Whew, we got two announcements coming at 4:30 with Zach Banner and Zack Sanchez so let's go ahead and get started with the OU recruiting questions.
How come OU is stacking up on so many receivers? There is about 4 or 5 possibly with dgb. Also the defense, any big name recruits there
It was clear from that latter part of the 2011 season that OU definitely needed some help at the position. Kameel Jackson and Kenny Stills are a solid foundation, but the Sooners needed to find more depth at the position. They've done that with this 2012 class.
Will sooners ever be able to recruit the southeastern conference areas and compete?
OU still doesn't have a foothold in places like Georgia and Alabama, but the Sooners have done a good job in Florida this year. OU already has three commits from the state and could get two more before this class is finalized.
Even though you Cover Oklahoma Football, Who do you think will win Super Bowl XLVI?
I like the Giants. Been a fan of Eli Manning for a long time. On a personal note, TE Jake Ballard attended the same high school I did and is good friends with my younger brother.
Couple interesting things Bob, What do you think of Sam Grooms? 21 assists to 2 turnovers in the lasr 3 games. Is he underrated a little? Second if OU were to win all the games against non-ranked teams like Okie state and TTU and Texas, how realistic of a shot do they have to get into a tournament or even the NCAA? Lastly do you think this team will be a dangerous team next year since they could potentially have almost everyone return and gain sharpshooters like Hield and Hornbeak and add some height with Henry? Thanks!
I like Grooms. Like Brandon Chatmon has harped on, I wish Grooms would be more aggressive at times. He is a little underrated. I'm not seeing an NCAA tournament bid this season, but I wouldn't rule the NIT. And yes, next year should be a better sign as everybody adjusts to what Lon Kruger is teaching.
How do you feel about Mike Stoops coming back to OU? Will it help our season next year? Or Drag us down? BOOMER SOONER!!
Now that everyone has accepted the departure of Brent Venables, it's time for Mike Stoops to make his imprint once again. He is recruiting the players he wants, and he will bring a different flavor and intensity to the team. The question, as always, will be how the players respond to his methods.
What are the chances DGB signs with OUr Sooners?
It's not looking good, Jonesy. Tough to say the Sooners stand a chance when Dorial Green-Beckham visited Texas, Arkansas and Missouri but not OU. Never thought the Tigers were really in it, but I feel I was the one that was way off on that situation.
THE SOONERS SEEM TO BE RECRUITIN MORE IN CALIFORNIA AND FLORIDA. WE ALL KNOW THESE STATES ARE LOADED WITH TALENT. IS THIS A NEW RECRUTING STRATEDGY BY THE SOONERS TO GO AFTER THESE STATES TO MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF SUCCESS ON THE FIELD AGAINST THE LIKES OF USC AND THE SEC.
Tony, that is something we have explored this season in recruiting stories this year. Obviously the Cali trio has done wonders for OU in California. Their success shows you can come to OU and play. And OU has successfully attacked Florida and is starting to lay down a foundation there. I feel it has been a good strategy though it will be interesting to see how OU's influence in Texas changes in the future.
Any big surprises in store for OU?
Depends on what you label a big surprise. I don't see OU stealing somebody at the last minute, but even a day like today with TE Sam Grant is very positive news. Sooners are set to close out the 2012 class in a good way.
With the 2012 recruiting season wrapping up, my question is about 2013. Who are the key players from the state of Oklahoma that OU needs to make a priority to sign?
A lot of good in-state talent for 2013. Starts with DE D.J Ward (Lawton), who already has an offer. QB Brayden Scott (Tahlequah Sequoyah) would be next, but there is no guarantee he will receive an OU offer. OL has a couple of names in Rob Boyd (Vian) and Heath Newland (Edmond North). LBs looking at Devin Rolan (McAlester) and T.J. Ponds (Wagoner). And I really like a couple of Tulsa East Central kids Stanvon Taylor and Devonta Johnson. Could realistically see at least 4-5 in-state commitments in 2013.
DGB or Davonte Neal or Stefon Diggs real possibilities? Give us the odds of them coming so I know how to manage my own expectations come signing day. Trying not to get my hopes up...
Never would have said this last week, but I think Davonte Neal is most realistic option at this point. A lot, and I do mean a lot, has to happen. However, with Tim Kish, OU has its foot in the door with Neal.
Does it concern you that OU is not going to sign anymore defensive players than what they are?
It concerned me in December. By this point, you have to accept it. There doesn't look like there will be any DTs or LBs. The key is to finish strong with the DBs. If OU gets 2 of the 3 b/w Zack Sanchez, Gary Simon and Colin Blake, that's not too bad.
