Bob Przybylo/Scout

OU recruiting mailbag: When do you strike?

It's visit season so when do you make your push on a visit?

It’s a question in recruiting that gets asked repeatedly, and it’s a very valid concern and issue for Oklahoma and other schools.

When a recruit is on a visit, when do you go in for the strike?

This question has really resonated in the last couple of weeks with the way Texas and Texas A&M have been able to land major commitments following visits because they’ve been able to strike the right tone.

OU head coach Bob Stoops has always said this in recruiting, “you get who you’re supposed to get.” The question is could you get more if you changed up line of thinking?

Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks have really changed the game in Norman, and we’ve discussed that often. OU has gone from a patient approach to a “reserve your spot” mentality.

It paid off in spades for SoonerSquad17, ranked No. 6 for 2017, the best ranking for OU since being No. 2 for the 2010 class.

But it has been an issue in the last couple of months. With major visitors coming to town seemingly every weekend, should OU be pushing more? Be aggressive and see if it can get a commit or two?

There’s absolutely a danger to doing things that way. It has already shown its face for the 2019 class when Allen (Texas) High’s Theo Wease and Richmond (Texas) Travis’ Arjei Henderson both committed at junior day on a visit before decommitting during the spring.

Impulsive decisions usually aren’t the best. But there are times, and names like Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep defensive lineman Mayan Ahanotu and Rockdale (Texas) High wide receiver JaQualyn Crawford come to mind, where you wonder if a little nudge was all they needed?

Or what would have happened had OU pressed OKC Putnam City defensive end Ron Tatum back in the spring? Who knows? Or what about during Tatum's visit this last weekend?

“You get who you’re supposed to get.” It was on display again with junior college defensive tackle Dillon Faamatau last weekend.

Faamatau clearly loved his OU visit. It was so obvious OU had done all the right things to try to get him for the 2017 class. The Sooners played the game, waited it out and Faamatau flipped his commitment from USC to OU late Monday night.

Would things have gone differently if defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux pressed Sunday afternoon for an answer? Never know.

The question is going to be asked again with Giddings (Texas) High wide receiver Treveon Johnson coming to Norman once again this weekend.

Johnson feels like an OU lean. Appears to be the Sooners’ to lose. Originally set for a mid-week visit, Johnson said the trip will be Saturday. Makes sense for all involved since it’s such a huge camp week for the Sooners.

No easy answer. No right answer. For some schools, the aggressive approach wins the day on a visit and sometimes it backfires. All about your philosophy. Stoops believes you get who you’re supposed to get.

Is OU supposed to get Johnson this weekend?


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