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February 20, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jake Trotter

Jake Trotter
  (4:02 PM)

OK guys, let's get rolling...

Taylor (Norman)

I'm sure you're going to get a lot of questions about the schedule, but what are your thoughts about it? Particularly the two bye weeks in September, the tough stretch at the end, and not closing with Bedlam. Is this the best the Big 12 could do under the circumstances?

Jake Trotter
  (4:04 PM)

The schedule is not ideal. But you have to remember, the Big 12 didn't put this schedule together with the idea of pleasing Oklahoma. The two bye weeks in Sept are a product of playing Notre Dame (To schedule the Irish, you often have to do it during the conference portion of your schedule). As long as Bedlam is on Thanksgiving or the first week in December, it will get the necessary publicity.

Nick (Lincoln)

Early guess on OUs starting secondary vs UTEP next season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:05 PM)

CB: Hurst, Everett. S: Jefferson, Colvin. NB: Ibiloye.

Ed (Riverside, CA)

Jake, will we see OU utilize Green and McNamara much like the Sooners did with Eldridge and Gresham in 2007 and 2008, with Green being the Eldridge type blocking TE and McNamara used primarily as a receiver, ala Gresham? Would love to hear your thoughts on that?

Jake Trotter
  (4:07 PM)

In time, maybe. Next season? I doubt it. Josh Heupel didn't use the tight ends last season when he had two seniors. I doubt he expands the tight end package now that he has a pair of unproven newcomers. OU will be trying to camouflage its inexperience at tight end next season. Not feature it.

Tom (Norman)

I know spring practice hasn't started yet but was wondering if you've heard any feedback from defensive players about Mike and what changes they see.

Jake Trotter
  (4:07 PM)

Because of NCAA rules, there hasn't been much interaction between Mike and the players. I'll have a better feel for this question in March.

Braden (oklahoma city)

Out of 5 wide receivers coming in who's the biggest deep threat? And who's gonna be in the slot? Brennan Clay?

Jake Trotter
  (4:11 PM)

He's not as polished, but Courtney Gardner has the most potential to become that kind of player. Daniel Brooks, who could play slot, is actually the fastest of the incoming receivers, but he's not an outside receiver. I see Clay, Trey Franks, Brooks and Sterling all getting looks in the slot. Eventually, I think Sterling wins the job there. Maybe not right away, though.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is this a make or break year for Josh Heupel at offensive coordinator?

Jake Trotter
  (4:12 PM)

OU was top 10 in scoring last season, despite not having its best player for a third of the season. So no, this is not a make or break season for Heupel. He had one bad game plan, Oklahoma State, and it was bad. But Heupel had a nice season for a rookie coordinator. He'll only get better.

Sean (St.Louis)

Since Tyrone Swoopes is out of the picture what other QBs in your opinion will OU go for? or I should say if any qb is out there would be a great fit for OU.second question. how do you see the 2013 class panning on the defensive side of the ball of the like of D.J. Ward and do OU have a chance in getting him?

Jake Trotter
  (4:15 PM)

According to our recruiting guru Bob Przybylo, it appears that OU's top three are Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline), Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame).Browne already has an offer, and Heupel has great relationships with Scott and Hilinski. He is going to go out to California to watch Hilinski in the spring and has been talking with Scott since Scott was in eighth grade.OU is in great shape with Ward, but he will be highly recruited by all the top programs from across the country.

Mason (alabama) [via mobile]

It looks like OU has one of the toughest 3 game stretches in the Big 12 with @WVU, vs OSU and @Texas Cocaine University! How does the 3 game stretch and their entire schedule fare for OU?

Jake Trotter
  (4:18 PM)

Texas has a pretty tough stretch with OSU, West Virginia and OU back-to-back-to-back, but OU's is about as tough, considering WV and TCU are on the road. That stretch will make or break OU's season. It could catapult OU into the national title game. It could also send the Sooners to the Insight Bowl again.

Brad (Norman)

Where will Wort play? Could we see a bigger MLB like Bird at the starting spot?

Jake Trotter
  (4:19 PM)

Tom Wort is not moving anywhere. He will remain OU's staring MLB. Unless he gets moved to fullback, Bird will be his backup. OU fans should know better than most, you always need a solid, proven backup at MLB.

