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Oklahoma is a threat to flip No. 4 SDE Ron Tatum from Texas

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The Longhorns coaching staff will have to keep recruiting the Oklahoma City product.

Ron Tatum

Last weekend, Texas Longhorns defensive end commit Ron Tatum quietly made the short trip from Oklahoma City up to Norman to visit the Oklahoma Sooners, according to The Football Brainiacs.

Days later, following the retirement of longtime head coach Bob Stoops, 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong put in the first flip prediction for Tatum to the Sooners.

The flip prediction comes as something of a surprise, as it suggests that offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley taking over the program following the departure of Stoops is considered a positive for Oklahoma, even though Stoops was widely regarded as a defensive mastermind.

According to the Brainiacs, one major factor is that there are people around Tatum who want to see him remain in state — that pressure alone may have been enough to convince Wiltfong that Tatum will eventually back out of his pledge to Texas.

Tatum’s late-April commitment to the Longhorns was certainly surprising at the time, but he said he was sold on the program.

“When I went there, I just felt like it was a great fit,” Tatum told 247Sports prior to his decision. “The people there were great. The coaches are great. Coach (Oscar) Giles visited me a few days ago and texts me every other day. It was just a great fit.”

And though the 269-pounder could grow into a defensive tackle, the Texas coaches told him that he would play early for the ‘Horns from the five technique outwards. Tatum acknowledged that the prospect of early playing time was appealing to him.

So Giles will have to continue selling Tatum on that possibility and work towards receiving another visit this summer from the No. 2 player in Oklahoma.

Holding onto Tatum’s commitment is important for the program, as he’s the No. 4-rated recruit in the class and plays a position of need.

With Katy defensive end Max Wright pledging to Texas A&M last week, Tatum is all the more important for position coach Oscar Giles and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

Since Tatum was vocal about not shutting down his recruitment entirely, it was always clear that the path towards landing Tatum’s signature on National Signing Day for Texas would not be busy.

Now it’s clear that the ‘Horns will have to continue recruiting Tatum as if he’s uncommitted.