For many of the top recruits in the country the Under Armour All-American game is their opportunity to measure their skills against some of the best players in the country. The event gives players the opportunity to show that the lofty ranking that they have been given isn’t without merit. The game gives another unique opportunity for some of the recruits though, the opportunity to commit. For year now the game has seen players commit at planned intervals to the school of their choice. It’s a cool honor for the student-athlete to be given a national audience for his commitment. Early today during the UA All-American game four star linebacker Nik Bonitto out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL was one of those recruits given the national stage, and he used it to announce for the Oklahoma Sooners.
— SNAKE (@nikkkkbonitto) January 5, 2018
THE BONITTO FILE
Bonitto is the 21st commit for the Sooners 2018 class, and the 18th signee. Bonitto actually signed with Oklahoma during the early signing period, but held off on officially announcing it until today. Bonitto is the second linebacker commit for the Sooners 2018 class, the other being Brian Asamoah. Bonitto is the third commit from the state of Florida joining cornerback Miguel Edwards and running back TJ Pledger. Bonitto is ranked by 247sports as a top 250 player in the entire country, and a top 15 player at his position. With his commitment the Sooners now have the ninth ranked class in the entire country for 2018, and the second ranked class in the Big 12.
Bonitto picked the Sooners over offers from 25+ other schools including Texas, Alabama, Louisville, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin. At the end though Bonitto was really only focused on three schools: Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisville. The Sooners securing his commitment over conference rival Texas makes him that much more important as a recruit. Oklahoma linebackers coach Tim Kish was the lead recruiter for Bonitto, and did a masterful job of securing the talented prospect out of Florida.
Bonitto is 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds. His film shows a player who excels as an edge rusher, and as someone who plays best when he is causing disruption in the backfield. He has great speed, and is very adept at shedding blockers to get after the quarterback.
Bonitto also shows a good blend of moves for someone his age. His skill set off the edge will only get better once he gets some coaching in Norman. The one area I think Bonitto could use the most improvement on is in pass coverage. He has all the skill in the world to cover, but will need the coaching to do it with consistency. His film shows that he primarily asked to come off the edge, so its hard to knock someone on something they don’t get asked to do very often.
Overall this is just another feather in the cap of Lincoln Riley’s first recruiting class. Riley is showing that he can go toe-to-toe with anyone across the country.