Time for Stoops to be the closer

Things did not go as planned for OU on the trail in the last 72 hours, meaning it's time for Bob Stoops to set everything right.

It’s crunch time in recruiting. It’s easy to say, but it’s definitely the truth. For some programs, it’s trying to hang onto their top commits.

For others, it’s trying to lure that five-star game-changer to school. For Oklahoma and Bob Stoops, it’s about making the Sooners relevant once again.

The last couple of weeks have been nice with Stoops making the rounds with various assistant coaches as they visited one commit after another.

But after a weekend like the Sooners just had, it’s time for Stoops to show why he gets paid the big bucks. This isn’t an OU squad coming off the greatest of seasons, things are trending down in Norman right now.

Last year the Sooners were all smiles. OU was coming off a huge win in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Boosted by that victory, OU closed the show in style in 2014. OU’s last four signees for the class? Steven Parker, Kenyon Frison, Michiah Quick and Orlando Brown.

Not too shabby.

His mission is to get it back on track this week and try to duplicate last year. It’s completely inaccurate to say OU’s recruiting class for 2015 is a disappointment. It’s not. The Sooners enter this final recruiting week with 20 commits. Nine of them are in the final Scout 300 and ranked No. 14 in the overall rankings and No. 10 in Scout’s average star per commit rankings.

The sky is not falling. But things could be better and things are going to have to be better in these final nine days if OU is going to end up with the best recruiting class in the conference.

What happened Sunday cannot happen again as OU missed out on two targets that looked like pretty clear Sooners heading into the weekend.

In the past now. Can’t lament about missing out on Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood Scout 100 receiver Van Jefferson or Omaha (Neb.) Central three-star defensive lineman DaiShon Neal.

Stoops has in-home visits lined up this week. And while seeing coaches like Mike Stoops, Jerry Montgomery and Jay Boulware are nice, nothing compares to when the big man comes to town.

“When Coach Stoops comes to school, it just means something different,” a Texas high school coach said. “He’s the man. You know it’s serious when he’s making the trip.”

It’s serious this week for the Sooners. Recruits like Aledo (Texas) High wide receiver Ryan Newsome and Oklahoma City Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko are lined up, and they’re necessary.

Stoops has spent months and years with some of these recruits in getting to know them better. Newsome committed to UCLA on Friday, while Wariboko is choosing between OU, Ohio State and the Bruins on signing day.

Linebacker is a key spot, and Stoops has to make sure New Orleans Easton Charter linebacker Arthur McGinnis does indeed make an official visit to OU this weekend.

There’s no room for error. The last 48 hours have cleared up a lot of things for the Sooners going forward and none of it was positive. Stoops is going to have to be at his best. Stoops is going to have to be the closer.

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