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February 12, 2013

Shipp, Kittle out as Sooner staff shakeup continues

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Most recently he was named one the country’s top recruiters by two of the major recruiting Websites. Badenbaugh was named of the nation’s top 50 recruiters by 247sports.com last week and Rivals.com lauded him as one of the Big 12’s best recruiters on Tuesday.

The departures of Shipp and Kittle still haven’t been announced by OU.

The defensive tackle positions has slumped in recent years. OU hasn’t had an All-Big 12 defensive tackle since Gerald McCoy’s final season in 2009. It hasn’t had a defensive tackle record more than six tackles for loss in any of the last three seasons. The lack of production from the group has contributed to the Sooners’ slipping defensive numbers since 2009.

Shipp, however, tutored some OU’s most dominant defensive players during Stoops’ tenure. He recruited and developed All-Americans Tommie Harris (2002 and 2003) and McCoy (2008 and 2009). Both were top 15 picks in the NFL Draft.

He also coaches standouts like two-time All-Big 12 selection Dusty Dvoracek (2003 and 2005) and Ryan Fisher (2000).

The Sooners signed four defensive tackles last week. Four-star tackle Kerrick Huggins led the group of incoming freshmen, that included three-star recruits Matthew Romar and Charles Walker. OU also picked up Trinity Valley Community College transfer Quincy Russell.

“Developing our players up front was a huge area for us to improve, to develop some more playmakers up front,” OU defensive coordinate Mike Stoops last week.

OU hoped to add Hutchinson Community College defensive tackle Toby Johnson. The four-star recruit is set announce where he’ll next week.

“OU fired Coach Shipp,” Johnson said via Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I loved that guy he was like a father figure to me. That’s the worst thing y’all could've done rite now.”

Johnson’s final choices are between OU, Mississippi State and Auburn.

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