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Recruiting.. so what is the solution?

  • Bud had unlimited scholarship numbers.. Barry had almost the same and because of his unique background was the most successful in the area in recruiting the fastest most talented black athletes. Texas had only one truly successful program during their times. Bob has a different era to recruit in. That being said: it boils down to recruiting differently.. whether that means hit Texas harder and earlier, find a Scotty Hill or Barry to effectively go after the national elite athlete or get involved in helping to make the Oklahoma kids hungrier, tougher, better and loyal to the sooners, or a combination of all of these. Suggestions??

  • 1) I think we are missing that recruiting ace on our staff.
    2) We have missed Venerables this year, he was a relentless recruiter.
    3) Coaching staff has gotten to old to connect with 17 and 18 yr old high school kids. Stoops needs to hire young energectic up and comers to fill departures in the staff in the future.
    4) I know evaluation is vital in the recruiting process but we are missing out on some elite talent because they have already committed by the time we offer. Speed up the evaluation.
    I think these are a few of our problems.

  • At a place like Oklahoma, you need excellent recruiters. I believe there are 2 or 3 coaches on staff who are not being held accountable for their recruiting. This program is soft on the lines. That is why they can't currently, legitimately compete for the national title. They can win most games in a weak conference, but when they play a team worth a damn, they get beat or embarrassed. That's not good enough for OU. Bob is at a crossroads. He's close to his assistants. They are not held accountable. Texas talent is being lost to a resurgent ATM, Baylor and tcu. When OU simply got the leftovers from the longhorns, those were still terrific players. But now, that's not happening with regularity. Not to mention, Texas schools are telling players to go anywhere except OU. Tremendous negative recruiting against us by a unified group of Texas schools, that have more impact now than before because of their collective success.

    IMHO, bob must hire 2 or 3 big time Texas recruiters that are loved by the high school community down there. He needs hungry, aggressive guys that will outwork everyone else. Remember when that's what Stoops and staff were known for? Out working the competition? I personally believe a couple more African American Coaches on staff would be helpful, but that's my opinion and don't want to get into big argument about that.

    Look what ucla has done. Yes, they are helped by usc's troubles, but Mora hired a great group of recruiters. Their offensive line coach, from Texas, has dominated oline recruiting this year. Guy is a monster. What a hire that could have been for OU. But no, bob hires Kittle, a guy with no experience.

    No, we don't have beaches, but we have awesome tradition and a good location next to Texas, and kc and St. Louis.

    Refocusing on what will beat the Alabamas of the world, hiring the recruiters that can get that done, and winning big again are what will solve the recruiting problem, and get bobs coaching legacy back in the future legend category.

    This post was edited by SoonerBlub 18 months ago

  • About a year ago there were coaching changes and a lot of player defections where Stoops cleaned some house of some guys who were problems. For the 2012 recruiting class that all happened right at the very end of their recruiting process after they already had strong relationships with coaches recruiting them who could dispell the myths. For the 2013 guys that all happened fairly early on in their recruiting process and gave OU's competitors ample fuel for negative recruiting that OU's coaches likely had a harder time dispelling since they had not yet built long standing relationships with those kids. Do people not remember everything that went on last winter? Do people think that turmoil was going to have no affect?

    On top of that, TA&M, TCU, and BU have all also risen up to become much more formidable as recruiting competitors.

    The reality is that OU had to do some house cleaning, and that tends to have some short term consequences and the recruiting environment is much more difficult now than it was just 4 or 5 years ago for OU, especially in Texas. A lot of people appear to want to limit the discussion to in-house matters, but that's not realistic. It's not that simple.

  • cullison

    One bit of evidence you can scrape up is which and how many prospects each of our coaches did recruit this year. (1) Go to our rival site (2) click the commitment list (3) click on Dominique Alexander, for example (4) click on one of the coaches who recruited him to OU (5) read the list of five commits Jackie Shipp (for example) has brought in this year (6) read the Incomplete list of other prospects he's recruited this year. (7) Do the same for some recruiter you respect at some other school. (8) Find out what you find out. (9) Then make your case.

    I'm not sure it's the salesmen. I'm not sure it's the product. It may be the location. For a long time we've benefited from being next door to a huge state with more top prospects than its top programs could use up. It's a truism that more schools than ever before are recruiting down in Texas. It's also true that Bob has always tried to recruit better in all our contiguous states to make up for any falling off in Texas. We've had good players from Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico during his period.

    This year we've recruited more than I can remember from California, Florida and the mid-Atlantic region. We've got only three from all that work and those only from our two most renown position coaches. (In fact, now that I look, KJ Young was recruited by Kish who also recruited Alexander, Evans and Okoronkwo. He's also recruiting Mathew Romar now.)

