March was a great time for Oklahoma’s 2017 class as SoonerSquad17 cleaned up within the state at defensive back in landing OKC John Marshall’s Justin Broiles on March 7 and followed that with Tulsa Union’s Tre Brown on March 11.
Two Scout 300 commitments in the span of five days. Not too shabby. But as the calendar gets ready to head to August, is there any cause for concern?
A legitimate worry about early commitments is the fact a recruit didn’t have a chance to make any official visits. And even unofficial visits get frowned upon. Broiles has shut down his action, but Brown did visit Alabama and whispers have him eyeing a Florida/Florida State trip in early August.
For what it’s worth, Brown denied that report last Sunday, saying he doesn’t plan on taking any more trips anywhere following the OU BBQ event Friday afternoon.
“I don’t really think about it at all,” said Brown about the recruiting process. “I’ve made the right decision so I’m good.”
But there have been signs, whether real or perceived, about the slippery slope defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks is on right now.
Look to recruit more defensive backs for the 2017 class, and you might anger the current commitments. Stand pat and one of them decommits, now you’re playing catch up.
It’s a no-win situation and a tricky balance to strike. That’s why even though it definitely did ruffle a few feathers with offers after four commitments in the books, it’s what Cooks has to do and you see that when a Trajan Bandy decommits last week. Recruiting never stops, for better or worse.
“Not at all,” said Broiles about second-guessing his choice. “Now that I’m committed, I don’t have to be on the phone with coaches every night. All I have to focus on is what I have to do to get ready to be in Norman.”
Broiles and Brown are saying all the right things. Social media is not the end-all, be-all in recruiting, but it can give you signs. When CeeDee Lamb removed all OU affiliations from his Twitter back in April, you knew something was up.
It was. Brown removed everything OU from his Twitter profile in May only to put the OU commitment back in his bio back in June. Disaster averted.
Broiles had his OU commitment tweet pinned and OU images and bio all over the place on Twitter. Now it’s not there although the last week has told a story of Broiles being solid even if things aren’t always going swimmingly.
There have been offers like the one made to Texas commit Kobe Boyce, the signing of Parrish Cobb, things that can understandably have recruits questioning the call they’ve made.
The best thing is it’s happening now. Not in December or January. All the issues will be settled before the season gets going, and most believe this BBQ event Friday will be the one thing that brings everybody back together.
“There is still a lot of pride with us (SoonerSquad17 and the defensive backs),” Brown said. “No matter what, we’re going to grind.
“My relationship with Coach Cooks is really good. I talk to him here and there. He checks up on me now and then. It’s fine.”
Broiles was one of the first to be vocal about Lamb following the decommitment in April. No words of negativity, words of encouragement, words of saying he hoped Lamb would come back into the fold.
It took three months, but that obviously occurred earlier this week with Lamb rejoining the group and the BallOutBoyz being reunited.
“He’s still my boy. He was always my boy,” Broiles said. “I’m always going to stick with them. I just want what’s best for everybody.”
There are always going to be twists and turns when it comes to recruiting, but Broiles and Brown are still representing OU whenever they can, including at The Opening earlier this month.
Broiles and Brown were two of then-eight commits on Team Vapor Speed. There were eight OU commits and six Alabama commits on the team that ended up winning the 7-on-7 championship.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” Broiles said. “Being able to see that top-tier level of talent out there outside of Oklahoma was real eye-opening. I saw it as a humbling experience. I did good, but there were times I got beat. I know why I got beat.
“It was a lot of fun to have all of us together. Us and Bama. We weren’t getting to know each other because we already knew what we brought to the table. There was a lot of pride.”
If there are any lingering issues, this would be the weekend to get it hashed out. Cooks has done a phenomenal job of smoothing things over in the past, and it’s tough to bet against him on something like this.