Bob Przybylo/Scout

OU set for bigger, better in recruiting when renovations completed

Renovations will be completed for 2017 class, but for OU, it's still about championships.

Recruiting has become such an arms race in college football, and it’s not even funny. Everything has to be bigger. Everything has to be chic. Everything has to be cool.

The problem faced for Oklahoma for its 2016 recruiting class was it was none of that when it came to its facilities. Because in order to make that happen, you’re going to need to tear down some stuff. And yea, it’s going to look like an eyesore.

The finished product should be something to behold. But for recruits visiting Norman during the last six months? It’s a valid question of whether or not OU couldn’t snag a recruit because of what’s currently on campus vs. what will be.

“It didn’t hurt but I think it’s fair to say, when you look even already at what’s happening out there and we’re so excited about it, that once it is in place I think it will make a difference,” head coach Bob Stoops said. “We show it and project what it’s going to be and it’s challenging when it’s not quite there yet.

“That’s no excuse. They know it’s soon to be here. When you walk into a place and there it is, I think it’s going to be somewhat of a game-changer to a point.”

With the facilities getting a makeover, the Sooners had to rely on something they know all too well – winning championships. OU is not hard-headed and has been able to adapt to today’s recruiting landscape, but OU’s No. 1 selling point remains all those trophies in glass cases.

Team, individual awards – the Sooners can present something not many other programs can.

“Before all the bells and whistles started in recruiting, the social media and the flashy uniforms and building just the crazy facilities, it was all pretty much this right here (points at trophies),” recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy said. “Now it’s not. We live in a different world. We have to adapt.

“At the end of the day, I think the ones that we want to get here are about this right here. I think that’s why we have it out here. Because not very many places have what we have.”

The goal remains for the first part of OU’s renovation project to be done in time for OU’s home opener in 2016. Work continues to tirelessly be done by construction crews to keep the project on task.

It’s not just necessary for the 2016 season and for fans. It’s clear. It’s going to be incredibly necessary in recruiting.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories