The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 7, 2014

Late recruiting surge shows momentum with Sooners

NORMAN — Oklahoma did not reel in a top 10 recruiting class Wednesday. If that was a surprise, it shouldn’t be. According to Rivals.com, it has pulled in just six since 2002.

According to the recruiting ranking OU coach Bob Stoops and his staff brought in what they typically do on the first Wednesday in February. It marked the fourth time in the last five years the Sooners finished between No. 11-15.

But there’s a feeling that will change next February.

“We’ve changed the whole vibe of Oklahoma football and it’s cool again. That’s positive and that’s what we want,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We want kids to play for the cool school and certainly that’s very positive when you look at what we’re able to do and what we’re starting to do for next year already.

“It’s very positive right now and we have a lot of momentum and hopefully we can carry that out. Hopefully our players, we have a very young, dynamic group of players that are very excited about the possibilities here.”

The Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama gave the Sooners a cache they’ve lacked for several seasons. Highly coveted recruits that had been brushing off overtures from the coaching staff are now receptive.

That showed in the final month of recruiting. Four-star Jenks safety Steven Parker, Fresno, Calif., athlete Michiah Quick, New Orleans defensive tackle Courtney Garnett, Utah offensive tackle Kenyon Frison and five-star running back Joe Mixon all picked the Sooners after the Sugar Bowl victory.

If the recruiting circumstances were the same as they were 10 years ago, OU would’ve have been able to capitalize on what it did at the end of the season even more.

The overwhelming majority of recruits make their college choice before January. OU’s had classes in the past that were completely committed before it left town for bowl games.

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