The Moore American

January 23, 2013

OU behind in recruiting race

By John Shinn
The Moore American

MOORE — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops admitted in December that his staff was “behind” in recruiting. They’ve closed the gap this month, entering this weekend with 20 commitments heading into signing day on Feb. 6.

So, what will the OU staff be doing over the next two weeks?

Working hard to complete a class that still has five scholarships to fill.

Stoops said that means checking with some recruits who are already committed to other schools to see just how devoted they are to their early oral pledge.

“I think you kind of always are,” he said. “How committed is somebody? Things constantly change.”

The Sooners are No. 14 in the Rivals.com recruiting ranking. ESPN.com has OU at No. 18. Scout.com currently pegs the Sooners at No. 15, while 247sports.com has OU the highest at No. 12.

But in order to crack the top 10, OU must land some big recruits down the stretch.

For the last several years, the Sooners coaching staff has been successful at gathering early commitments in the summer and keeping the class together throughout the fall and winter.

What’s changed?

OU picked up a lot of those commitments after they attended summer camps in Norman. But that dynamic is changing. It’s getting harder for coaches to get prospects into summer camps.

“Yeah, it’s just hard to get kids for two and three days now,” Stoops said. “They’ve gotta move, they’ve gotta get to all these camps and they only have time for one. Or finances. It’s just really hard to get two, three days with a kid now.”

It’s something OU will have to adjust to next year when some old rules fall off the books.

Beginning in August, the NCAA will lift all limits on the number of phone calls, text messages or social media contact coaches can have with recruits.