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OU football: 4-star 2022 running back Jovantae Barnes commits to Sooners at Under Armour All-America Game

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OU helmet

An OU helmet during the game against No. 13 Baylor in Waco on Nov. 13.

Four-star 2022 running back Jovantae Barnes announced his commitment to Oklahoma ahead of playing in the Under Armour All-America Game on Sunday. Turns out, he already signed with the Sooners discretely back in December.

Barnes, a Las Vegas native from Desert Pines High School, chose the Sooners over Florida State and USC, and he also boasted offers from Alabama and Utah, among others. The 6-foot, 190-pounder is considered the No. 3 player in Nevada, the No. 10 running back and the No. 116 player nationally, per the 247Sports Composite Ratings.

Barnes joins four-star Littleton, Colorado native Gavin Sawchuk as the second 2022 running back committed to the Sooners. The duo projects to join coach DeMarco Murray's room, which will return senior Eric Gray and redshirt junior Marcus Major next season.

“OU has always been a front runner for me, and I was shocked to see Lincoln Riley leave for USC," Barnes told 247Sports on Dec. 29. "I thought he was going to stay, and he was a big reason I liked OU, but the biggest reason I liked them was DeMarco Murray.

"That’s my guy right there, and our stories and backgrounds are very similar. He’s a Vegas guy and when he was coming out, his final two were Oklahoma and USC. A lot of people thought he was going to SC because he’s a west coast guy, but he wanted to do his own thing."

Adding Barnes holds OU's 2022 recruiting class ranking steady at No. 10 nationally. His presence also goes a long way toward replacing redshirt junior Kennedy Brooks, a three-time 1,000 yard rusher who declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Dec. 30. Based on Barnes' conversation with 247Sports, he seems to already be acclimating to the Brent Venables era at Oklahoma.

"I had a home visit with Brent Venables and it was great," Barnes said. "I love that guy already and I can tell he’s the kind of coach that is going to push you hard. He’s serious but loose at the same time. He likes to have fun but wants to get stuff done too. I’m the kind of player that wants to be coached hard because that’s how you get better.”

Sports editor

Mason Young is The Daily's sports editor and covers OU football. He was previously assistant sports editor and has covered OU women's gym, wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL. Email Mason at masyoung@ou.edu and follow him on Twitter @Mason_Young_0

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