    Anyway, for the amount of time and effort nationwide, we have to count this strategy a failure. Many of the kids say they are honored to have our offer (and it's on her and off her blah-blah-blah).

    I recommend more work on the blue highways of Texas. It's harder to miss good athletes in Kansas than Texas. Forget about an enlarged press box for a minute and start renting helicopters for Texas recruiting. Get back into Vegas' Bishop Gorham and some of the pipeline schools and towns, but don't dragnet California, Arizona and Florida.

  • its 100% selling the university, selling the education, selling the coaching staff, based on tradition and based on the needs of the program! Nothing else. If you can convince a kid that there is no better place to play football than OU and get a great education, than so be it... The truth is that oregon and texas a&m and notre dame and ucla are up and coming with michigan clemson and south carolina... then u have ur bama, lsu, georgi, usc, ohio state, florida, florida state.... to contend with... Lets not forget about texas... So where does OU fit in ????

    osu, tcu, baylor are now seemed to be an up and coming attractive school... Doesnt matter what there records are... they are looked upon as just a player or 2 away from really competing for championships... Again where does that leave OU?

    big 12 champs... sure! but whats exciting, whats OU got that the other teams do not have??

    i believe our lack of recruiters, lack of salesmanship, lack of knowing how to close, lack of making sure that these kids understand the importance of their signature on that dotted line is whats going to be the difference..

    OU's philosophy as of late, maybe 6-7 years ago is that they are going to win with you or without you... to me, its a very cocky approach, way to confident and less emphasis on the," We really need you to get number 8, please please be part of this team and lets do something special"

    I think OU's approach is killing them more than anything! If you cant create excitement, if you cant make players believe that at Oklahoma we are going to make you better, we are going to win number 8.. if and only if you come and play here!!
    Than you are not going to address your team needs correctly and properly..

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by IreallyloveOU 18 months ago

  • Does OU simply have one "approach"? If so, how do you actually know what it is? Wouldn't you have to know what it is definitively before having a basis to argue that it is "killing them"? That said, do all of OU's coaches use the same"approach"? Does any one coach use the same "approach" with every kid he is trying to sign or do they alter their "approach" for different kids on a case by case basis?

    The idea that OU's "approach" is flawed seems like a pretty hefty oversimplification.

  • Stop recruiting so many national players and expending energy towards players that have no history or knowledge of OU. Concentrate on Texas recruiting. There are enough great players in Texas to supply our program with great talent and the energy recruiting these players will be less because they KNOW OU and will want to play near their families.

    Last I looked there were maybe 6 QB's in the NFL that played hs football in Texas.

    OU doesn't need to recruit nationally because Texas hs football can carry a program.

  • Hasn't really carried UT and they get the cream of the crop

  • which ever program gets the players from texas high schools will be elite. A&M has gotten many of them them the last few years. They won the Heisman, Outland tropheys with texas hs players.

    So OU and Tex are losing Texas to Baylor/A&M and are not as dominate

  • cullison

    That's a case of where "We could take your players and beat you."

    UT's coaching has been in chaos for three years. Furthermore, they missed bad on a QB and haven't had one since Colt McCoy was hurt. They've been on an OC merry-go-round and a DC fall-through-the-floor too.

    It's also possible that the top ranked players in the state have peaked in high school or will lose their superiority as others physically mature and catch up with them. You've got to have hungry players who want to work and not go down to 6th Street or to Scholz' Beer Garten.


  • I think we need to hit texas harder. I know it shouldn't matter when we offer but it does matter to the kids. Knowing that I think it is very important we offer as early as we can. It's obvious that no matter how badly we crush the whorns it doesn't seem to help us against them in recruiting. Hiring a younger recruiting ace would certainly not hurt.


  • That is exactly correct. I have many years (decades) of recruiting, marketing and its practice and there is no way you can make such generalizations about specific techniques and their application without intense observation and analyses. To attempt such is impractical and absolute folly.

  • First of all one good recruiting season without another behind it does not result in a NC run. In 2001-2003 we averaged #6 in the country. To me that fueled our best run during Stoops. We have never duplicated that average in a 3 year run again.

    In 2005 we signed a number 3 class and it produced a whopping 19 starters. The next year we signed 11 kids from Oklahoma in 2006 and out of that class we had Demarco,Sam,McCoy,Trent Williams,and Jermaine Gresham. We got players highly recruited by other teams. Williams was only a 3 star but had an offer from LSU and McCoy had offers from USC and a ton of others as did Gresham. Sam would have had more but he never got serious about football as he played so many sports or would have. That group drove us to our 2007-2008 run.

