There was one Oklahoma representative being displayed in just about every photo by recruits last weekend at junior day.
It wasn’t head coach Bob Stoops. It was quarterback Baker Mayfield. Even though Mayfield will most likely be gone from Norman by the time the 2017 class rolls in, he was everywhere during the junior day festivities.
“It’s huge because they see them on TV,” recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy said. “They see them on SportsCenter; they see them on the news; they see them in the paper; they see them on social media, and not only are they really good football players, they’re fun people. That’s priceless. They’re just as big in this part in recruiting as what we’re doing.”
It only works if the player is willing to go all-in with that aspect. Official visit hosts go a long way toward determining whether or not the Sooners can land somebody. It made 100 percent sense to have Orlando Brown host Parnell Motley since they’re from the same area in Washington D.C.
The goal is to have the most energetic players around spreading the vibe of why exactly you’d want to be a Sooner. Although the media hasn’t yet been able to see this side of running back Joe Mixon, it’s clear he a vital cog in the OU recruiting machine.
“Last week Joe Mixon’s hitting me up. ‘Coach, who’s coming in? What positions?’ This and that,” Gundy said. “You know, you guys have gotten to know Joe a little bit, he’s got a smile on his face, he likes to have fun. He loves this place. This place means a lot to him so I mean, he is reaching out and trying to find these players as soon as they come here.
“Even though he may not be assigned to them, he’s with them 48 hours. We have a lot of other players that do that as well. They’re just as important as we are as coaches.”
The strong close to 2016 combined with the unprecedented start for the 2017 class gives the impression of how much the current players get it and how much the program really means to them.