- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jake Trotter answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football in his mailbag every Friday. Got a question for Jake? Submit it here.
Christopher in Kalamazoo, Mich., writes: Jake, who would be your ideal, reasonable replacement for Brent Venables? I hear a lot about Tim Kish, but if I had my choice of the names being floated around I'd take Randy Shannon. He has tons of experience, a great footprint on Florida recruiting. It just seems like the ideal choice to me.
Jake Trotter: Because of his ties to Mike Stoops and reputation as an ace recruiter, Kish is probably the favorite to land the job. Shannon is interesting, but would he really bring prospects from Florida all the way to Norman on any kind of consistent basis? I’m skeptical. Plus, the NCAA investigation going on at Miami is a red flag. Kish would be a solid hire, but here are two more names to watch. Mike Tressel, the linebackers and special teams coach at Michigan State and younger brother of Jim Tressel. Since Mike Tressel has been in East Lansing, the Spartans have been spectacular at both linebacker and special teams. I’ll also throw out Ron Stoops Jr. I know, it’s a long shot. Then again, Ron Stoops coaches linebackers at Youngstown State, and apparently knows a couple of guys on the OU staff.
Zach in Claremore, Okla., writes: What other coaching changes do you see happening this offseason?
Jake Trotter: After Bob Stoops hires a linebackers coach that should be it.
Chad in Edmond, Okla., writes: What do you think was the biggest deciding factor in [Brent] Venables leaving? That Mike came on and Venables was no longer sole defensive coordinator? Was it the cash that Clemson was offering? Or do you think he just wanted to go somewhere new?
Jake Trotter: This all came down to Venables’ goal of one day becoming a head coach. Venables felt that the move to Clemson would bring him one step closer to that goal. I can’t disagree with him. I believe Venables felt a little bit of stagnation in his career by staying in Norman. And with Mike Stoops back in the picture, it would have been difficult for Venables to gain traction in the head coaching job market. If OU’s defense shined, Mike would have gotten most of the credit. If Clemson’s defense shines, Venables will get the credit, making him a more attractive prospective head coach.