- Bob Przybylo, Reporter, RecruitingNation
It wasn't expected to be a big weekend for Oklahoma, but the Sooners picked up a huge commitment from running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) on Saturday. Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every Monday. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben in San Antonio asks: How surprising was Bryant’s commitment? I hoped he would commit but never thought it would happen.
Bob Przybylo: It was very surprising, Ben. Few could have seen it coming. Heck, not even Bryant saw it coming. After spending less than two days in Norman, Okla., Bryant had a feeling that OU was the right spot for him.
Bryant, who hadn't been vocal lately about his interest in the Sooners, said that Saturday changed everything. He loved the family atmosphere at OU and feels like he could compete immediately for a starting running back spot. He is very excited about this opportunity.
Bryant was seriously looking at visiting USC, South Carolina and Notre Dame before committing on Saturday. He said taking more visits was part of his plan, but his plans have now changed. Things aren’t progressing as much with defensive recruits, but Bryant has OU fans feeling good again.
Brian in Edmond, Okla., asks: I keep seeing all these top-tier recruits slipping through our fingers and committing elsewhere. Since defense is the priority for 2013, please give me some good news regarding our stance on the defensive side of the ball? Besides Justin Manning, which would be a huge disappointment if he committed somewhere else, give me a few guys who are on the so-called “short list.”
Bob Przybylo: Stay patient, Brian, as OU is making good progress on the defensive side of the ball even if the commits aren’t rolling in.
Recruits to be on the lookout for are defensive end D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and linebacker Chans Cox (Pinetop, Ariz./Blue Ridge). Both have expressed big-time interest in the Sooners and OU has made them a priority.
Defensive back continues to be an intriguing spot. Things should clear up this month regarding some top cornerbacks such as Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop) and Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles), who all attended Texas' spring game on Sunday but were not offered. OU is in the hunt for all three and next few weeks will be interesting.
Cody in Wichita, Kan., asks: I get that Max Browne is the No. 1 quarterback, but has Josh Heupel alienated the other quarterbacks with this philosophy?
Bob Przybylo: You are definitely not alone in this thinking, Cody. The OU coaches haven't been shy about saying that Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) is the guy. You have to be pretty secure in yourself as another quarterback to accept something like that.
OU has hosted two of its top targets in Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) and Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) in the last week without an offer being reported. And another -- quarterback Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) -- said he will be in Norman, Okla., in the next two weeks.
The discussion becomes moot if OU lands Browne and right now OU, USC and Alabama all feel very good about their chances regarding the potential five-star quarterback. But if Browne goes to the Tide or Trojans or somewhere else, there's no telling if pride will become a factor for some of those other quarterbacks. Each recruit will treat the situation differently.
Andy in Albany, N.Y., asks: What does the commitment of Isaiah Cousins mean for the future of OU basketball? You guys are getting a good one.
Bob Przybylo: The commitment of guard Isaiah Cousins (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) isn’t generating the buzz that Bryant’s commitment has in football, but Cousins is a major get for Lon Kruger.
Much like Bryant, Cousins planned to take as many official visits as possible and had dwindled his final five down to OU, Connecticut, Xavier, Virginia Tech and Dayton.
Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino said there is nothing Cousins can't do from the guard position. He can play shooting guard or a point guard, and the light bulb clicked this season for Cousins.
At 6-foot-4, Cousins has great size for a point guard, and there is no reason to believe he won't compete for quality minutes as a freshman in 2012.
1dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon