SoonersIllustrated.com readers have questions about Oklahoma recruiting. Here are some answers to some of the more pressing questions.
Do you really think this season will hurt recruiting?
This was the first message received after posting Tuesday’s story. It’s tough to qualify because there are a lot of different factors when a recruit visits and sees the school lose.
One thing is how the players respond, but even that can be taken different ways. If they respond too cheerfully and too upbeat, it looks like they don’t care. If they’re too down in the dumps, then the visit takes a dive.
Another response is when a recruit sees he knows he can help the team based on what he watched that weekend. That can be a huge motivator when get a chance to get a glimpse at your potential future at a certain school.
One response is also to cut your losses and run. If you’re a big-time recruit choosing among the who’s who in the game, a loss, and a bad loss, too, could be enough to close that door. Logic being you’re not looking to be a part of a rebuilding project. You want to win and win now.
The only clear-cut case where the visit hurt was with Manvel (Texas) High’s Will Lockett. No doubt about that. Other recruits have hinted toward it but would prefer it not be said. Lockett seemed pretty open about not really enjoying his trip to Norman for the Baylor blowout.
It shouldn’t hurt in the long run, but like what was written, it might have just given OU a little more work to do with certain recruits to snag their signature.
Is OU going to lose any of its guys?
Another commonly asked question after an 8-4 season. Will any of the guys bolt? Short answer is no, but the long answer is OU fans should definitely gauge what Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson cornerback P.J. Mbanasor does.
Mbanasor, a four-star prospect, hasn’t really been that guy. He hasn’t really said much of anything about OU in a while on social media.
It’s clear from the last time we spoke that he is really paying attention to what is happening with the secondary. He has to see some sort of sign things are improving.
If winning matters, that’s No. 4 and No. 6 in the college football playoff poll with the Bucks and Frogs. He still hasn’t visited another campus yet, and OU continues to maintain contact at least once a day to let him know how much he is coveted. You simply never know.
Who is the one superstar prospect that could turn this class around?
It has to be realistic, too. With that in mind, that jolt of good karma could come from Mechanicsburg (Va.) Atlee five-star linebacker Ricky DeBerry.
Set to announce next week, the Sooners are in his final eight and most would say in the final three. After that, though, it gets a little murky.
It’s obvious OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has made the bond with DeBerry and his family. The question is going to be if that’s enough.
If it is, that’s the shot in the arm OU needs. To show other recruits that OU is good enough for a five-star linebacker would be a huge sign of good faith going forward and one incredible recruiting victory for the Sooners.