Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 9, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jake Trotter

Jake Trotter
  (4:03 PM)

Ok, let's get rolling...

Ben (Iowa)

Jake, how soon are we going to learn that Mike has been hired back at OU?

Jake Trotter
  (4:04 PM)

I've been told it could happen as soon as this week. Stay tuned.

Kevin (Dallas)

Assuming it hasn't been announced by now, how high of a cliff should I throw myself off of, if Mike Stoops isn't coaching for OU?

Jake Trotter
  (4:05 PM)

They have cliffs in Dallas?

Brandon (SLC)

Jake, love how active you are on the forum. It's really nice to have accessible reporters covering the team. One question that surfaced on the forum is whether Mike Stoops would actually add all that much to the OU staff. He's obviously a very good defensive coach, but I wonder how long he'd be in Norman and whether he adds anything to the staff that isn't already there in Venables. My take is that he's a nice add to a staff and defense that needs a new voice, but that I'd be careful about grand predictions about the return of the good old days. I think Mike is an incremental improvement, but is unlikely to be a long term fixture or a miracle worker. What do you think?

Jake Trotter
  (4:07 PM)

Thanks, Brandon. You bring up some good points. I doubt Mike would be staying in Norman for very long. I'm sure he wants to try and be a head coach again. Mike brings a lot to the table, but I think some OU fans have gotten carried away. Mike Stoops is not a savior.

Kevin (Dallas)

No, no cliffs, but I'm willing to travel.

Jake Trotter
  (4:07 PM)

That's dedication!

Shaun (Frederick, OK)

Do you really feel that OU players have made negative comments about the program to recruits, i. E. Mario Edwards, Jr.?

Jake Trotter
  (4:08 PM)

I'm not sure why Mario would make that up.

Jerry (Wichita, KS)

I know most Sooner fans are wanting Mike Stoops back on staff just based on what the OU defenses of the early 2000s looked like. But with all the spread offenses in the Big 12 and considering his less than stellar defenses at Arizona, what can he really bring to the team at this point?

Jake Trotter
  (4:09 PM)

Again, Mike is a terrific defensive assistant. But assuming OU will have the No. 1 D in the country next season just because of him is crazy.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will Heupel and Norvell be able to diversify the offense next season so that it's not so dependent on a single player (Broyles) like it was in 2011?

Jake Trotter
  (4:11 PM)

The offseason should give them enough time to retool. It was clear the offense never could regain any footing without Broyles in the lineup. The same thing happened in '09 when Bradford and Gresham were lost. That offense didn't have any time to regroup and struggled until the final two games of the season.

Blake (OKC)

With cousins Thomas Johnson and Davante Harris decommiting within 24 hours apart after been committed to Texas and OU for almost a year is there any fishy going on with them considering both will likely end up at Oregon?

Jake Trotter
  (4:11 PM)

Let's wait and see if they end up at Oregon first.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Will Mike Stoops bring the intensity and intimidation back to the OU defense if he returns to Norman? There's no queston the defense has not been the same since his departure. Especailly, in terms of development and fundamental soundness in the secondary.

Jake Trotter
  (4:13 PM)

Mike is Mr. Intensity. You can bet the OU secondary will play with intensity. But one reason the OU defense hasn't been the same is because the Big 12 offenses haven't been the same. Everyone in the Big 12 can score (just look at the bowl games). It's a different league than the one Mike coached in.

BoomerSooner (Norman)

I was wondering, the last season, the two losses at Mizzou and A&M, we were never able to get pressure with 4 and we continued to not blitz getting burnt in the Middle by Gabbert and Tannehill... this season again against TTech, Baylor (after pounding RGIII) in the first Q, we stopped blitzing), y would coach V (who is usually very aggressive) regress from a plan that was clearly the one that works best for us?

Jake Trotter
  (4:14 PM)

OU stopped blitzing against Baylor because A) Ronnell Lewis got hurt and B) RGIII kept lighting up the defense deep. You can't blitz when you're giving up bombs downfield.

