There’s a little secret in recruiting that most don’t like to admit. The major marquee games bring the top-ranked visitors, the who’s who in the recruiting class.
No doubt about that. But it’s the lesser anticipated home games, especially late in the season, that usually generate the commitments.
That was eight weeks without a single “Boom” from the coaching staff. In less than 72 hours this week, OU received not one, not two but three commitments following a 44-7 victory against Kansas.
It started Sunday by getting No. 15 in the class with junior college cornerback Will Johnson. Not on the radar for most major schools, OU’s coaches took one look at his film last week and decided they needed to get him to campus.
He was offered on the visit and committed before heading back to the east coast. Johnson wasn’t a fist-pump recruit from fans because they hadn’t heard of him, but the next two had OU fans puffing out their chest just a little bit.
Four-star juco receiver Dede Westbrook made the call Tuesday morning. Originally saying he was going to announce Dec. 9, he decided to bypass potential trips to West Virginia and Texas Tech and committed to the Sooners.
A welcome combo came with Westbrook as his younger brother, Cameron (Texas) Yoe receiver Aaron Sims, announced he was going to be a preferred walk-on for the Sooners as well.
The good news didn’t stop there as in a matter of hours, OU had its first pledge for the Class of 2016 in North Mesquite (Texas) High offensive lineman Jean Delance.
Delance was offered during his unofficial visit last week. Most felt OU was going to be tough to beat and maybe even the school to beat, but nobody considered him a potential commitment this early.
You want a start a recruiting class, always good to get with the big uglies in the trenches. Delance is a great first name to have for the Sooners for 2016 going forward.
He knew in his heart he wanted to be a Sooner and made the call. Westbrook said Bob Stoops told him his commitment made the OU coaches’ holiday. Delance said Bill Bedenbaugh said he’s an early Christmas present.
OU is still in play for several major targets who did visit for major showdowns against Tennessee, Kansas State and Baylor, but the Sooners class received a much needed boost of mojo when most probably expected it the least.
The final two months will be intense as they always are on the recruiting trail, but there’s nothing to suggest that mid-season losses will impact what Stoops and company can corral to Norman in February to close out the 2015 class.