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Przybylo's Mailbag: Receivers in '13

5/3/2012

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.

Tony in Tulsa, Okla., asks: We had the best wide receiver class in the nation last year. I haven’t heard a thing about this year’s group. What is Jay Norvell doing?

Bob Przybylo: OU receivers coach Jay Norvell is taking his time, and like all Sooners coaches, evaluating and determining which recruits deserve offers.

If you’re going to have a great receiving class one year -- which is no doubt what the Sooners and Norvell pulled off in 2012 -- it usually takes away the huge need for the position in the next class.

OU also sort of got lucky in having two of the top 10 receivers in its region with Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall) and Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit). That’s not the case this year. There are obviously some Texas targets, but that’s always a real battle.

Norvell offered several top national recruits (many are in the ESPN 150), but OU hasn’t really stood out at this point.

There are some connections. Four-star Sebastian Larue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) is friends with 2012 signee Derrick Woods. And fifth-ranked receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) is friends with 2012 signee David Smith. Neither, however, has taken visits to OU yet.

Treadwell, of course, was supposed to be at the spring game but canceled because of the severe weather. He ended up having a great time at Michigan’s spring game.


Adam in Joplin, Mo., asks: Who is going to be the best receiver from the 2012 group? Being a Missouri guy, I’m hoping it’s Durron Neal.

Bob Przybylo: You might not have to hope when it comes to Neal. He has the qualities to make him a special receiver. But coming off an incredible spring, it's tough to bet against Trey Metoyer. But knowing Neal and in talking to Shepard, that should only serve as motivation for both of them.

Of all the traits that this stellar group has, it might be their competitive drive that has set them apart from everybody else. They all want to be the best player on the field and all believe they are when they’re out there.


Gary in Lawton, Okla., asks: Are the Oklahoma high school kids for 2013 going a little under the radar? It seems like there are a lot more quality kids than what people were saying a couple of months ago.

Bob Przybylo: I have no argument with that. The 2012 class had three of the top 80 prospects in the nation with Shepard and running backs Alex Ross (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) and Barry J. Sanders (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall).

The star power is not there in 2013, but the depth is. And the OU coaches are realizing it. The Sooners have offered two in-state recruits in back-to-back weeks with cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) and offensive tackle Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union).

OU, of course, has the commitment of defensive end D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton). And here in a few weeks, we could be talking about quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) being the guy for OU.

Ward is the top-ranked in-state recruit, but the depth at linebacker and defensive back is something that should be noticed.


Mitch in Wichita, Kan., asks: It is great to have Mike Stoops back. How impressive has he been with recruits since coming back?

Bob Przybylo: One thing about Stoops is that he knows exactly what he's looking for. And flat out telling the world he needs five defensive backs lets recruits know there are possibilities out there.

Stoops has been incredibly active the last two weeks on the West Coast and in Texas. His passion is easily the No. 1 thing recruits mention when talking about OU's new defensive coordinator.

OU most likely won’t get its top five targets at cornerback and safety, but it won’t be because of lack of effort from Stoops. He closed out 2012 strong and is off to a good start in 2013 even if the Sooners are still searching for the first of those five commits in the secondary.