Dillon Wilbanks (Tulsa,Ok)

Since the recent Mike Stoops buzz and the commitment from D.Harris, do you think Mike Stoops has any recruits already lined up? Maybe some he had been looking into at Arizona? Do you think the current players will show Mike the respect the players on the '00 National Champ team showed him?

Jake Trotter
  (4:16 PM)

I have not heard of any recruits being lined up. Mike will have to the earn the respect of the players, but being Bob's brother, and being who he is, that shouldn't take long.

Mike Bassi (Campbell Ca)

Hey Jake, I have a question about DeVante-Harris. Is it worth it to get him back? He seems to be on twitter to be loving the attention and with now with him going to visit Oregon, and the way he has presented himself, do you think the coaches should be going after him?

Jake Trotter
  (4:17 PM)

Both parties seemed to have moved on. At this point, I don't see Harris coming back to OU.

Steve (Moore, OK)

So when can we expect an announcement that Mike Stoops is back?

Jake Trotter
  (4:17 PM)

Soon.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Do you think Texas or TCU will step in and play Arkansas in the Southwest Classic now that TAMU has joinged the SEC? Would the Sooners be interested? Stoops does schedule tough OOC.

Jake Trotter
  (4:19 PM)

OU has Notre Dame, Tennessee, Ohio State and LSU lined up for the next eight years. They're not adding Arkansas, too. I always felt like Oklahoma State-Arkansas in Dallas would make sense. Both schools could use a marquee neutral site game in Texas for recruiting purposes. Perhaps they'll look at that as a replacement to the A&M-Ark game.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

The DeVante Harris decommitment had been rumored for awhile. Was the speculation surrounding Willie Martinez the final straw, or was it just a matter of time regardless?

Jake Trotter
  (4:21 PM)

De'Vante is not saying. Sterling Shepard referenced a meeting between Harris and Venables as not going well the night before Harris de-committed. We can only assume it had something to do with Willie, Harris' primary recruiter.

Drake Plotter (Oklahoma)

It seems the puzzle has been put together: Harris de-committed due to Willie Martinez leaving. Why is he not giving Mike Stoops,( a better coach), a chance?

Jake Trotter
  (4:21 PM)

Not sure.

Andrew (Ridgefield, CT)

Jake, Before the bowl it seemed like 1/2 the team was transferring, did we get a final list on who is staying and who is going.

Jake Trotter
  (4:22 PM)

The list is still fluid. Justin McCay is transferring to Kansas, and Austin Haywood to Arkansas. I posted on the board yesterday there a couple of guys that could be given second chances. We probably won't know for a couple of weeks exactly who will be here in '12 and who won't.

Joe Evans (Ft Hood, Tx)

Should the Sooners be concerned with the program's recruiting as well as the player's attitude towards the program? The Sooners lost DeVanti Harris and Mario Edwards had negative things to say about current players' attitudes about Norman. I don't understand why the Sooners cannot land a Mario Edwards or Becham caliber player. OU's track record for developing football players is pretty solid in my opinion, but every year they just seem to miss the big recruiting names.

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

OU has gotten the 5-star guys before. They will get the 5-stars in the future. I wouldn't be concerned about that. You can't land those players every year, unless you're Texas. My concern would be with the defensive recruiting. OU's top 11 recruits are now on the offensive side of the ball following Harris' de-committment. The Sooners need to snag some impact players on the defensive side.

Donnie (Oklahoma)

How many questions have you seen come across about Mike? Mailbox full? Let's hear some good news.

Jake Trotter
  (4:26 PM)

About every other question on this chat is about Mike. And I have over 70 questions in the queue.

Joe (Ft Hood, TX)

I think by adding Mike Stoops, the Defense has an opportunity to be not only more consistent but also more physical. Tackling and busts in the secondary are issues that must be addressed.

Jake Trotter
  (4:27 PM)

I don't disagree.

Another Steve (OK)

Austin Haywood=Central Arkansas

Jake Trotter
  (4:27 PM)

Correct. Sorry, that was a typo below.

