It’s not about how you start – it’s about how you finish. That’s been the mantra the last few years for Oklahoma recruiting.
It will have to be that way once again for the Class of 2016 as the Sooners have ended the spring evaluation period with only four commits.
OU added one during the last six weeks with Tyler (Texas) JC wide receiver Ryan Parker. It happened in April so certainly OU fans were hoping for at least a couple of more before heading into the summer.
Parker, a relative unknown, is going to end up being quite a catch for OU. As his film gets out more, people are realizing this wasn’t OU taking a reach on somebody but instead getting there before everybody else.
OU only earned one commit during this same period last year, too, with kicker Austin Seibert. And the Sooners only had three commits at that time as well with Marquise Overton, Bobby Evans and Seibert.
The huge difference is OU was sitting pretty for a number of top prospects. OU fans had every reason to believe it the Sooners were going to land names like P.J. Mbanasor, Rodney Anderson, Will Sunderland and Kahlil Haughton.
It didn’t matter how long it took, there was never a time where it felt like OU was on the outside looking in.
That’s in pretty stark contrast to how this recruiting class is shaping up as of now. A lot of OU’s hopes rest on closing the deal with a few top recruits like Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly, Houston Alief Elsik linebacker Dontavious Jackson and Beaumont (Texas) Central running back Devwah Whaley.
Right now OU fans can feel relatively confident with where OU stands with each of them and the trio as a whole, but nothing is guaranteed.
The Sooners are feeling the effects of the 2014 season on the field and off of it. Dreams of a spot in the college football playoff were replaced with the reality of an 8-5 season that included losing three home games and the final two of the season.
Massive coaching changes were necessary and occurred, but it’s going to take a while for those first-year coaches to connect with their respective area and in getting in good with some of the top recruits.
It has been a process and not a smooth one yet. OU is tied for 46th in the Scout rankings with Illinois. The Sooners finished 2015 at No. 14, No. 2 in the Big 12 behind Texas.
It’s not unusual to be in a spot of hoping to land big kids late, but what the Sooners need to do is start locking up quality kids in the next couple of months so that OU isn’t solely relying on landing Scout 300 prospects to turn the class around.
Now we turn the page to camp season. OU will be hosting multiple camps and will have satellite camps across Texas in the next couple of weeks.
The time is now, or at least needs to be, for the Sooners to start making their imprint on the trail.