Kris (Des Moines)

Not sure why OU fans are whining about the schedule?? In the BCS era you need a strong finish. So ending strong bodes better for BCS standings. To OU fans if your afraid of playing a tough stretch you shouldn't be expecting another title!

Jake Trotter
  (4:20 PM)

Agreed. Remember how Black October led to OU being ranked No. 1 back in 2000? This stretch could help in the same way. Of course, that's assuming OU win those games.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

What top 5-star level recruits do you anticipate the Sooners landing in 2013? Will Stoops be able to lock down the top players in state this recruiting season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:22 PM)

We don't even know yet which recruits are going to be 5 stars. I like OU's chances with Ward, who will be the top recruit in the state.

Rod (Tulsa )

So much for your prediction on Sooners having a good shot at Swoops???? People on my message board have better info then you ???????????????????????????

Jake Trotter
  (4:24 PM)

You're right. A "good shot" means "definitely, positively."

Joshua (Houston)

"RED October" not "Black." Come on, Trotter; step up your game.

Junior (OKC)

Who do you think will have a bigger year Reynolds or Stills and why?

Jake Trotter
  (4:26 PM)

Stills. Reynolds has too many questions marks with the kidney, the attitude issues. Stills played through a tender hamstring all season. We know what he can do when healthy.

Arlando (Norman, OK)

Ok Jake, no foreplay . Future QB questions : Bell , and Thompson , both mobile (knight's not on campus) compared to LJ and recent predecessors, how is their passing progressing in relation to the rate of a "pure" pocket passer at the same stages in their development. If it is behind schedule, could this have had an effect on going after Browne instead of Swoopes?

Jake Trotter
  (4:29 PM)

I don't believe either is "behind" schedule, but both still have work to do. Landry didn't make the big jump until his third year on campus. Bell is entering his third year, so you would expect him to be on a similar track. It's too soon to give Thompson a fair evaluation. Ask me again after the spring game.

Garrett (Broken Arrow)

Jake, your guess on % chance Landry and company can break the 2008 scoring mark? I'm taking a stand on President's Day and saying 50%!

Jake Trotter
  (4:30 PM)

I wouldn't be visiting a Las Vegas sports book any time soon if I were you.

Aaron (Weatherford) [via mobile]

Will Landry Jones ever learn how to avoid the pass rush? And if not will the sooner offensive line be any better in 2012?

Jake Trotter
  (4:33 PM)

If he wants to be a Top 10 pick, Landry needs to devote the next few months to his footwork. It's one of the glaring weaknesses in his game. As for the line, it has a chance to be the best OU's had since 2008. Ikard, Habern, Evans are all 2- and 3-year starters, Shead is an up-and-coming run blocking guard. Lane Johnson is a solid tackle. Among Latu, Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson, I expect someone to emerge as a solid counterpart at tackle.

J.T. (Oklahoma City)

Besides Landry Jones who elses names could you see in next years draft if they have a good season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:33 PM)

Of the underclassmen, Tony Jefferson is the one to watch. I think he'd bolt if he were a second round pick or so.

Arlando (Norman, OK)

Good points on the 3rd year on campus metric Jake. Are there any profound questions that will be answered this spring, that you feel will hold one or some of the keys to next season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

Two things I'll be watching for: Will anyone emerge at boundary cornerback? And without Big Frank or Ronnell, will the Sooners be able to formulate a respectable pass rush?

Joshua (Houston)

Who has the better season next year - C. Nelson or T. Wort?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

Wort, if he stays healthy. If.

Dave (Tulsa)

Hey Jake, this is more of a comment than a question. I know how hard it has to be to follow the greatest QB in school history but I believe Landry this year. Amidst the scrutiny he's faced throughout his career, it appears that he finally has a solid line, RB's that look to perform well, and a promising receiving corp. Yet, it's college football so anything can happen, he may regress and play awful. It just seems like this year could possibly be his "story book" ending. Who knows, if I could change anything about him it wouldn't be anything that has to do with football, I want him to beleive in himself.

Jake Trotter
  (4:37 PM)

Good points. The skill set is there. The mental part? That's the million dollar question.

Tom Wort (Norman, OK)

Why do people ask every single chat if I will be the starting MLB or not? I mean what the heck? I did a pretty solid job last season and nobody has my experience. Trotter could you please drive it in their simple minds that I am the baddest mother MLB we got!?!?