Nathan (Dallas)

With TCU joining the conference any word on who we are replacing them with in the 2012 OOC schedule?

Jake Trotter
  (4:28 PM)

No word, although I'm told to expect some cupcakes along the lines of a Ball State.

Donnie (Oklahoma)

Couldn't Mike be the coach in waiting without the official title if Bob decides to call it done or moves on?

Jake Trotter
  (4:29 PM)

That's not happening, at least right now. Joe Castiglione is smart enough to see that coaches-in-waiting usually end up in disaster.

Bobby Dill (Bixby, OK)

What is the progression of our young DTs? I feel this is the major defensive weakness that exposes our secondary.

Jake Trotter
  (4:30 PM)

That will be something to watch in the spring. Jordan Wade is enrolling in Jan., and Jordan Phillips redshirted after enrolling late because of academic issues. The staff must feel good about those two, along with Marquis Anderson, because they are not recruiting any DTs for this class.

Tyler (Stilwell, OK)

Zach Banner said it is down to OU and SC. Who do you feel has the inside position heading toward signing day?

Jake Trotter
  (4:32 PM)

I don't know what he'll decide. But this is what Banner said last week about OU: "Oklahoma's a winning program. It's obvious that Coach Stoops knows what he's doing." That's not a bad thing.

Mike Bassi (Campbell Ca)

Do you think we will have an OC change? Heupel really needs to be down on the field with Landry.

Jake Trotter
  (4:32 PM)

You mean will Heupel move from the press box to the sideline? It's something OU will take a hard look at doing.

Jordan (Nashville)

What are your thoughts on OU's linebackers next season? I'm not sure I buy the argument that Corey Nelson could be special. As for Wort, he plays so hard that I don't see him ever getting through a season healthy.

Jake Trotter
  (4:34 PM)

Wort is a very good linebacker when he's healthy. But you're right, he keeps getting banged up. Nelson has all-conference potential. Neither player is a future Butkus Award winner, but I think the 2 could give OU a very formidable LB tandem.

Brian (Southlake)

Jake, What other coaching changes, if any, do you foresee?

Jake Trotter
  (4:36 PM)

I've heard rumblings, but nothing definitive. Could be none.

Josh (DC)

I've been following recruiting this year, which has given me a chance to go back and examine past classes as well. One thing that has struck me is that, unlike a lot of teams, OU hasn't really recruited a true ball-hawking FS in a while. It seems like they always try to get the hybrid style guys (a la Tony Jefferson). Given the problems we had this year why aren't they trying to get a FS?

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

Interesting point. I'm not sure I completely agree. Jefferson and Joe Ibiloye are really the only hybrid safeties the Sooners have recruited in recent years. Keenan Clayton was turned into a hybrid. Quinton Carter showed just yesterday he knows how to ballhawk.

Scott (Dallas)

Any recent chatter on DGB?

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

Nothing really new.

Chris (Dallas)

Is the recruiting drama this year any different than it's been for the past 20 years? Or does instant access to what every recruit is thinking, doing or feeling via social media have fans a lot more sensitive to the ups and downs of the recruiting season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

No doubt that is a factor.

soonerpeace (norman)

Jake OU has only 6 top 25 Texas players in the last 3 years and only 4 total players period this year. Are we losing a presence in the state of Texas/

Jake Trotter
  (4:42 PM)

Interesting stat, but I believe OU is still one of the 2-3 major players in Texas. It's easier to recruit nationally than ever before, and I think OU is taking advantage of this in places like California. Also, Texas is ultra competitive, probably more now than ever before, too. A&M's move to the SEC will only make it more so, too.

Steve (Moore, OK)

How are the Sooners looking at DT next year? Doesn't seem it was much of a priority in this recruiting class.

Jake Trotter
  (4:42 PM)

No, not at all. It's going to be the same three players (Walker, McFarland, McGee) with Anderson and Phillips and Wade possibly factoring in.

