RECRUITING: One-on-one with Bobby Jack Wright

OU Recruiting Coordinator Bobby Jack Wright talked about the latest in summer recruiting with James Hale on "the Ref" Tuesday morning

Bobby Jack Wright, Oklahoma recruiting coordinator and defensive end coach, was interviewed by James Hale on KREF Tuesday morning. Here's a transcript of the interview.

JH: Bobby Jack, you recruit everywhere but you're known for your expertise in Texas. Where are you heading today?

BJW: Today I'm actually heading to Denver. There's a ton of national interest in Oklahoma right now. We have to branch out now. After winning the National Championship last year the interest from kids all over the country has skyrocketed, so now we are talking to prospects from coast-to-coast and everywhere in the middle.

JH: Has the recruiting geography really changed in the last few years?

BJW: Sure, we're getting a ton of calls now from all over the country, and really, we're just getting back to what this program always did. When you think of the great teams under coach Switzer, you'll recall that they had players from California, Florida, Louisiana as well as Texas and Oklahoma.

JH: What's been the response so far this spring?

BJW: The response in the spring is always good. We get to see the kids in the practice, look at transcripts, talk to their coach, etc. But it's actually a matter of elimination at this point. Right Now we have 1500 players on a list to look at. We'll get that down to 300 here in the next two weeks. So we have to really get particular about what we want.

JH: Can you meet and talk with the players and their parents?

BJW: Well actually, we're not allowed formal contact with the players at this time. We can say a few words if it's an unscheduled meeting, but we have to be very careful not to exceed our contacts. We are allowed one phone call at this time.

JH:"When can you begin to have contact?

BJW: We have up to six opportunities in the fall to meet with them. But that does not include camps, so that makes the camp a very important time, not only because we can talk to them but we also get to see them work out with others.

JH: Camps have become so common and now there's even the Nike prospect camps nationwide. When does OU start their camp?

BJW: Ours starts on June 3rd. It's an opportunity to get the young man on campus, meet the coaches, and it gives the position coach a real opportunity to work the prospect and really get a feel for his talents and potential.

JH: I talk to some of these kids and they go to camps everywhere. I heard that prospects from eight or nine states were at the Nike Insiders College Station camp.

BJW: Most young people will go to two to three camps, some even go to five or six.

JH: That can get pretty expensive. What are your feelings on camps, would you recommend them to a young man?

BJW: Yes, I would recommend them because it gives both parties a chance to get acquainted. It's an advantage for both sides. I don't know what everyone's charging but it's still a good deal when you consider room and board, instruction for three days, etc.

JH: Let's talk about the Sooners' recruiting needs this year. How many scholarships will you have and what are your needs?

BJW: We'll have about 20. Our needs are always pretty similar. Ideally you'd like to take one player for each position. With that strategy you should be four deep after four years. Of course you're only allowed 85 total, so there are some exceptions that skew the numbers. Every year we'll try to take the best quarterback we can get and the very best running back. We'll need four to five offensive linemen for a few more years until we get our depth up there. We'll always try to take one tight end and at least on defensive end and one great defensive tackle. We're getting our defensive back numbers up now, but we'll always look for defensive backs that can run.

JH: How did your defensive ends do this spring? Were you pleased with the progress?

BJW: We made great improvement there. We're finally getting into a position where we have some depth with Dan Cody, (Jimmy) Wilkerson and (Jonathan) Jackson. We've played the last two years with two players so we think it's a real luxury to have three that we consider starters. And we signed three defensive ends that we feel can provide quality backup this year if needed. I'd say that I was most pleased with the improvement of Jonathon Jackson. He's still just a freshman and we had to throw him in there last year before he was really ready. But he did a good job and after this spring he's really ready to turn it loose.

JH: This staff is not afraid to play freshmen are they?

BJW: No, we're not afraid to play freshmen. We'll always try to get the best eleven on the field, regardless of their classification.

JH: Will you be going to Malta, Montana (home of recruit Josh Roberts) again this year?

BJW: Sure, but only for a fly fishing tournament.

JH: Where are you headed after Denver?

BJW: "I'll drop down to Louisiana and get some crawfish later in the week. You just don't go into this recruiting game simply for players. You gotta consider where the best food is as well.

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