Is OU changing its recruiting philosophy? 

January, 27, 2012
The winds of change are rippling through the University of Oklahoma.

Mike Stoops has returned to run the Sooners' defense and, after 12 years in Norman, Brent Venables has left the program to run Clemson’s defense, opening up a spot on the coaching staff for newly hired linebackers coach Tim Kish.

Head coach Bob Stoops’ decision to hire Kish is another sign of subtle changes at OU. The Sooners are in the midst of expanding their recruiting efforts on both coasts, and Kish’s hire is an example of what could be a change in OU’s recruiting philosophy.

Here’s a closer look at how OU’s recruiting has transformed in recent years:

Kish’s hire

Kish jumped right into the mix, immediately visiting Arizona standout Davonte Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal), a player the Sooners weren’t actively recruiting a week ago. Kish’s recruiting exploits and West Coast ties fit in perfectly with OU’s desire to expand its recruiting efforts into Pac-12 territory. Kish did a terrific job recruiting Arizona and Northern California during his time at Arizona, while also pursuing elite national prospects like current New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski from Pittsburgh.

Regarded as a quality recruiter, Kish should be able to use his Pac-12 region ties to help OU expand even further into the area.