Bob-oWhat's the likelihood Courtney Garnder becomes a Sooner ???
I didn't think Courtney Gardner was a realistic shot at this time last week. Now I'm having a hard time seeing him not sign with OU. Give a lot of credit to Jay Norvell on this one. He put in the work, and it could work out. Gardner had the best visit possible over the weekend.
Good afternoon Bob! What do you feel is a better indicator of a player's talents when evaluating the strength or the lack there of in a recruiting class - numerical (or stars) ratings or schools that offered ?
I've never been a 'stars' kind of guy, Arlando. If I had to pick, it's schools being offered. But I go a lot of times on gut feel and the eye test. That's how I felt about kids like Michael Onuoha and Kevin Peterson, and I don't think I'm wrong on either one of them.
Sam Grant was really off the radar as many felt he was Michigan's to lose. How surprised where you with the news
Heck of a way to start Monday, huh, Jess? Definitely caught me by surprise. The only rationale I had was the longer it took Grant to make a decision, the better it was for OU. I thought he would pick Michigan on Friday. Add this to Bruce Kittle's resume, who has done an incredible job in his first year at TEs/OTs coach.
We have a lot of recruits coming in at the same positions. 4 TE, 4+ WR, do you see any of these players making a position move Like Lane Johnson or Gabe Ikard?
It's a good question, Robert. Certainly someone like Derrick Woods could be moved to DB. And it feels like one of the tight ends should be moved to OT, but there is no way to determine that right now. However, TE Brannon "Moose" Green practically is an OT anyway at 270 pounds.
What Oklahoma Sooner will be Selected in the 2012 NFL Draft?
One of my favorite experiences this season was watching an OU game with Ronnell Lewis' friends and family. It will be a huge day in Dewar when Lewis gets drafted. I also think Frank Alexander definitely deserves a shot. The DEs were so good for OU this last season.
Banner to OU?
If Zach Banner doesn't come to OU, it wasn't for lack of trying. Bruce Kittle, Durron Neal, John Michael McGee, they all put in the work and his visit was great in September. I'm nudging toward USC, though. Trojans made a great final impression. But we'll all find out in an hour.
It seems like our talent level at DT has slipped since Gerald McCoy left. I know we have Wade and Phillips on the way up, but they're unproven. Will OU be going after the elite DT prospects in 2013?
Without question, Josh. Defensive tackle is going to be a point of emphasis. OU lost out on Isaiah Golden this last weekend (committed to A&M). But OU is in good standing with Greg Webb and could offer Justin Manning this weekend at junior day.
So how does this shake out with DGB and Gardner--Arkansas gets one and we get the other?
Oh, I'm going to get some hate mail from Razorbacks fans here. I think DGB goes Missouri and Gardner goes OU. Absolute gut feel on a Monday afternoon. Hogs still have one of my favorite RBs in the class in Donovan Roberts, though. I'm really not an Arkansas hater, I promise.
How many recruits could we realistically see commit to oklahoma come feb 1st? are agholor, bekham and neal all longshots?
Davonte Neal is not deciding on signing day, and I do feel OU is on the outside looking in when it comes to Nelson Agholor and DGB. Other key Wednesday targets will include DB Gary Simon, DB Colin Blake and RB Damien Williams.
Is Oklahoma out of the running for Brandon Beaver?
Yes, OU is out of the Brandon Beaver sweepstakes. OU is concentrating hard on Gary Simon, Colin Blake and Zack Sanchez. Beaver didn't fit the mold for Mike Stoops, but Beaver is gonna be a great 'get' for whoever gets him.
How many of the TE's end up at T? Does OU still think Laith Harlow will be good to go by the fall? Or will they part ways?
Laith Harlow is an interesting question. I can't speak for OU, but I can say Harlow expects to be back. Spoke to him last week, and he started running again. He's fired up and doesn't think the back injury is going to hinder him in the future.
I gotta admit, I was not enthusiastic with the hire of Bruce Kittle, but this guy can recruit! Where does he stand compared the rest of the nation's recruiters?
One thing Bruce Kittle has is 'life experience.' He has been a coach for a long time, but he is an interesting person who has done a lot of different things in life and really knows how to communicate with today's kids. This was a heck of a first year so he's going to have a lot of expectations going forward.
Will Sterling Sheppard make an immediate impact to fill the roll of Broyles absence.
Sterling Shepard will certainly put in the work to get there. He has spent so much time in the weight room last two seasons that he is not nearly as undersized as some believe. I don't mind the Broyles comparison but not in 2012.
with the signing of our 4th tight end, do you see any decommitting to other schools for playing time?
