Oklahoma Football: Sooners signing day, and Blake Bell making a move

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National Signing Day was Feb. 5, and once again, Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners had one of the top-10 classes in the nation.

A total of 26 players signed with OU, and now will begin their careers in Norman.

Arguably the best signing comes at the running back position in Joe Mixon from Freedom high school in Oakley, Calif.

Mixon, 6-foot-2, is a Rivals 5-star athlete and No. 1 all-purpose back. Scout and ESPN ranks Mixon has the No. 5 and No. 6 running back in the nation, respectively.

The Sooners have a couple of talented options in Keith Ford and Alex Ross, but depth is slim. Getting Mixon will solidify the unit for the next couple of years.

If he gets the ample playing time, Mixon is my pick for Big 12 freshman of the year. Not only a running back, but he can fill in the void left by Jalen Saunders’ departure in the return game.

OU also gets 4-star recruit in quarterback Justice Hansen out of Edmond, Okla. at Santa Fe high school. The 6-foot-4 Hansen was named ESPN’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback and No. 7 pro-style quarterback from Rivals.

With Blake Bell’s move to tight end, the Sooners will have Trevor Knight, Kendal Thompson, and Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield. The Sooners won’t deal with that much at the position during the spring, but Stoops has plenty of options to work with.

The Sooners also signed two fullbacks after losing Trey Millard; four wide receivers including Rivals No. 4 and No. 13 in Central East’s (Fresno) Michiah Quick and Desert Mountain’s (Scottsdale, Ariz) Mark Andrews; two tight ends; six offensive lineman including Orlando Brown Jr., son of 10-year lineman Orlando Brown Sr., who played with the Browns and Ravens and passed away in 2011; two defensive lineman; three linebackers; and five defensive backs including 4-star safety Steven Parker from Jenks high school in Okla.

Oklahoma Sooners

Parker is listed as Rivals No. 4 safety, Scout’s No. 11 safety, and ESPN’s No. 6 safety. Parker has a good shot at replacing Gabe Lynn next season.

The aforementioned Bell played quarterback the last three seasons, rushing for 24 touchdowns in his first two years before going back and forth with Knight and showed a lot of promise last season. The senior made a decision on Feb. 5, same as signing day, to announce the move to tight end.

In 11 games last year, Bell threw for 1,648 yards and 12 touchdowns, but only rushed for 255 yards, which did not live up to fans’ expectations.

The Belldozer was a force in the red zone and short-yardage situation his first two years, and hopes to be that same force at a different position during the 2014-15 season.

OU will begin the season at home versus Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30 and Tennessee on Sept. 13, and also finish the year at home against Kansas and Oklahoma State.