Sooner mailbag: Early '16 impressions?

The mailbag returns to Sooners Illustrated, talking all things OU football recruiting.

We’re still around four months away from Oklahoma taking the field once again so we’ll open the recruiting mailbag back up.

Sooners Illustrated publisher Bob Przybylo answers all your recruiting questions every Wednesday. Let’s start another edition.

Three months in the 2016 recruiting cycle, how would you assess things? Is it time to panic?

OU has always stressed patience on the recruiting trail. It has usually paid off for the Sooners with strong closing months during a given cycle. The four commits at this time of the cycle isn’t a big deal but things are a little different.

Usually it’s the coaches playing the waiting game with recruits, telling them to take their time. With all the new coaches, though, this year it feels like it’s going to be the recruits waiting around to make sure they’re happy with the coaches.

OU is going to have to show it can produce on the field for this cycle to net positive results. The biggest thing that cannot be understated is already having a four-star quarterback locked up in Waxhaw (N.C.) Cuthbertson’s Austin Kendall. That means so much at this time of year.

But it’s tough to envision OU racking up Scout 300 commitments and four-star pledges until the first-year coaches show they can bring it and show the 2014 season is a thing of the distant past.

OU should get a few commits during the next couple of months, but the big-time targets won’t make a move until OU shows, in their eyes, it’s still worth a second or third or fourth look.

Who will be the next in-state recruit to be offered by the Sooners for the2016 class?

If placing odds, would almost say it’s more likely nobody else gets offered as opposed to multiple recruits getting a look from the Sooners.

As documented several times, this class does not feature elite talent, based upon rankings. It is, however, one of the deepest classes in recent memory and the deepest one I’ve seen in six years of in-depth OKPreps recruiting.

But if you’re looking for one, it’s still with the offensive line and Broken Arrow (Okla.) High’s Rowdy Frederick or Lexington (Okla.) High’s Tyler Brown. The state is so loaded at offensive line for this class that it appears this is the most likely spot.

Quarterback is out of the question. Lone Grove running back Jeremy Lewis could be a factor much later in the cycle as could Moore Southmoore defensive end Noah Jones.

OU has the commitment of Tulsa Victory Christian’s Jon-Michael Terry and will certainly wait out its offer to Edmond Santa Fe OLB/S Calvin Bundage. But two offers could be the limit for this class within the state.

Will OU land any five-star prospects for the class?

The Sooners will land one, just one, but it’s a big one with Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly. OU has done everything right in his two-year recruitment so far and no school has been able to make a surge yet.

The biggest intrigue left in his recruitment is going to be about the future of graduate assistant Chip Viney. Despite being such a vital cog on the trail for OU, his time is just about up, and he is someone Kelly has grown close to on the trail.

Obviously Viney isn’t alone as there is an all-in attack from coaches Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Tim Kish, but Viney does a heck of a job relating to California recruits.

OU has earned spring game visits from Kelly the last two years and will no doubt get an official visit down the road. It won’t be easy, it won’t be short, but his signature will be faxed to Norman in February.


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