The 2014 season isn’t officially here for Oklahoma, but recruiting is in full swing as the Sooners hosted their first batch of recruits for unofficial visits last weekend.
One thing was clear from numerous text messages and conversations, OU coach Bob Stoops is no longer sitting on the sidelines.
A common complaint among fans and even some recruits during the recent seasons has been Stoops has been too reluctant or too busy to be as active a participant as the head coach needs to be in recruiting.
There are tales throughout the years about the efforts of guys like Nick Saban at Alabama and Urban Meyer at Ohio State, to name a few, who absolutely understand the time and effort it takes in winning recruiting battles.
Stoops is a great closer, no doubt about that. High school coaches and recruits still say it’s a different feeling when Stoops is coming in for an in-home visit or something of that nature.
But you can’t close if you don’t put in the work, and that’s what it seems like Stoops is more willing to do for this year than has been the case the last couple of years.
It didn’t look like it was going to be a huge weekend for OU, but as Friday night rolled around, it was clear Saturday was going to be a day to circle.
In attendance were Scout 300 prospects like Midwest City (Okla.) High safety Will Sunderland, Oklahoma City Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko and future stars like 2016 offensive tackle Clark Yarbrough.
Oh yea, and one more name OU fans were pretty pumped about with Mesquite (Texas) Poteet five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson.
After various times when Jefferson said he was going to visit and then couldn’t, his first visit to Norman finally came off. Before the Sooners were holding onto hope because OU was the first school to offer Jefferson. At least now it got a chance to show him what it has to offer.
Jefferson said Stoops was active all weekend as Jefferson and his family were there for a two-day visit instead of just for the Saturday practice.
Jefferson released his first three official visits Monday with UCLA, Ohio State and Stanford so OU hasn’t quite made that cut yet, but he texted how impressed he was with Stoops throughout the duration of his stay.
And the tag team of Stoops and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell was enough to get three-star wide receiver John Humphrey to commit right then and there instead of waiting until the Semper Fidelis All-American Game as was his original intention.
The end of the 2014 class was a sign of good things to come for OU as the Sooners landed several quality kids in the last month after the Allstate Sugar Bowl win against Alabama.
It’s not fair to say Stoops has been a different man since the victory, but it feels like he has felt more rejuvenated than before, and it’s coming across to all recruits.
OU has nine commits for the Class of 2015 and has positioned itself to land even more top prospects with the season drawing near.