© Greg Powers

Sooner mailbag: Early commits a good thing?

OU is rolling for the 2017 class. But is it too early to celebrate?

Oklahoma was able to land another major commitment for the 2017 class in Miami Columbus four-star cornerback Trajan Bandy and the recruiting mailbag tackles OU’s impressive class.

Are there any negatives toward such a fast start on the trail?

Absolutely, but they don’t even come close to outweighing the positives. OU is a perfect 6-for-6 right now with commitments in the Scout 300 for the 2017 class.

You can do that now, but will OU still have those six when signing day rolls around next February is always going to be the question. And sometimes that’s where an early commit doesn’t mean jack squat because you haven’t let the process play out.

You haven’t let that recruit see what else is out there and then have him decide Norman is where he wants to go. He felt enamored early with OU and the players/staff and made a call way before he even needed to do so.

There’s also the concern that OU is a placeholder school until seeing another school pop into the picture that the recruit was really hoping for.

Who that school is among the six committed right now? Not sure, but there’s always a sneaky feeling for one or two of them that nothing is guaranteed.

The positives, though, mean a lot. For one thing, a lot of recruiting in perception. When recruits take a look at 2017 class rankings when we get further down the road, the OU logo is going to be prominently displayed.

You can’t look at that as anything other than a good thing. Then when you’ve got a nice crop of commits, you let them do your work for you.

It doesn’t resonate as much with coaches perhaps wondering if you’re going to commit or telling you why Norman is the place to be. But if you have Chris Robison talking to a wide receiver on why they should join him in Norman, that will mean something.

If you have Robert Barnes talking to you about why you should become a part of a special defensive class, part of the battle is being won.

It’s not just unofficial and official visits where those good vibes absolutely matter, but it’s in the camp settings. There are a whole lot of camps coming up between Rivals and the Opening regional events where if you have some OU commits talking, it’s going to put the thought into the head. Might not lead to a commitment, but the Sooners will be in the conversation.

Scout ranked OU’s 2010 class as No. 2 in the nation. Again, that’s a by-product of the 2008 on-field success where OU reached the national championship.

The Sooners fell just short of that but did win their ninth Big 12 championship and became the first team from the conference to advance to the four-team college football playoff.

The trickledown effect isn’t felt with the ensuing class (2016) but with the one after that. It’s exactly what we’re seeing right now.

The key to OU keeping those six Scout 300 commits and gaining more will be partly based on what happens on the gridiron this fall. But a lot of it is developing relationships. And nobody can foster a relationship as much as a coach than what a committed player can do.

This is a pretty unheard of start for the Sooners on the trail. The key thing will be not to squander it and to continue to be in attack mode on the trail instead of sitting on the sidelines. Be proactive and not reactive, and OU is straddling that line nicely so far for 2017.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories