We'll get rolling here in a sec...
If signing day goes in our favor do you think we can get in the top 10 for 2013 recruiting?
Oscar, everything -- and I mean everything -- would have to go right for OU to sneak into the Top 10. More likely OU is looking best cast at a Top 15 class, and that's if they can lure in Cochran, Baker, etc...
Jake, is the day of the spring game set yet?
No date has been set, but if I had to guess, you're looking at either April 13 or 20.
Who are the top recruits/targets that we still have a good chance to get?
The OT list took a hit over the weekend. Matt Finnin committed to Nebraska, and Dwayne Johnson seems on the verge of doing the same. Rami Hammad opted to visit Texas this weekend instead of OU, so I don't like OU's chances there, either. The good news is that Aaron Cochran didn't commit to Cal over the weekend, so he's still very much a possibility. OU would also like to add another CB, either Adrian Baker or LJ Moore.
We're losing a lot of players this year do you think we're in serious trouble?
Serious trouble? No. But I don't see this being a national title contending team, either. Seven starters are now gone on the defensive side of the ball, and Mike Stoops already had his work cut out there.
Hey Jake, Is the OU offense ever going to use the TE anymore? I feel like we sort of wasted James Hanna, who was a tremendous athlete and we didn't seem to really target one this year in recruiting. What do u think?
Bob Stoops said a week ago that he wants to use the TE more, but I don't see the TE position being a huge part of the offense next year, either. Maybe McNamara and Grant are ready to contribute. Even then, I don't see them getting a lot of balls thrown their way.
Stoops made comments about a minor stadium expansion with the press box. Any specifics on what Joe C's plan might be and when Headington hall will be completed for them to move to this project?
No specifics yet. I don't believe this has reached the blueprint stage yet. Was more a Stoops suggestion than anything. Headington is supposed to be done before the fall semester begins, but I don't see anything happening with the pressbox until late in 2014 at the earliest.
assuming bell wins the job, do you still antcipate seeing knight in certain packages?
No. Actually think Kendal Thompson would be more likely to have a package designed for him.
Jale if you had to send one member of the ou team into a steel cage with bane, who would you give the best shot to come out? Farniok possibly? Tyrus is pretty good athitting guys with helmets on,
Roy Finch would last the longest, because he'd be the hardest to catch.
whos some of the guys you think could possibly be at a different position next year?
Good question. I don't know of anyone specifically who has been discussed. So just speculating, I think it's possible one of the WRs ends up in the secondary.
There seems to be a lot of concern over this years recruiting class. My concern is what the heck happened to all those stars from the 2011 class? On paper that was a good class. Lots of 3, 4, & 5 star recruits. Other than Brandon Williams that hasn't necessarily transferred to the field. Will this class make an impact this year?
Look at the 2008 class. That was the best class of the Stoops era on paper, and more guys flamed out than started from that class. This class could offer some instant impact, especially at safety, where Hatari Byrd and Ahmad Thomas could play right away. Stanvon Taylor could help out, too, maybe at nickel or dimeback.
Jake, if it looks like Drew Allen will not start next year, and he does decide to transfer, what would the most likely schools be that he would go to?
Good question. I know Allen would like to go to an FBS school, but for this to be worth his while, he'd have to go somewhere that's all but promising him a starting spot. For that reason, I think it's possible he ends up somewhere in the FCS, like a Sam Houston State.
Has there been any chatter about bringing Heupel down from the press box to the field this year? It seems as though Landry never progressed from the time Heupel went upstairs and I hope this doesn't translate to Blake Bell as well. I don't think there would be a huge dropoff in play calling either...
There was a little discussion about making that transition, but it never materialized.
any concern about any of our guys not making it campus?
DT Kerrick Huggins is an academic risk. Until DT Quincy Russell actually arrives, it scares, considering how OU was burned with jucos last year.
As the line between college and pro sports blurs, I find that a necessary but not sufficient criteria for success in football is to either 1) be located in a hot bed of talent (SEC schools) or 2) have a large national market (notre dame). If true, doesn't this bode poorly for traditional small market powers like OU and Nebraska in coming years?
I don't see it that way. It helps to have a hotbed of talent nearby, but that's not different from 40 years ago. Notre Dame has a large national market and hadn't done anything for 25 years until this season.
Jake if we steal Heupels headset and give you it to you, how many touches a game would you give Millard?
A dozen, minimum.
Odds on OU hoops making the Big Dance this year? Buddy Hield looks like a player!
As recent as two weeks ago, I called this an NIT team. I'm going to have to eat those words. Barring some unforeseen collapse, this team will be dancing.
Boone Picken's Stadium might have beer in the future, what are the odds of Gaylord Stadium doing the same thing?
