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Przybylo's Mailbag: 2014 recruiting pace

8/9/2012

Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every week. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Randy in Norman, Okla., asks: You keep mentioning how Texas offering all those kids last week is a good thing. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Bob Przybylo: Sure, no problem, Randy. What I believe more than anything is it will accelerate the 2014 recruiting class across the board. A lot of the drama that might be there between February and April should now disappear.

With Texas officially offering recruits, the mystery is not there. You look at it from this year’s class. Had Texas already made offers, perhaps OU fans wouldn’t have gotten their hopes up with quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) or wide receiver Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit).

By the first junior day in 2013, everybody is going to have a better idea of the real and fringe targets. The dominoes are going to fall into place a lot faster at schools such as Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU, too. Texas has shown that it still has the power. I mean four commits for the 2014 class in the last week lets you know that a couple of mediocre seasons on the field means nothing on the recruiting trail right now.

Now, the OU coaches can put their focus on recruits who actually want to be Sooners.


Ben in Knoxville, Tenn., asks: We’re almost at the point of recruiting picking up again. What’s the biggest position of need starting in September?

Bob Przybylo: Defensive tackle is No. 1 and No. 2 for me right now. Right or wrong, there are a lot of OU fans who feel like the Sooners have ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) in the bag.

But until he actually commits, it's tough to find a bigger need. OU is in the conversation with several defensive tackles. Junior college prospects such as Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson CC) and Quincy Russell (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley CC) are high on OU and vice versa but there no guarantees with either one of them. Especially with Johnson, who appears to be SEC-bound.

I still believe OU needs at least two tackles, and with having none at this point, Jackie Shipp has some work to do.

Linebacker is a concern, but I think it’s more about fans wondering what Tim Kish is looking to do in terms of recruiting the position than it is an actual need.

Running back will also be an intriguing spot to watch. Will OU find another gem or simply be content with having Cypress (Texas) Ranch running back Keith Ford and look to use that scholarship elsewhere?


Gary in Oklahoma City asks: I know you’ll be hitting the road for Oklahoma high school practices. What 2014 in-state prospect is a little under the radar and could bust out this season?

Bob Przybylo: He's not under the radar in my mind, but I think the fall is going to be very good for Kai Callins (Guthrie, Okla./Guthrie).

There's still a question of which position he should be playing. The early favorite is defensive back, but he has been productive in summer camps at wide receiver, too. He is receiving interest from a lot of top schools and OU hasn’t forgotten about him.

Callins attended OU’s spring game and was at OU’s camp in June and is developing a solid starting point with receivers coach Jay Norvell. Callins had a coming out party in helping Guthrie win the 5A state championship last season. If Guthrie has any hopes of a repeat, it’s going to be because Callins has been incredible.