There are a lot of reasons for Oklahoma’s unprecedented strong start on the recruiting trail for the 2017 class, ranked No. 2 by Scout.
There is the fresh approach to recruiting in terms of trying to be more aggressive instead of staying patient as in years past.
There is the whole #SoonerSquad17 where all the commits have banded together to become one nearly unstoppable movement on social media and in group messages.
But the one that sort of gets overlooked right now is the fact quarterback Kyler Murray is going to be eligible for the 2017 season. A Texas high school legend if there ever was one, Murray still holds some serious clout with recruits.
“I look forward to recruiting,” Murray said. “I’ve been through it. I try to give them a side of what it’s like when you actually get on campus, what coaches are telling you. I’ve been here a short amount of time, but I can already tell how great this place is.”
Whether he means OU and Norman is sort of irrelevant. The two go hand-in-hand. The biggest obstacle, usually, on the recruiting trail for OU is trying to get top recruits to visit Norman. There’s no real reason to do so outside of football.
Murray understands that and that will no doubt be a part of his message with recruits and has been in the last couple of months.
It’s not a shock that nearly every single recruit from the state of Texas has had a social media picture with Murray tagged. He’s still a big deal, and the goal is that type of presence is going to help the Sooners in the market and with other top targets.
“The camaraderie is great,” Murray said. “I think Oklahoma is an underrated place for kids coming out of high school. It’s Norman, and they don’t look too much into it because of the SEC hype, California, West coast, beautiful places.
“Me coming here now – I realize that it’s a great place with great fans. I haven’t gotten to experience it yet, but I know what kind of place this is. Very traditional, and we win.”
The second part of that statement seems sort of obvious. The Sooners win at least eight games per season like clockwork. OU is routinely gunning for things bigger than that, bigger than 10-win seasons. The Sooners are looking for Big 12 and national championships.
One of the goals for Murray is to get recruits to understand just that. It’s not about swag and looking good. There’s a lot more to college football and a lot more to being successful.
“I don't know. I don't think so,” said Murray on if winning is the No. 1 priority for today’s recruit. “I think kids know it all nowadays. I'm not gonna lie; I thought I knew it all, too. Winning is a big part. It's not fun losing. I'm not used to it. It's not fun losing.”
Murray will learn from Baker Mayfield before being put in a battle for the quarterback spot going forward in 2017. It’s no guarantee he’s going to end up the guy, but he’s sure doing his best to make sure he has all the pieces around him even if he isn’t.