The Norman Transcript

February 3, 2013

Recruiting turns into waiting game for Sooners

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma picked up another commitment on Friday, lifting the 2013 recruiting class to 23 for Wednesday. reported Lancaster, Texas, defensive back Dakota Austin committed to the Sooners as his weekend official visit started on Friday.

The two-star recruit was one of only two 2013 recruits the Sooners had on campus this weekend. For all practical purposes, the recruiting for 2013 class ends today. A dead period begins on Monday as non-committed recruits weigh their options for a few days.

OU’s main focus on the final recruiting weekend before national signing day on Wednesday was getting an up-close look at as many juniors as possible. reported at least 25 were on campus on Saturday to get a look at the inside of the program.

The junior days are critical because of situations like OU is currently in. By most accounts, it will bring in a solid recruiting class on Wednesday. It is consensus top 20 class with the major recruiting outlets.

But what happens every winter is teams can be left scrambling to fill open scholarships. OU coach Bob Stoops said he never wants to be in a position of offering a scholarship to player he or no one else on his staff hasn’t sized up in person.

“I still don’t believe in just going out without any evaluation, and just because a few other people have offered, we need to get in the game,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Seeing that he doesn’t fit us. He’s 5-10 instead of 6-3, well we’re out of it now. We just haven’t done it. That’s not how I like to operate.”

In an ideal world, that’s how things would always operate. But recruiting is rarely flawless. There are always surprises down the stretch that force the coaching staff to make some late offers.

“You know, there’s some instances we haven’t,” Stoops added. about in-person evaluations, “but we could tell enough on tape. We’ve watched five games, and he’s three inches taller than every single guy out there. OK, he’s 6-4. You know what I mean? Those are the kinds of things you’re trying to gauge. So we still try to see every guy, but I can’t say that’s 100 percent, but we’re still pretty choosey about it.”

The Sooners can afford to be now. This weekend was mostly groundwork for 2014.

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