Slim to none.
Nice article on the 2012 class, Jake. How many players have enrolled early and out of those whom do you think will have the best chance to gain significant playing time next year?
Here's the story Dane is referring to: http://insider.espn.go.com/colleges/oklahoma/football/story/_/id/8863980/oklahoma-sooners-2012-class-had-players-make-immediate-impact-talentAll of them could contribute (Ward, Cavil, Barnett, Thomas).
Does Bedlam decide the winner of the Big 12 again?
Very good chance it does. TCU could be in the mix, but the Frogs have to go to Stillwater and Norman. Who knows, maybe Texas contends this year. They have 16-17 starters back, and they get OSU in Austin. If I had to wager, I'd go with Bedlam being the decider, though.
Jake have you had a chance to see the film on some of our incoming players? Anyone jump out to you as a good possibility to get a lot of playing time next year?
I like all the secondary guys (Thomas, Byrd, Taylor). I think they help right away. St. John, the juco tackle, should factor into the two-deep. Ward and Dimon maybe at DE. Cavil possibly at WR/flex tight end.
Which position do you expect a newcomer to make the biggest difference on offense?
Probably Cavil, since hes enrolled early. Watch out for Keith Ford, though. The Sooners are overflowing with backs, but Cale Gundy has never been afraid to give true freshmen carries when they've warranted it.
Do you really believe Mike Stoops is the answer at defensive coordinator? I know he has only had one year, but the defense looked bad alot last year, and it seems like we aren't getting any top defensive recruits.
The same was being said about Brent Venables last year. Mike Stoops needs time before we can fully evaluate him. There were some positive signs, namely how the secondary improved from 2011.
Any hope for some help at OT reruits?? Kittle just seems to be a terrible recruiter....
Kittle does have two OTs already in Daimler and St. John. He could add a very good third one in Cochran, if the Sooners can land him. I agree, they've whiffed on a lot of guys, but if Cochran signs, it's a pretty decent OT class.
Bob Stoops was said to be "recommited" to recruiting in this offseason, yet OU only signed ONE recruit off the Rivals top 100 list for the second year in a row. Do you think OU Football's downward slide will continue in light of this?
Check the ESPN 150 and check back with me.
which DB didn't show up as host last big recruiting weekend?
We have some theories, but Goodman wouldn't say, so I don't want to cast dispersions on a potentially innocent victim.
Is Roy Finch out of the doghouse? Any chance he does more than return kicks next year?
Yes and no.
Why does Oklahoma no longer compete with Texas for the top recruits in Texas?
Texas isn't exactly tearing up the recruiting trail, either. If fact, they tried to pursue Cavil, Smallwood and Ford late in the game, and got denied by all three.
Jake, keep up the great work..Any chance that we might see Mangino back?
Thanks, Woof. I think it's possible. Maybe not this year. But Mangino is waiting for a job and he's well liked by the right people in Norman. It comes down to there being an opening, which at the moment, there isn't.
I have read a few articles on Blake Bell being a top 10 contender for the heisman next year. Do you see it or is there too much hype behind this one?
Yeah, that's insane. Maybe he wins it, but calling him a frontrunner at this point is ridiculous -- he may not even win the starting QB job.
How can Texas a@m have so many commitments? Isn't there a limit on scholarships?
There's a limit, but the loophole in the rulebook, is that you can backdate members of your class be enrolling them in the spring. A&M makes the math work if they get 9 early enrollees, which I think is Sumlin's plan.
Any recruiting news???
BREAKING NEWS: no recruiting news.
What are the chances of landing Moore, Baker or Goodman? Who do we have the best shot at?
Probably Moore. I get the feeling Baker is going to Clemson, and I've never liked OU's chances with Goodman. Moore being HS teammates with Byrd helps OU's chances there.
Has Knight really been that impressive? Do you still believe the job is Bell's to lose and that Knight really can't "win" it?
The job is Bell's to lose, but I guess it's possible that if Knight were incredibly impressive he could win it. The more likely scenario (in that scenario) is that Bell struggles, and Knight runs with his chance.
Jake - what do you think of this comparison - Landry Jones = Joe Flaco. Same frame, tall and lanky, not a runner, huge arm, not real passionate or fiery, steady disposition.
They actually have two different styles. Flacco likes taking shots downfield, and throws a great deep ball. Landry is more of a dink and dunk QB.
Is Trey Franks still on the team? At what position? Jaz Reynolds still here?
Franks is playing safety. Jaz remains on the team.
I was told that Knight had a weak arm and could only throw the ball around 45 yards. Is this accurate or is it just some Poke being..... well a Poke?
Why are you going to OSU message boards for your OU info?
