Sooner mailbag: QB recruiting?

Mailbag examines what (if anything) will happen for OU now that Baker Mayfield is the man at QB.

The recruiting mailbag will return in its usual manner next week. For one more time, though, it’s a single-question mailbag Wednesday as Sooners Illustrated publisher Bob Przybylo is going to examine one topic.

Baker Mayfield is the starter. How is this going to affect the guys on campus and OU’s recruiting of the position?

Gut feeling here is it won’t have any impact at all. The culture nowadays is that if you don’t start as a true freshman, you’re viewed as a failure.

And if you don’t start as a redshirt freshman, heck, you might as well as just transfer because you’re a major bust. It’s a weird dynamic that is seeping through in recruiting, especially at the quarterback position.

There’s no longer time to grow into the position, to make the full adjustment and earn the respect and trust of teammates and coaches. It’s play now or walk.

No doubt OU is happy landing four-star quarterback Austin Kendall. He had a solid start to his season, accounting for three total touchdowns in a 56-0 victory last week.

Kendall is going to be good, but it seems a little crazy to actually think he’s going to push for the job as a true freshman at this time next year.

Same thing with Chris Robison. No doubt a talented 2017 quarterback worthy of being in the Scout 100 for the class, but it’s going to take some time.

The ones to watch are Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas but even that doesn’t feel like it will be an issue. Knight has always preached being a consummate teammate, and now we’ll see if he practices what he preaches.

Thomas still has one more year of eligibility than both Mayfield and Knight so it’s about trusting in his own abilities that he’ll be able to leapfrog everybody and earn the spot. What Thomas did in the last couple of months indicates his time is coming, and that it’s OK that it’s not right now.

It feels like a certainty that OU will need to use at least two quarterbacks during some point this season, and don’t believe it was just blowing smoke when offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said he believes this team could suffer two injuries at quarterback and still win a lot of games.

Riley has made his mark early on the recruiting trail with his infectious energy and ability to connect with young quarterbacks.

The case of Ricky Town at USC and Josh Rosen at UCLA illustrate this example incredibly well. You’re being recruited because the coaches think highly of you, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park when you arrive.

Town has left USC and has transferred to Arkansas, while Rosen was publically cut down by coach Jim Mora last week. It’s almost become a necessity in quarterback recruiting.

You have to build them up and have to earn their trust to earn the signature. But they can’t be delusional and not on the same page.

Any quarterback committing to OU right now knows it’s a battle. There is not one senior in this group right now so you’re going to have to be patient.

Your time will come, it almost always has with the Sooners, but you just never know when. The key, obviously, is going to be ready when your name is called.


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