Chad Simmons

OU trying to pick up recruiting pieces

Loss of Jacob Phillips hurts. So what can OU do as signing day looms?

There’s something a lot of recruiting fans love to say. Recruiting can give, but it can just as quickly take away.

Oklahoma and SoonerSquad17 has seen a lot of giving in the last 12 months, but Thursday saw a huge take away with Nashville (Tenn.) East Literature linebacker Jacob Phillips flipping his commitment from the Sooners to LSU.

Phillips, a Scout 100 prospect, visited LSU last weekend and said he needed some time to figure it all out before going public Thursday afternoon that the Tigers and not the Sooners will be the choice.

It’s a blow because of how talented Phillips is. It’s a blow because of the national perception is going to linger about OU being unable to land out of region major recruits when push comes to shove.

It’s not a blow in the rankings. Not in the least, which might be the only solace for OU fans heading into the final weekend before national signing day.

OU was ranked No. 5 when Thursday started. The Sooners are ranked No. 5 when the day ends. All that’s occurred is OU is now closer to No. 6 in the rankings than No. 4.

The lingering question now is will, or maybe better put, can the Sooners do anything to replace Phillips at this stage in the game?

It’s a great question. OU has been talking to fellow Scout 300 linebacker Tyler Taylor for an entire calendar year. But the Buford (Ga.) Lanier four-star prospect insinuated earlier this week his final two were Auburn and LSU.

Back it up a second, though, and realize that final two was when Phillips was committed to the Sooners. And that Taylor also pointed out Sunday other schools are in it, but the general feeling was between LSU and Auburn.

Nobody likes to be regarded as a second choice. It hurts. Prideful four-star talents aren’t used to being told they’re not good enough. Not being good enough is a relative term, though.

The way OU has recruited Taylor throughout this process speaks of OU not treating him like a second-class citizen.

We’re six days away from signing day. Surprises can and often do occur, especially with the Sooners here in the last few years.

OU has six days to figure out if it can find a suitable replacement for Phillips. Start with the obvious choice, Taylor. And if not, keep turning over the stones.


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