Cause for Concern??

NORMAN, Okla. — Heading into their second Junior Day, the Sooners are one of just two schools in the new Big 12 without a 2013 commitment, so is there reason to panic?

The fact that they are one of the final two schools in the conference to land a commitment is extremely unusual.

A powerhouse rarely has trouble landing prospects, and that is what's interesting.

For comparison measures, Texas already has 11 verbals; they've got just about that many spots to fill and probably about 15 when it's all said and done.

Texas Tech and Baylor have three commitments each.

Kansas State has a pair of players locked up, and the rest outside of Iowa State and OU have at least one.

On top of the fact that they're without a verbal, they have seemingly struggled in the state of Texas in recent days.

Consider the number of kids OU has taken from the land mine state in the past--Adrian Peterson, among others, quickly comes to mind--compared to the numbers last year and so far this early recruiting season.

In the 2012 class it just finalized, only five of the 25 commits came from a Texas HS, six if you include former Whitehouse HS wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who came in from Hargrave Military Academy at semester.

The other five: offensive guards John McGee and Kyle Marrs, quarterback Trevor Knight, safety Zack Sanchez and wide receiver Daniel Brooks.

This current season, OU has already lost out on a few guys from Texas, including quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and wide receiver Jacorey Warrick, who both committed to Texas.

But while this is worrisome, there are obviously still some major Texas targets on the board this early in the game.

The Sooners stand strong with Justin F Kimball HS defensive tackle Justin Manning, brother of former Sooner DeMarcus Granger.

Running back Keith Ford, out of Cypress Ranch HS, also likes the Sooners.

And looking at it from a broader perspective, although the state of Texas produces some of the best football prospects in the country, the Sooners have, indeed, taken more of a national approach lately.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and linebackers coach Tim Kish as new additions to the coaching staff have allowed OU to look more to the West and Southwest in states like California and Arizona.

OU had already opened up somewhat of a pipeline there, as well as in Florida in the last couple years.

Sooner football is a national brand and so taking a highly ranked prospect in one of those two states and not getting one in Texas isn't always a problem.

Also, many times it's more about needs than it is about anything else.

So, if the prospect in one place helps fulfill the needs and one in the other place doesn't, it makes sense to go harder after the one in, say California as opposed to the one in, say Texas.

And it stands that way in the numbers game as well.

Just because OU doesn't have a commitment yet doesn't necessarily mean they're struggling out there as much as one may think.

Could be the Sooners are being extra cautious about fulfilling their needs and thus are slower at this point in the game.

After all, the last time the Sooners didn't have a commit to this point was in 2003 (the 2004 class).

They seemed to fare all right that year, hauling home the nation's No. 7 recruiting class, Peterson among that.

The two years before that, same story.

OU finished second and third in 2002 and 2003, so strong finishes then as well for a class that didn't get a recruit until at least March.

This time around it could be the same story, so don't panic Sooner fans.

Season-by-Season Recruiting Breakdown:

Recruiting Year First Commitment Date National Ranking
2002 July 1, 2001 No. 2
2003 June 8, 2002 No. 3
2004 March 4, 2003 No. 7
2005 Feb. 2, 2003 No. 5
2006 Aug. 8, 2003 No. 6
2007 June 1, 2005 No. 30
2008 Nov. 26, 2006 No. 13
2009 Feb. 6, 2008 No. 10
2010 Jan. 29, 2009 No. 2
2011 Oct. 3, 2009 No. 15
2012 Feb. 2, 2011 No. 10

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