Jake, Thanks for answering our questions. I want your opinion on this, with the team we had last year, we know what JH did on offense (scheme-wise), how do you think Kevin Wilson would have done? If you say better, then does it point to JH's inadequacies as a schemer or play-caller?
Kevin was always unfairly maligned while he was here in Norman. I thought he was a very good play-caller, and did some of the things OU fans are now clamoring for (running between the tackles, using the TE, calling a physical offense). Wilson is a more experienced play-caller, and just like anything else, the person with the most experience is going to have that edge.
It was a Poke who likes to make appearances here on your chats posing as others. I have not seen him throw that much so that is why I was asking. So seriously how is his arm strength?
His arm strength is fine.
OU used to do strength and conditioning after practice, however they no longer do so. Is this a result of NCAA crackdown on the OU programs? We've seen the program lose sight of team toughness, theory is this is contributing factor.
No, that has nothing to do with the NCAA. Since I've been covering the team, I can't recall them doing post-practice conditioning during the season. But I'll ask Stoops about it this spring to see if this was a change in philosophy, and why, if they did it before, they don't do it now.
Jake, does Shepard the CB transfer make it to campus?
Not until 2014 at the earliest.
do you see Blake Bell losing the top spot to TK this year or doe BB seem to have the edge over TK?
BB has the edge.
I have always felt like Stoops was better off early in his career because OU was the "underdog", and that he (and ou) have struggled as the front-runner. Agree? This leads me to wonder if they might not be better than people think this next year, given their probable return to "underdog" or at least under-the-radar status in 2013.
I asked Stoops this very thing a week ago, and he said he didn't care one way or the other. But I think it might take some pressure off the players, and let them play looser. Will that translate into wins? Who knows. But I don't view it as a negative.
Has OU slipped into a second teir team? Not up there with the best teams in the country? They seem to lose every big game, and they have been blown out in recent BCS bowls?
If OU is on the second tier, who is on the first tier with Alabama?
chances ou makes the national championship game.
I wouldn't lay down money in Vegas on it.
When do spring practices start?
March, but Stoops hasn't set a start date yet.
What do you think of D.J. Ward? I have seen him play in person and he has been extremely dominant in high school. Do you think he can have an immediate impact on our depleted defensive line?
Yes, though I worry about Ward's rust having not played high school ball last year. I think that may have affected Metoyer this past season, having spent last fall at Hargrave. But Ward is big time. He could help.
I think Alabama has lapped the field and that given the right situation, OU can play with anyone else. If we had made the Sugar Bowl and played Florida, I don't think everyone would be doing their best Chicken Little impersonation.
Yep, fair point.
FYI...Lehman and Dvorchek said the team always did strength and conditioning sessions after practice when they played however the team no longer do so.
Right, I just wonder why they stopped doing it and when. I'll try to find out.
Jake, on football signing day, do you think Stoops will actually answer questions such as Why only 2 commits in the ESPN top 150? And can OU compete with other Top 10 programs without more recruiting success.
Stoops won't address any question that includes recruiting rankings.
I like Stoops' quoting of Billy Donavan, that sometimes its a good thing not to have returning starters. Is it possible that the D-line is actually BETTER this next year, with younger, hungrier and maybe even more talented players?
It's possible. Phillips and Wade would have to show more than they have for that to be possible. But maybe the light switch flips for both of them.
Jake, Seems like a lot more serious questions are floating in to your chat than in the past. Do you think this is reflective of the fans fear regarding the state of the program?
I know, why is everybody so serious these days?
Every year there are surprises on signing day, do you see OU gaining or losing recruits?
Hard to see anyone else from OU's class getting flipped. Texas tried that with Ford, and Dimon seems pretty committed. OU always seems to flip someone late, but it's always someone out of left field. No way for me to predict.
Any players recruited by oregon on OU late radar since their HC left?
They had interest in the tight end Mattingly, but it looks like he's sticking with the Ducks.
Who will be our top wrs in yds this year?Neal, Sheppard, Reynolds, Metoyer
Hard to pencil in Jaz. You forgot Saunders, too. I'd probably go 1. Saunders, 2. Shepard, 3. Metoyer.
I think the D Tackles were pretty decent this year, but the D Ends were awful. Fans weren't near as negative about the tackles when Ronnell and Frank were on the outside. Thoughts?
Definitely fair. But the future at end looks brighter with Dimon, Ward, Tapper, Onouha than it does at tackle.
Guys, that's all the time we have this week. Sorry I couldn't get to everyone's questions. Leave them on the forum, or on my Twitter, and I'll try to get to all of them. We'll do the chat again next Monday, same time, same place. Until then, Happy MLK day.