Jake Trotter
  (4:37 PM)

Consider it done.

Kelle Jones (Norman)

Jake, true or false? I'll be full time starter, replacing Travis Lewis at LB by midseason?

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

False. Unless Corey Nelson gets moved to nickelback. Then True.

Neil (Tulsa)

Any news on the Sooner Network? There was a article about it last month but since then nothing

Jake Trotter
  (4:40 PM)

No new news. I expect OU to announce a deal with a carrier in the coming weeks. But these things take time.

Ryan (Little Rock, AR)

I realize that OU has decided to go to a more national recruiting plan. However, we all know that Oklahoma and Texas need to continue to be our base for recruiting. Do you feel like this will cause negative consequences for the 2013 recruiting class as we have already seen many of our Texas targets commit to UT and aTm?

Jake Trotter
  (4:41 PM)

The reason OU has gone to a national recruiting plan is so that it's not reliant on signing players from just one part of the country. I don't see any negative consequences in terms of getting players from Oklahoma/Texas. As for team chemistry, team cohesion? The jury is still out on that one, in my opinion.

Tim (Edmond (Via Telpathy))

Jake, How likely is it that Whaley is ready for the fall opener? If not then, when? Have you reporters heard anything from the doctors on this?

Jake Trotter
  (4:43 PM)

It's not 100 percent. I keep thinking about Adrian Taylor, and how he was never completely healthy after breaking his ankle in the Sun Bowl. Whaley's injury was not nearly as serious. But it wouldn't shock me if he wasn't ready to go by August, either.

Nolan (Iowa)

What are the chances that Justin Manning signs with OU?

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Where do the Sooners currently stand in the recruitment of Justin Manning? Will the recent issues at TCU help OU's efforts?

Jake Trotter
  (4:46 PM)

OU has been and remains in good shape. Texas is making a run, though. This will be a battle.

Brent V (Clemson)

2 years ago we did a great job against Dana Holgorsen in Stillwater. Will MIke use that game as a blue print when OU heads to Morgantown?

Jake Trotter
  (4:48 PM)

The blue print for beating OSU that year was the surprise 3-4 front the Sooners sprung out of nowhere. If Mike was going to use that as his starting point, I'm sure he would have implemented it in one of the two games Arizona played OSU afterward. So, no. Different players, different programs, different seasons.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

What DBs are the Sooners targeting in the 2013 class?

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

S George Baltimore, CB Stanvon Taylor and S Kameron Miles are some names to keep an eye on.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Better OU running back, Adrian Peterson or Billy Sims?

Jake Trotter
  (4:52 PM)

Sims had the better college career. But AD would have, had it not been for the injuries.

Kris (Des Moines)

I'll take this one Jake...Billy Sims...

Jake Trotter
  (4:53 PM)

A great question, the top 5 RBs in OU history. How would you rank Joe Washington, Greg Pruitt, Steve Owens, Sims, Peterson, Griffin, Vessels (who am I forgetting?)

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Jake, any news on Jamelle Holieway? He was my favorite OU quarterback of all time, but I know he's had legal issues since leaving Norman, and was curious if things have improved for him.

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

I actually spoke with Jamelle for a half hour last week. I didn't ask him any personal questions. But he seemed to be doing OK.

Mack B (Austin)

How much will OU throttle me by this year?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

let's just say you better have a QB by Oct. 13.

Mark (tulsa)

Who is better next year Ou or Texas

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

OU.

Thomas (Bee Cave)

Long term conjecture for the basketball program?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

I like Kruger. I think he and his staff have done a reasonably good job making this team competitive. But the cupboard is bare. And until Kruger recruits better players (his forte is developing players, not recruiting), the Sooners are going to have a hard time making the NCAA tourney.

Walk1378 (Yukon,Ok)

Worried about running game. How do we look and what are yout thoughts on Defensive ends and tackles?

Jake Trotter
  (4:58 PM)

I'd be more worried about the defensive line than the running game. The Sooners have difference makers in the backfield. I'm not so sure the same is true of the defensive line minus Frank and Ronnell.

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

Guys, that's all the time we have this week. Sorry I couldn't get to all the questions. If you didn't get a question in, send it to the mailbag. We'll do the chat again next week, same time, same place. Until then, have a great week.