There were a number of chances during the 2014 season where Oklahoma had a chance to make a statement on the field and then on the trail.
The Sooners did it once in the first month of the season against Tennessee and then failed to find that mojo ever again in three conference home losses, the most ever for Bob Stoops in a single season.
OU was presented with its first opportunity to make an impression with recruits last weekend, and the Sooners did everything right they didn’t do in 2014.
Now there’s no guarantee OU will land a bunch of signees from the weekend, but what is clear is OU not falling on its face will make sure that’s not a reason why OU isn’t selected.
Heck, the good times already came once when Pittsburg (Calif.) High four-star cornerback Jordan Parker announced his commitment to the Sooners on Saturday night.
Parker, ranked in the Scout 150, is now OU’s only representative in the Scout 300 for this class. But that should change as OU continues to make headway with a variety of recruits.
Parker had said all along he was going to announce his decision Nov. 1, but there were a lot of people that wondered if a great OU trip would be enough to make that date irrelevant. Turns out Nov. 1 turned into Oct. 3.
It’s not just Parker, though, as OU also hosted high three-star cornerback Baylen Buchanan and Scout 100 athlete for the 2017 class J.K. Dobbins, among several others.
Dobbins, from La Grange (Texas) High, is going to be one of those battles to watch. His top three would appear to be Texas, OU and Texas A&M. When you get him on campus, you have to capitalize.
“You can tell right now they’re a good team that is playing really well,” Dobbins said. “They’re having a lot of fun and making a lot of plays.”
Another top unofficial visitor was Mustang (Okla.) High tight end Blake Williams. OU tight ends coach Cale Gundy watched Williams in person Friday night and saw Williams score a 38-yard touchdown.
Williams said there was one thing that clearly stood out.
“That was the best atmosphere I’ve been a part of,” Williams said. “After the National Anthem with the flyover, I had chills.”
Williams will have to wait for an offer as he said OU is going to check his medical records to make sure he would be 100 percent healthy to play college football.
That’s reasons OU fans can live with. What has hurt the Sooners in the last year was the feeling of there not being a positive vibe on campus. Understandably when you lose in heartbreaking fashion to KSU (31-30) and OSU (38-35 in overtime) and get obliterated by Baylor (48-14), it’s hard to keep a good attitude.
But in recruiting, you have to do it. You have to buck up, put the loss aside and make sure you convince those kids this is the spot. OU did that this last weekend, and the addition of Parker should only be the start of what could be a huge month on the trail for the Sooners.
Keep checking in all week with SoonersIllustrated.com for more updates from the visits.