Kelvin Gilliam, a four-star prospect and one of the top defensive ends in the country’s 2021 recruiting class, announced his commitment to Oklahoma live Saturday evening on CBS Sports HQ. Gilliam picked the Sooners over fellow finalists Penn State and South Carolina.
Gilliam’s addition moves the Sooners ahead of Texas in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings. Oklahoma jumps Texas to No. 14 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference. The 247Sports Composite rates the Highland Springs (Va.) High School standout as a four-star recruit who is ranked No. 104 overall in the country’s 2021 recruiting cycle. He is also ranked No. 7 among 2021 weak-side defensive end prospects, as well as No. 3 overall in the state of Virginia for his class.
Gilliam is the latest cog in a strong Oklahoma 2021 defensive line class. The Sooners had already gotten commitments from four-star edge defenders Clayton Smith, Ethan Downs, and Nathan Rawlins-Kibonge, as well as three-star junior college defensive tackle Isaiah Coe. Smith (96), Gilliam (104), and Downs (156) all rank inside the top 160 nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Oklahoma’s emphasis on the defensive side of the ball in the 2021 recruiting class has resulted in a 14-player class that includes 10 defensive prospects. Smith, Gilliam, four-star cornerback Latrell McCutchin (122), and Downs are the top four defensive commits for the Sooners in this class.
Gilliam has reported 40 offers from across the country during the course of his recruitment. In addition to the aforementioned three finalists, the following Power Five conference programs have extended offers to the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder: Arizona State, Arkansas, Boston College, Cal, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, NC State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Pitt, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
Gilliam is part of a talented Highland Springs team that finished the 2019 campaign with an 11-1 record and a second-round playoff appearance in the Virginia Class 5 bracket. In addition to Gilliam, Highland Springs features 2021 prospects such as Oklahoma-bound three-star cornerback Damond Harmon, three-star athlete Jamareeh Jones, and two-star safety Jabari Parker.
The following is the 247Sports scouting report on Gilliam: “Frame to play defensive end or inside in college. Carries 250 pounds easily. Long, athletic and quick. Can used speed off edge or bull rush. Good with hands. Able to press off block and re-direct down line of scrimmage. Has burst at snap. Possesses closing speed. Can manipulate body to squeeze through line of scrimmage. Ability to chase play down on back side. Patient and plays assignments well. Smart player with high motor. Has to continue to add upper body strength. Work on technique for varied move sets and combinations needed. Multi-year starter at top 15 program. Day 3 NFL draft potential.”