Stoops Likes Quality of 2011 Signing Class

NORMAN, Okla. – The Sooners signed 17 players to their 2011 recruiting class Wednesday, and even though the number is lower than previous years head coach Bob Stoops said the quality of the class is more important than the quantity.

"Though there's only 17 players in [the recruiting class], they're still regarded as one of the better ones in the country," Stoops said during a press conference at halftime of the OU-Baylor basketball game. "They're all our style of players, so anyway it's just a quality class."

Of the 17 newly named Sooners – most of whom had committed to OU before the 2010 season – three are defensive tackles, two are wide receivers, defensive linemen, defensive ends, defensive backs and running backs, two are tight ends/defensive ends and one is a tight end.

Although the Sooners addressed its issue-positions from last season, most notably at defensive tackle, the team did not seek them because it wasn't in dire need to fill positions.

"Fortunately for a good number of years now I don't think we've ever been depleted anywhere," Stoops said. "So – as you can see – it's just a real mix of a couple of o-linemen, you get a couple of tight ends, you get a running back, you get a couple of receivers, you get a couple linebackers and d-ends. It's a little bit of everything.

"I feel in a good number of years now we've been able to be fairly balanced and never be really short anywhere. Just add to where we have."

Three of those players, quarterback Kendal Thompson, running back Brandon Williams and defensive tackle Marquis Anderson, are already enrolled for classes for the spring semester and getting some early reps in with some of the coaches not named Stoops.

"I haven't had time to really deal with them in workouts, but they're here," Stoops said. "What they've done to this point has been very impressive and are guys that we really like."

Some of the other major names to sign but aren't on campus yet include wide receiver Trey Metoyer, the No. 1 receiver nationally from Whitehouse, Texas, corner back Bennett Okotcha and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

The biggest issue with getting players' letters of intent was that they couldn't be in Norman because of the recent snowpocalypse.

"The biggest issue was kids making sure they could get to a fax machine," Stoops said. "I guess it took away from some of the pageantry of different schools and get there in front of the whole school and have all of that. As long as they could sign it with their parents and find a fax machine."

Although they couldn't go through the song and dance that many players get to experience on their signing days, at the end of the day these 17 guys are Sooners. Now the only thing to do is sit and wait to see if this class has as much of an immediate impact as the 2010 class did this past year.

One thing's for sure: That will be very tough to do, considering all the success the 2010 class had.

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