The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

February 6, 2013

Formerly a Sooner strong point, recruiting now seems a losing battle

NORMAN — Oklahoma is five years removed from its last national championship game appearance. No one knows if the recruiting class it will bring in today will lead them back to that kind of stature.

However, one trend says the Sooners, and the rest of the Big 12 Conference, are losing ground.

Defensive linemen have long set good teams apart from great ones. OU’s best teams of the Bob Stoops era — with the possible exception of 2000 national championship team — held that distinction.

From 2000-2011, OU has had at least one all-Big 12 defensive lineman. Those 2003, 2004 and 2008 teams that reached the national championship game all included at least All-American defensive lineman — defensive tackle Tommie Harris (2003), defensive end Dan Cody (2004) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (2008).

All three were players within OU’s recruiting base. Cody (Ada) and McCoy (Oklahoma City) were right in the sweet spot. Harris was from Killeen, Texas, but OU battled Big 12 schools to get him.

More and more being the beast in the Big 12 isn’t carrying as much weight with highly sought prep defensive linemen.

In the class of 2013, there were seven defensive linemen rated as four-star recruits by both Rivals and ESPN in the Big 12 Conference’s regional footprint — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia.

Southmoore’s D.J. Ward, who is already attending classes at OU, is the only one who elected to play in the Big 12. Lancaster, Texas, defensive end Daeshon Hall (Washington) and Houston Taylor defensive Torrodney Prevot (USC) decided the Pac-12 was for them. The rest chose to play in the SEC.

Four of them chose Texas A&M. Having an SEC school in Texas only makes the problem worse for Big 12 Conference.

ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill sees the Big 12 defensive line issues as a geographic problem.

“There may be various ways to explain it, but the core nucleus of premier players along the defensive front — whether it’s at tackle or end — is in the southeast region of this country. It’s in the six to seven states — the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama — they are concentrated there for whatever reason. And it’s very difficult to get those guys to come out of there,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook