Kaden Helms and Jason Llewellyn gave Oklahoma fans good news to start the week. After the hiring of new head coach Brent Venables had Sooner Nation feeling the warm and fuzzies, Helms and Llewellyn shared that they are sticking with their commitments to Oklahoma’s 2022 recruiting class.
Helms, a product of Bellevue West High School in Nebraska, had some fun with his announcement, too.
Sooner nation, I was going to write some long, drawn out paragraph regarding where my commitment currently stands with the University of Oklahoma. But why not let Fresh Prince do the honors for me? 🙃#OUDNA. pic.twitter.com/5gKhcvUPp4
— Kaden Helms (@KadenJHelms) December 6, 2021
Helms is rated as a three-star tight end according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The 6-foot-5 tight end actually checks in as a four-star in 247Sports’ own rankings and the site has him as the nation’s No. 16 tight end.
Llewellyn out of Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas, ranks as the nation’s No. 18 tight end according the 247Sports composite rankings.
It helps with Helms and Llewellyn’s recruitments that tight ends and H-Backs coach Joe Jon Finley looks like he’s one of the assistant coaches being retained.
OKLAHOMA JUST GOT BETTER!!!! LET’S GO!!! #OUDNA
— Joe Jon Finley (@JOE_JON_FINLEY) December 6, 2021
In his introductory press conference, Venables discussed how he plans to sell recruits on sticking with OU.
“Well, I have a career of almost 30 years of being loyal. Just look at my career. If I’ve been something, I’ve been loyal. And so, I haven’t been a coach that’s jumped all over. Taken this job to take this job to take this job. I think that that speaks for itself. Again, it’s not an easy thing to sell, but I do think that they chose Oklahoma for a reason and we always challenge recruits to take the recruiting coach out of it. And just what a wonderful place it is to chase your dreams, to get a great, quality education, to develop holistically. It’s much more than just one person. I recognize that being the head coach has a very important place in all of that. But, again if they’re looking for…again, for me for example, if they’re looking for a program with stability, a program of success. This is a program first of all that’s displayed that on its own and then my career has been exactly that as well. On the biggest stages in the biggest games and have that kind of experience to sell,” Venables said.
Venables was asked if he planned on retaining any of the coaches on the current staff.
“Obviously, you prepare yourself for a long time way before. Every battle is won before it’s fought. That’s the same kind of mindset when it comes to staffing. We’re working through that right now. The same with our current staff. There’s some terrific options right here at home and we’re looking at everything. Obviously, we want to do it sooner rather than later and we’re working aggressively on both fronts,” Venables said.
Venables also said it’s his intention to hire a defensive coordinator. OU has already seen outside linebackers and defensive ends coach Jamar Cain announce his intentions to join the USC staff and it’s fair to expect other changes to be on the way.
Those staffing changes will have a direct impact on Oklahoma’s 2022 recruiting class between now and when the upcoming Early Signing Period begins on Dec. 15.
In the meantime, here’s a comprehensive list of recruits that have announced their intentions to remain with the Sooners.
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