OU junior day with different expectations

The days of hoping for 3-5 commits at junior day are gone. OU knows that, but there are still ways to make it a success.

As recruiting has evolved, so, too, has the nature of junior day. The quantity of commitments made at the events seemingly go lower and lower each year.

Oklahoma is no different than the rest of the country. As the Sooners prepare to host their final junior day this weekend, it’s easy to get caught up in the expectation of the “Boom” and “OUDNA” being out on Twitter.

Realistically, though, the game has changed. Commitments don’t make a quality junior day anymore. It’s now about making sure those top-tier kids make it to campus.

And based on the number of Scout 300 prospects that have talked about heading to OU this weekend, it would certainly be a huge success for the Sooners this weekend.

OU already got one during the initial event as well as the Sooners plucked unheralded and under the radar Tulsa (Okla.) Victory Christian outside linebacker Jon-Michael Terry on Feb. 15.

And if you look at the last three recruiting cycles, that’s about what OU gets.

2013 class

RB Keith Ford

2014 class

S Vontre McQuinnie (didn’t academically qualify)

2015 class

Nobody

So it’s not like the last three years of junior days have netted huge results until you look a little deeper into things.

The 2013 class got started in a huge way with Ford, but within a month of junior day, OU also had commitments from Scout 300 defensive ends Matt Dimon and D.J. Ward. Dimon and Ward both attended a junior day.

For the 2014 class, it was an in-state flavor as quarterback Justice Hansen and wide receiver Jeffery Mead were both offered at junior day and eventually committed/signed with the Sooners.

And last year, no commits but top recruits like Kahlil Haughton, Will Sunderland and John Humphrey all attended a junior day and wound up signing with OU.

Junior day used to be about commitments. Now it’s more about making offers in person and building the relationship. The number of guys invited has shrunk so that there isn’t a wasted minute during the event. Only legit candidates to be offered by OU are at the event, no freebies.

Hansen, Mead and Haughton are guys who were offered at the event, and Terry was in that category, too, less than three weeks ago.

The Sooners issued three offers at the first junior day (Scout 300 prospects OL Chris Owens and LB Marvin Terry to go with the commitment of Jon-Michael Terry) and more could be on the horizon this weekend. But when you look at the list of players confirmed, a lot already have the offers.

Scout 100 players confirmed to attend

Navasota (Texas) High WR Tren’Davian Dickson (No. 21)

Sachse (Texas) High WR Devin Duvernay (No. 26)

Houston MacArthur DL Isaiah Chambers (No. 80)

Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal DL Mike Williams (No. 82)

If those four make it and guys like the Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist defensive back trio of offers safeties Chanse Sylvie and Andraez Williams and his twin brother, cornerback Rodarius Williams, all make it, OU has done its job.

Commitments can obviously still happen and everybody will be jumping for joy if they do, but it’s just inaccurate to now say the day is not a success if the boom isn’t delivered.

Sooners Illustrated will have full coverage of junior day this weekend, including a complete list of confirmed names.


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