Last week was hours and hours of free publicity for Oklahoma. With quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook both being finalists for the Heisman Trophy Award, the crimson and cream was everywhere.
You can’t buy that recruiting attention. Then you had offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley reportedly being a top candidate for the head coaching spot at Houston. That’s what happens when you have top-notch assistants, they eventually plan to move on.
And you had guys like Mayfield and offensive lineman Orlando Brown announce they would return for the 2017 season, planting the seeds for what could be a season known simply as “Unfinished Business.”
Last week was insane for recruiting with coaches going from coast-to-coast and everywhere in between trying to lock down SoonerSquad17 and most likely adding a couple of members, while also maintaining what’s already there.
But now? It’s back to the grind. For Mayfield, it’s no longer about being a Heisman finalist. For Westbrook, it’s no longer about winning the Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver in the nation. For Riley, the smoke has cleared about him being a head coach.
The recruiting dead period has arrived. Although coaches can still have contact with prospects through messages and phone calls, the days of traveling and days of having official visits are on hold until mid-January.
It’s about OU. It’s about Auburn. It’s about the Sooners coming up big in a major bowl game against a non-Big 12 defense.
That has been the knock on OU here lately. Hard to argue since OU is 1-3 in its last three non-conference games with the sole win coming against ULM and the losses to Clemson, Houston and Ohio State.
After a week off to rest and recuperate, the team will be back in full force this week on the practice field getting ready for the Tigers. OU has done everything right since the 1-2 start, but just because the Big 12 title remains in Norman, doesn’t mean the 2016 book is written.
It’s time for the last chapter, and OU making sure it goes out on a high note.