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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Przybylo: That's an appropriate use of the number three. OU defensive backs coach Mike Stoops said he is looking for five defensive backs in the class. Thomas (Miami/Central) is the second one as the Sooners already have the commitment of four-star athlete Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) who will play cornerback at OU.
The Sooners have offered a number of top defensive backs in California and Florida, but it is tough to gauge where OU stands with some of those talents. OU was in great shape with Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) in March but it has fallen off Smith's radar. With Smith announcing his decision in January, however, the Sooners have time to make another strong run.
Cornerback Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) is still in play. Luke has gone quiet about his recruitment lately, but Chandler Hamilton coach Steve Belles said OU should make Luke’s top five.
A wild card would be in-state cornerback Maurice Chandler (Lawton, Okla./Lawton). A teammate of OU commit D.J. Ward, Chandler has been racking up quality offers in the last couple of months and is starting to talk with Stoops more and more.
OU is one of several schools that have offered the trio of defensive backs at Fresno (Calif.) Central East in L.J. Moore, Johnny Johnson Jr. and Hatari Byrd. The biggest obstacle will be getting them on campus.
Glenn Banker asks: If you were a betting man, what are the chances on Justin Manning? And who do you think is next?
Bob Przybylo: I’m not a betting man, Glenn, but I definitely like OU’s chances with defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). All that stuff about OU not showing “love” early is well in the past. OU defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp has been consistent in talking with Manning for the last couple of months.
Manning said Thursday the Sooners are in his top eight. That’s not a shock to anybody, but it is always good to get the news confirmed.
I do think Manning or a linebacker will be the next commit for the Sooners. A prospect to watch is definitely Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit). He received an OU offer last week and has always been a big-time Sooners fan.
If Mastrogiovanni shows up at OU’s camp next weekend, don’t be shocked if Tim Kish has his first commitment.
Jake in Tulsa, Okla., asks: I was very skeptical about going into Florida, but I guess it’s working. How are you judging the success rate of OU going there?
Bob Przybylo: I like the way you phrased that, Jake. Success rate is the operative term because if OU offers 20 recruits from Florida and gets two or three, is that a success?
My answer is yes. That’s how you start building the pipeline. The Sooners would be foolish to believe they’re going to get six or seven commits from Florida at this point but getting Thomas and running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage Boca Delray) is a huge boost to future efforts.
The OU coaches are clearly not done going into Florida and searching for hidden gems. Many people feel the Sooners found one in cornerback Gary Simon (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs) for the 2012 class so there's still a lot more work to be done.