Last week was one of the craziest recruiting weeks in recent memory. One decommitment after another across the board. Quarterbacks switching schools like a game of musical chairs.
Top targets elating some fans and infuriating others. It was incredibly chaotic, except in Norman. One school that didn’t have any part of that insanity was Oklahoma.
The Sooners have always treated recruiting a little bit different than other programs. When top targets trip to Norman for an official visit, there is no pressure from anybody at all about committing on the visit itself.
That’s not the way Bob Stoops has done it and not the way he’s ever going to do it. And when you have a season like the Sooners had on the field, the atmosphere is a heck of a lot different as well, especially when compared to last year.
“There was so much negativity around our program a year ago,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “It makes it difficult. I think people still knew we have quality players and a quality program.
“You fought through a lot and you’re going to lose some kids. But there’s some kids that believed in our program, tradition and Bob. Look at what happened.”
Last year it was about OU trying to hang onto to the top players. Recruits like Kahlil Haughton, Ricky DeBerry and Neville Gallimore immediately come to mind.
This year it’s definitely not about that. It’s not about putting out fires. No, the Sooners are in that rare spot where they can pick-and-choose among their top targets. Essentially, there isn’t going to be room at the inn for all involved.
“No doubt. All of a sudden they’re calling you,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “That’s always positive when you’re getting calls from that guy and that guy and that guy. All of sudden they want to see you. That’s positive and always good. I never believe we’ve ever had a bad reception. When now they’re pursuing you, it’s a good thing.”
And if they watch TV, they’re going to be pursuing the Sooners. There’s no question the Sooners are a factor in college football right now, and their faces are going to be plastered all over everywhere in preparation for the college football playoff.
It’s helping in recruiting, and it’s helping the OU class for 2016 come together even more. It has been a fulfilling few months for the commits, the majority of who picked OU before the Sooners had made this run in the last two months.
They’ve already been solid to the program. Now they’re getting some help from some major big-time targets leading up to signing day.
“Winning cures all, to say the least,” Mike Stoops said. “It’s a better position to be in, obviously. The exposure, to be constantly on TV and see your emblem and Oklahoma there and what you get from ESPN never stops. It’s 24/7 for a month straight.
“It’s been seven years since we’ve been in the mix. Some people don’t get that in a lifetime. This is our fifth go-round. It is what it is. When have a bunch of success, people expect it. I hope people appreciate it more. We do.”
The craziness in recruiting isn’t going to stop. January is obviously the biggest, most unexplainable month of the recruiting season. The Sooners have 14 commits at this point and have a lot of top targets still in play.
Based on how things have gone, the question should only be about who the Sooners are going to add to the class. As coaching changes continue to occur and recruits continue to change their mind, it sure feels like OU is sitting exactly where you want to be at this time.