    From 2009-2012 we averaged #11 in final recruiting rankings and I think that is signi9ficant. Alabama had 13 starters that were top 150 players this season. Their roster is littered with top 150 players. I saw a stat where a 5 star player has a 70% chance of playing in the NFL and a 3 star 19% and a 4 star was somewhere in between. Anybody who doesn't buy into the recruit ratings just isn't paying attention. You bet with good coaching a lot of those 3 stars at K-State can get you a long ways. They were 5th in total penalties and 2nd in turnover margin. So they obviously had a group that bought in and did what their coaches coached them to do and the coaches did a good job of making that happen.

    The recruiting for whatever reason has suffered. Is it a staff that is worn out in recruiting or are they just not as good as some previous ones? I can't answer that. The fact remains that as Matteon said it has gotten harder to recruit in Texas but it doesn't help when we went more national in 2012 and only signed 8 from Oklahoma and Texas.

    We have to IMHO get after East Texas which they are with Junior Day Feb. 2. I am so pleased. Right now Texas and Texas A&M are squeezing us out of the top players in Texas. You can say what you want about Texas failing to develop their roster full of top 25 Texas players from each recruiting class. I do think those kids are entitled but I also think that is why some didn't come here as ours is a tougher program. I would like to think we would have done better with them. Marquis Goodwin is a tremendous example as he tore up Senior Bowl practices.

    We are just going to have to work harder at recruiting and that means Bob too. A former Big 12 coach told me that Bob Stoops is the best head coach in the Big 12 and they modeled their program after ours. Could not say enough nice things about our program and staff. But he also said Texas and Mack do a much better job of recruiting and work harder at it. He said they work at it and everybody thinks they fall into it because of Austin and the University's status. He said Mack and the entire staff work recruiting harder than any staff in the Big 12. Mack he said was really involved and good at communicating with all family members during visits and spends a lot of time phone calling recruits coach during the process. He said Mack is briefed on recruits extensively the day before their visit and the entire family. He calls the recruits coach the day before the visit.

    We have had some great recruits nationally but when you have not been a top team since 2008 we don't have the presence we once had. We just finished missing on Aaron Cochran who was a long shot as he lived near Cal and the draw of the status of getting an education there made him go there. Cochran was the 46th best tackle in the country. Meanwhile Dan Skipper from nearby Colorado begged for an offer from OU and visited last year for Junior Day we quit recruiting and now offered 2 weeks ago. He was one spot higher than Cochran in the offensive tackles list at 47th.

    We have to get back to the midlands and reconnect with the coaches in the midlands and get them to work the camps in the summer. Last year at our recruiting clinic were a lot of out of state coaches and not as many from Oklahoma and Texas as in the past.

    But until we can have the excitement and more positivity reflected by our program by the coaches and current players on recruiting visits we aren't going to do as good as we used to. For all those thinking A&M lucked into their class this year they had 20 commits before the season ever started.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Sooner Redzone 18 months ago

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    The two best professional rookies in 2010 and both from Oklahoma City,Oklahoma.

  • i've been sounding this alarm for the past 3 to 4 years.

    folks , the landscape of cfb has changed. the advent of tv contracts with every conf. has been a great equalizer . every team is now on tv at least 4 or 5 times a year.
    we dominated in the past because we were on tv more than many other schools.
    same for nebraska.

    like nebraska , location hurts us . add to that we both are located in states with limited d-1 players.

    solution...........1.. join the sec
    2..push the envelope much like sec schools do.
    3.. hire 2 dynamic recruiters and turn them loose.
    4..bring attention to yourself . pump money into your facilities and do the little things like uniform combos in order to stand out.

    we have reached critical mass and it's time to fish or cut bait

  • sorry matteon youre always right about everything

  • You want my take.... Win.... Get out of this 10 game winning slump (national perception)...... Its almost like kids are bored with OU.... Unlike most people I like this class.... But heres a look at some of the attrition...

    • 2008: Seven of 21 signees left the program or didn't qualify.
    • 2009: Eight of 24 signees left the program or didn't qualify.
    • 2010: Five of 29 signees left the program or didn't qualify.
    • 2011: Eight of 19 signees left the program, chose baseball or quit football.
    • 2012: Four of 27 signees quit football or didn't qualify.

    2011 stands out.....

  • With all the talk about Norman, not being this, or not having that, or not being near beaches, has anybody been to Tuscaloosa, AL?

    It's a town of roughly 92,000 people. What about it is so much better than Norman?

    I realize the South is producing great Div 1 talent, so what is the draw?

    Next to getting the top talent in OK, and at least a fair share from TX, what stops the top recruits from other surrounding areas from coming to OU?

    OU gets some, but is the draw of the SEC so great, kids now don't want to leave Louisiana?
    OU gets some good skill position players from Florida, but not the big guys, why?

