Stoops Happy with Nationally Rated Class

NORMAN, OKLA -- Oklahoma Sooner head coach Bob Stoops discusses the incoming recruits and lets the fans know that OU addressed all of their needs on the recruiting trail.

The Sooners may not have stolen any five-star recruits around the nation, but OU head coach Bob Stoops and the rest of the Sooner coaching staff are still excited about the incoming 2009 group, which he spoke about in his Signing Day press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"Speaking of those guys, I really like the class," Stoops said. "And then I really feel like as usual we have a very diverse class where we recruit at all positions, and we really answered, questions, or not questions, but really filled some needs where we've had graduation, whether it be this year or we have some graduation that we're realizing this coming season."

Some of the needs the Sooners have addressed are on the offensive line position, where experience will be lacking next season.

"In this class, we've got probably the biggest need [from] graduating five offensive linemen," Stoops said. "We signed four, two of them being junior college guys, but really all four guys that are big talented guys that are the body types we're used to working with."

They include 6-foot-6, 315 lb. Tyler Evans, from Strafford , Mo. , 6-foot-5, 320 lb. Tavaris Jeffries, from Memphis , Tenn. , 6-foot-6, 340 lb. Josh Aladenoye, from Mesquite, Texas and 6-foot-8, 350 lb. Jeff Vinson, from Lancaster, Pa.

But the Sooners also got a handful of other good players, all but one of which is finished with the recruiting process.

"[It's an] exciting day and a good day for us here on signing day where we are announcing 22 new signees and one more just pending paperwork," Stoops said. "It's a formality, one other guy [is] just finishing up and making sure things are the right way. I don't expect anything to go wrong in that area, so 22 right now and one pending a little bit of paperwork yet to be completed."

And Stoops said the size of the class is another thing the Sooners did well on throughout the process.

"We're at the right number with 23 signees," Stoops said. "Sometimes people are signing 27, 28 players for their class. We were able to really, with the numbers, hit it right where we wanted to."

One thing that has become increasingly difficult is the time frame of snagging recruits since so many are committing at earlier dates.

Stoops said the coaching staff did an exceptional job of dealing with that challenge this year.

"So, [I] really feel like our staff, our assistant coaches as always really worked hard, did an excellent job throughout the year," Stoops said. "More and more players are making their decisions early, and we had a good number of commitments early even before the fall season began, but then worked it through the fall and then the winter months to really sign an excellent class, and again more than anything, a class that addressed the needs for our football team and the number at this point."

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