OU chasing for 2015 QB

Because of the way OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel evaluates the position, OU is playing from behind with 2015 prospects.

If there is one position Oklahoma fans don't spend too much time sweating, it's at quarterback. With Josh Heupel and his proven track record, tough to question his way of doing things.

However, as we enter the chase for the Class of 2015 quarterback, the Sooners are in a rare position. They're playing from behind and trying to catch up with some of the nation's top signal-callers.

Heupel is well known for his patient approach at quarterback. Offers don't happen, for the most part, during a recruit's junior season. A lot of offers never happen. Only a handful per cycle.

In the last couple of weeks, OU has offered four quarterbacks. But unlike in years past, the Sooners don't have the inside track on any of them.

OU knew Justice Hansen since his freshman season. Watched him develop, got to know him as a person. It was clear he was the Class of 2014 guy. The same can be said about Cody Thomas for the Class of 2013.

Thomas didn't get the offer until the spring of his junior year, but he had made an unofficial visit to OU the previous season and was familiar with Heupel.

Heupel understands how vital it is to build the connection with the younger guys but that doesn't mean he's going to change his approach.

"Recruiting, in general, is dramatically sped up today," Heupel said. "Coach will tell you he's on the phone with guys we've signed after they faxed in their papers, and as much as anything, he's on the phone with 2015 kids. It's a never-ending cycle.

"The quarterback position, in particular, we take it a little bit slower than I think a lot of schools do."

That might hurt this year, but OU's history at quarterback can also play in its favor in a situation like this. Examining the four offers at this point.

Fort Bend (Texas) Marshall's J.W. Ketchum (No. 185 Scout 300)

OU's best chance might be with Ketchum at this point. Some schools are unsure about his position and even Scout has him ranked at safety. But it's obvious OU sees him at quarterback. Depending on how things start to shake themselves out, that should help the Sooners moving forward.

Stephenville (Texas) High's Jarrett Stidham (No. 27 Scout 300)

OU made his top 10 last week, but no doubt it's going to be a battle to land Stidham. Baylor feels like the clear-cut school to beat at this time. The Sooners have their work cut out for them.

Allen (Texas) High's Kyler Murray (No. 62 Scout 300)

Nobody is questioning his size anymore because of the crazy production he's had during the last two seasons. But OU is late to his party with Texas A&M appearing to be the No. 1 school for Murray at this point.

Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage's Torrance Gibson (No. 12 Scout 300)

OU's recent offer just made last week, Gibson has risen up the charts to being a five-star prospect with Scout. But already with more than 20 offers and coveted by all the top schools in the southeast, no telling if OU can make an imprint.

It's obvious from the offers OU is gunning for that dual-threat quarterback, and all four are very capable of running that type of offense.

The talent is there, obviously, but it's something else Heupel looks for.

"We try to make sure that I get my eyes on them," he said. "Make sure that they're exactly what we want, physically, but also the personality. I think that's the toughest thing in today's world of recruiting – is really getting to know the kid, his characteristics, his traits, what makes him up."

Heupel has eyed these four in hopes of them being the guy for 2015. With the identification process done, it's back to the comfort zone with Heupel and making sure he gets his man.


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