Tyler T. (Stilwell, OK)

Will Trey Metoyer be on campus this semester? If so, will he see significant snaps during the spring?

Jake Trotter
  (4:44 PM)

He is expected to be, but until Trey steps on campus, it's not 100 percent. He can be a big factor. Assuming he's not rusty from going to prep school, Metoyer could be part of the WR rotation immediately. He's that talented.

Mike (Cedar Grove, NJ)

what is OU's shot at DGB, Steffon Diggs, and Nelson A...... all being good WR's

Jake Trotter
  (4:46 PM)

OU has a decent chance at DGB. But the Sooners already have 4 big-time WRs coming in. To me, DGB is gravy at this point.

Michelle (Dallas)

Who wins tonight?

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

A basketball question? Wow. I'm picking the Sooners. OSU's roster has been decimated by injuries, transfers.

Tyler T. (Stilwell, OK)

Is OU still in play for DGB?

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

Yes

Elizabeth (Suffering in Stillwater)

Is Jazz Reynolds coming back?

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

Yes

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

Yes

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

Yes.

Mike Stoops (Norman, OK)

I have Tebow like qualities.

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

There's only one Tim Tebow.

Stacy (Norman, OK)

Will Kass Everett be able to step in immediately and fill the void left by Jamell Fleming's departure?

Jake Trotter
  (4:50 PM)

He's my pick to be the starting CB opposite Hurst, now that Harris has de-committed. Everett's top competition will be Gabe Lynn -- I'm not sure OU is ready to put Lynn out there again just yet.

Mike Gundy (Stillwater, OK)

Will our conference championship finally make the SoonerNation respect our program and have an impact in head to head recruiting?

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

2013 will be a big recruiting year for OSU. That's when we'll find out how much of a player the Cowboys could be in recruiting.

Robert (Tahlequah)

Where will Colvin and Lynn end up in the secondary next season? Who do you see as our starters in the secondary?

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

My prediction is that Jefferson and Colvin start at back safety, and Everett and Hurst at corner, with either Nelson or Ibiloye at NB. But there are several scenarios that could end up happening, much of which depends on Javon Harris and Gabe Lynn. If they bounce back, Jefferson could move back to nickelback.

Future Jake Trotter (Jan 2013)

The weather in Miami is awesome!

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

Let's hope so. The media hotel at the Orange Bowl is awesome.

Ben (Iowa)

How important was it for OU to keep Norvell?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

Pretty important. Durron Neal said he would have de-committed if Norvell left. I doubt OU would have had any chance with DGB, either.

Rick (Dallas)

Who is the third LB along with Wort and Nelson taking over for the departed Travis Lewis next year?

Jake Trotter
  (4:56 PM)

If OU goes to a 4-3, here's a name to watch: Franklin Shannon. He wowed in bowl practices.

Jay (Oklahoma City)

Are there any highly rated offensive or defensive linemen considering OU? What are the chances that DGB comes to Norman?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

Zach Banner is the big name. As for DGB, I give it 30 percent.

Jason (Dallas)

You mentioned that we need to snag some more marquee defensive recruits. Can you think of any left on the table that are up to that standard?

Jake Trotter
  (4:58 PM)

There aren't many left.

Clay Bennet (Nichols Hills, OK)

Keep your Sooner voo doo away from my team! Maynor was an important piece and he caught the injury bug that has plagued the Sooners

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

Funny, when I think of football injuries, I think OU. The Sooners need to shake off the voo doo before next season.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

More disappointing season for the SoonerNation, 2009 or 2011?

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

2011. The 09 team got better. The 11 team didn't.

Robert (Tahlequah)

Who's the next long snapper with Winchester graduating?

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

Austin Woods?

Jake Trotter
  (5:01 PM)

Guys, out of time. Thanks for all the questions. Wow, we had a ton this week. Sorry I couldn't get to all of them. You can send questions to the SoonerNation mailbag and I will get them answered Friday. Everyone have a great week. We'll do it again next week, same time, same place. Prediction for tonight. LSU 23, Alabama 13.