Afghanistan. The Glass Castle tells the story of the author’s dysfunctional upbringing.
Scrutiny of school library books has heightened under state Superintendent Ryan Walters. He called for a content review of 190 books focused on LGBTQ+ perspectives and said some books are too explicit to belong in schools.
Walters’ administration created the new library content rules and brought them to the state Board of Education for a vote, despite the state Legislature not instructing him to do so.
For that reason, Attorney General Gentner Drummond issued an opinion in April stating the rules are invalid and cannot be enforced.
“It is well settled that an agency may only exercise the powers expressly given by statute,” Drummond said. “An agency cannot expand those powers by its own authority.”
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