- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
Recruiting is far from an exact science. If a college program brings in 25 recruits in a class and 18 or more develop into contributors on the field, that 72 percent success ratio makes for a great class. On Tuesday, SoonerNation looked at the five best evaluations by the Sooners since 2006. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the five worst evaluations since 2006.
1. Defensive end David Anderson, Class of 2007: Anderson was a late addition to OU’s class and picked the Sooners over Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisville and others. The Sooners didn’t start showing strong interest until January because they needed to fill a need.
OU career: Anderson never made an impact at OU and decided to leave the team after a redshirt season. He simply decided he didn’t want to play football.
ESPN.com scouts take out of HS: NA
Anderson is No. 1 because.... the Sooners brought him in to fill numbers and add bodies along the defense line. Yet it didn’t pay off because Anderson decided he didn’t want to continue his football career. Thus, the Sooners might have well saved the scholarship. It was a considerable risk and didn’t prove to be worth taking.
2. Defensive end Jonte Bumpus, Class of 2007: The Sooners took a chance on Bumpus, who was very raw and undersized. It didn’t pay off. Fortunately for the Sooners they haven’t lacked talent at the position in recent years.
OU career: Bumpus left OU after a redshirt season and limited action in 2008. He eventually ended up playing football at Western Carolina.
ESPN.com scouts take out of HS: “Right now getting after the quarterback is his strong point, but he needs to add bulk and improve against the run at him and he can be a good all around end.”
Bumpus is No. 2 because.... he wasn’t highly pursued by other schools and wasn’t a chance the Sooners needed to take. Additionally, he wasn’t exceptionally productive in high school. The reasons to hesitate on bringing him in outweighed the reasons to secure his signature.
3. Tackle Britt Mitchell, Class of 2008. A lightly regarded prospect, Mitchell picked the Sooners early in the recruiting process. He picked OU over Texas A&M, Baylor and others.
OU career: Mitchell left Norman shortly after he arrived then flirted with entering the military before ending up playing football at UTEP.
ESPN.com scouts take out of HS: “Mitchell is intriguing because he such a monster of a kid. While his size allows him to smother and push opponents around. at times it also seems his size can be a bit of an obstacle. He will need to play a little more under control and continue to learn to operate in his big frame. Mitchell should be tracked because he has a good upside and could develop into a real beast."
Mitchell is No. 3 because.... his size (6-foot-7, 300 pounds) would intrigue anyone. Yet, clearly he was unsure what he wanted to do with his future. Uncertainty and the commitment it takes to play football at Oklahoma are polar opposites. The Sooners would have been better off going after a different prospect with a different mindset.
4. Linebacker Gus Jones, Class of 2009: The Sooners thought they had a diamond in the rough in Jones, who picked OU over Missouri, Texas Tech, Wyoming and others.
OU career: Jones left OU after a redshirt season and ended up at Division II Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.
ESPN.com scouts take out of HS: “Very strong tackler with great pop on contact but can overrun ball carriers and can tackle high. Overall, Jones could play at the 235-pound range in college while retaining his quick-twitched burst and explosiveness between the tackles. Good prospect potentially sliding under the radar. Should be a stud on special teams as well.”
Jones is No. 4 because.... the Sooners probably didn’t have to take a chance on Jones, who didn’t feel like he fit in during his time in the program. He left because he wanted to play and likely could see that his opportunities to play would be limited in Norman. If he could see that so early in his OU career, why couldn't the Sooners see it before bringing him in?
5. Receiver Tyler Stradford, Class of 2007: The Sooners signed Stradford over Southern Miss, UConn, Memphis and others. Obviously OU felt it had found a diamond in the rough in Stradford, but it was wrong.
OU career: Stradford transferred to North Texas after a redshirt season in Norman. He never made a major impact with the Mean Green.
ESPN.com scouts take out of HS: “Stradford reminds us a little of former Eagles WR Todd Pinkston in terms of build, speed and overall skills, but lets hope that Stradford is tougher. Speed is good, not great. Overall, Stradford has upside and once more polished, could become a nice prospect at the next level.”
Stradford is No. 5 because.... it’s easy to see why the Sooners took a shot in the dark with Stradford since he had good athleticism for a receiver his size (6-foot-2, 185 pounds). Nonetheless, it’s likely the Sooners had plenty of other quality options outside of Stradford. They took a shot and lost out on this signee.
1dMax Olson and Jake Trotter