    The SEC has branded itself in such a way that when kids here it today, all they think is championships.

    IMO The Big 12, is going to have to win to stem this tide (pardon the pun) to starts to pull players out of the South region. It's just as important than having a great recruiter or coach. It's such a mindset, OU is behind the eight ball before it ever starts.

    Also, I realize it is always at some point a focal point of recruiting, but OU has really, really, got to hit OK first, then dig, dig, dig, itself back into all of Texas second, then branch out from there.

    I'm a real adult fan, not like all you other spoiled babies. You don't know anything about me, but I can make wild accusations about you.

  • Tuscaloosa about 4 hours from the beaches of the Florida panhandle

  • Peace,

    The Mack and Texas show is struggling in Texas this year. The SEC invasion aka. A&M is really having an effect which is why Texas is ranked #18 in Rivals and only has 15 commitments. Of those commitments several are kids that they followed OU's lead in offering like - they recently offered a bunch of 3*s like OU commit Bennett, Hammad, Harrison, and others. I agree recruiting is the problem but people are discounting the impact of a lousy Big 12, it is becoming like a Triple A baseball league in comparison with the SEC. For that reason, OU is going to have to triple their effort in recruiting top athletes to overcome the shortcomings of the conference and I am not sure the current staff is willing to put that kind of effort to succeed beyond 10 wins.

    Where do you think OU would be in recruiting if the Sooners had jumped to the SEC?

    This post was edited by Speedyw17 18 months ago

  • first off.......if we had gone to the sec our recruiting would have been enhanced twofold

    next.......you say the staff wouldn't be willing to put in the effort. respectively i disagree. i think they are out there now working their asses off. BUT the problem is we don't have enough dynamic recruiters. that's where bob screwed the pooch in his recent hires.

  • The "solution"lies with Coach Stoops & staff,If they see nothing wrong with our recruiting then we will see more of the same.Stoops even said himself he saw nothing wrong & no changes will be made.I just feel that this staff really got lazy & over confident with recruiting for whatever reason?I am not a fly on the wall in the coaches offices,so my two cents is just a theory,nothing more.You recruit to fill your needs for the upcoming years so as a coaching staff you should know the positions to recruit & put all your energy into those needs.Lately i am confused by this staff.But as Bob said who am I,I am just a fan.Go Sooners!!!!!!

  • I don't think waiting till the last month before signing day to put the effort to recruit the answer. Sorry but these guys got outworked from signing day to January and now they are trying to catch up with a last minute charge. It doesn't work that way in today's environment because these kids know who has been after them all year.

  • Speedy Texas was not struggling against A&M until the last few months. But just like Hammade their recent commit said just a week ago after switching from Baylor. He said our o-line group coming in will lead Texas to 2-3 NC's. Texas recruits still don't get it.Texas now has competition in Texas but A&M will be like us in the mid 2000's. Back then we battled them more. A&M will take some from us and some from Texas. I lime sending Norvell to East Texas and 4 Longview kids coming to Junior Day.. DFW metro and East Texas we should wear out and only go national on a few skill guys.

    This post was edited by Sooner Redzone 18 months ago

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    The two best professional rookies in 2010 and both from Oklahoma City,Oklahoma.

  • Peace,

    All those days that I made fun of A&M are over. A&M owns East Texas now - the SEC impact is much greater than anyone could have expected. The kids want to go to play against the best in the SEC. Texas and OU underestimated the impact. At least, that is what the East Texas High School coaches that I know are saying. Even at Carthage - two years ago, Kendall Thompson who starts at LB went to Texas, last year Edward Pope switched at the last minute from TCU where he was a legacy to A&M, this year Golden never flinched and was an early commit to A&M. It is an easy sell - go to the SEC play against the best then on to the NFL. They are more excited about playing Florida, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia than Baylor, TCU, Tech, Kansas, and Iowa State. The administrative decisions at OU were atrocious and will have long lasting impacts.

  • I agree with all that but the SEC lure was not hurting Texas until A&M beat Alabama as much. A&M had 20 commits before the season and most of the reason was Sumlin and their staff. When kids visited they could feel the excitement by the current players and their trust and support of the staff. They don't have their wide receivers doing drugs or their linebackers or DL hating the scheme among other things.

    It isn't all the SEC as A&M has a lot going on. But since Bama they are in a huge ascent. But when recruits visit on recruiting weekends they see the relaxed atmosphere...they don't see tension. They don't hear much -player dissatisfaction. Now I don't mean to say that it is the whole team at OU but until the chemistry improves we won't get recruits as easily. SEC or not.

    This post was edited by Sooner Redzone 18 months ago

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    The two best professional rookies in 2010 and both from Oklahoma City,Oklahoma.