No, I don't. Grant knew the situation coming in so he's good to go. Brannon Green and Taylor McNamara are roommates and on campus now. Laith Harlow said he doesn't care about how many TEs there are. They know they all have a shot. It's up to them what they do with the opportunity.
you think banner=U$c and Blake = TCU?
Tyler can see into my head, that's scary. I thought Blake to OU for a while, but the TCU visit was so good and Colin Blake has liked the Horned Frogs for a long time. Seems like OU will be 'this close' with both of them, but you never know.
what is the estimate on where ou will finish in recuirting?
The Sooners will certainly stay in the top 10 of the rankings. A lot can change because I think OU will close strong, and then you have to see how some of the other teams close. Despite the defensive struggles, OU's 2012 class is shaping up just fine.
devinte neal chances we gets on campus and then which pos. you think he plays better at? and do we have a shot?
Tim Kish and Mossis Madu are assets OU has with Davonte Neal that no other school can claim. Luke Neal, Davonte's father, said they would decide later this week if they were going to visit OU. If I had to guess, I'd say Arizona will be an unofficial visit and Neal will come to Norman for a visit.
Bob, give us your pick for a recruiting/signing day shocker, for NSD. It seems that the staff is always good for at least one each year. Be bold Bob!
But bold is not my nature. Not nearly a shocker today as it might have been 72 hours ago, but I do like Courtney Gardner to sign with OU.
Is Banner a sure-fire USC lock or do the Sooners have a fighter's chance in landing another big offensive tackle this week?
Always have a puncher's chance. I do think USC, but we're all gonna find out here in 45 minutes. I think it's amazing OU was in the race this long, and I think that should have Sooner fans excited about Bruce Kittle and his recruiting.
Who comes in next year out of this 2012 group and plays right away?
CB Kass Everett is going to make an immediate impact. He's the right fit for what Mike Stoops likes with defensive backs. And nobody is a bigger supporter of WR Durron Neal. If (big if) OU gets RB Damien Williams, he's another likely target for who is going to do big things in 2012.
What are the position groups that OU will focus on for 2013 recruiting?
OU is already turning its attention toward LB, OT and DT. The Sooners were able to get a couple of OTs for 2012 but were shutout at LB and DT. The good thing is OU has already started to recognize the top kids at each spot.
Dom Whaley came out of nowhere last year. Who's this years under-the-radar player who will surprise people and be a major contributer?
I don't know how under the radar you would consider him, but I'm a big fan of LB Kellen Jones. I think he is certainly going to be something special in 2012 and going forward.
Is there any possibility of QB competition in the per-season?
I don't think so, Lance. I don't think so at all. This is Landry Jones' team.
Is the possible Gardner signing to OU more a product of OU flipping him or Arkansas letting him go? Or both?
I believe OU has done all it can to flip Gardner and that the Razorbacks rolled with the punches and have adjusted to what they need to do.
Hey Bob - great work by you and the staff this week, we really appreciate your efforts! John Hoover tweeted this am that DGB is a strong lean towards Mizzou. I gave hope a few wks back on DBG but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how this might impact Courtney Gardner's decision - or - if you think it will have any bearing. Thanks again.
I don't think DGB plays a role with Gardner. I sort of thought that before, but I think Gardner will go where he feels he can make the most impact. He's worried about what he can control and not worried about who else is coming with him in the class.
Bob...in 4 years who will be the kid OU fans will be talking about as the best recruit of this class? ala Broyles
I like that question, Andy. My early choices are a pair of Florida boys in OL Ty Darlington and S Eric Striker. However, I wouldn't rule out WR Durron Neal becoming the big-time star, either. A lot of legit potential with this group.
Bob...I know the Irish have fallen on some hard times.. but is there still a buzz sourounding Nd visit to norman? Nd is still Nd.
I don't know if that's a question you can answer now. Right now? There is no buzz. But as we get closer, definitely think people will be fired up.
Bob... you know your football.. so I ask u this.. who is the most polarizing team in college football?
I think it's Alabama. Everybody has an opinion on Nick Saban, love him or hate him. You start talking about the Tide and some real emotions start coming out.
Who are Kruger's biggest targets for 2013 and what are his chances with those recruits?
If he stays in-state, he'd do just fine. PGs Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City Douglass) and Jordan Woodard (Edmond Memorial) are both 4-star kids. Woodard went nuts last week with KU's Bill Self in attendance and Clark is No. 59 in the Super 60 for 2013. And OU is doing good things with SG Juwan Parker (Tulsa Washington).
Appreciate all the questions. Whew, that hour went by fast. Keep it locked on SoonerNation, gonna be a fun week.