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Friday, December 7, 2012
Recruiting faceoff: Biggest disappointment?

By Bob Przybylo and Brandon Chatmon

Each week SoonerNation recruiting writers Bob Przybylo and Brandon Chatmon will faceoff on one issue regarding Oklahoma recruiting.

This week’s question: What has been the biggest disappointment for OU so far for its 2013 recruiting class?

Beau Sandland
Until Oklahoma decides to utilize the tight end in the passing game more, prospects such as Beau Sandland will go elsewhere.
Bob Przybylo: The popular choice is ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball), but he had been openly flirting with Texas A&M the whole time and seemingly had been looking for a reason to not pick OU.

I’m going with junior college tight end Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College). OU does not need a bunch of tight ends, but OU tight ends coach Bruce Kittle had made it crystal clear Sandland was his man since the spring.

For OU to not even make Sandland’s final three is a sad indicator of where the Sooners are right now in the pecking order of recruiting. Sandland announced Miami (Fla.), Arizona State and Nebraska as his final three choices Wednesday night.

Kittle set his targets on Sandland in the spring and Sandland made an official visit to OU in August. Nothing ever died down between OU and Sandland as Kittle and Sandland spoke at least once a week every week from that point on.

But when your tight ends only have three catches in 2012, there's not much you can sell the program on at that point. Tight ends have liked to point to Jermaine Gresham, but that was one offensive coordinator ago.

Until Josh Heupel starts to utilize tight ends more, don’t look for any big-time prospects to take a hard look at the Sooners. It’s not worth their time.

Brandon Chatmon: Biggest disappointment? How about everything?

Ok, maybe that's a bit over the top, but the Sooners inability to land a defensive tackle, even though the need at the position is very clear, is shocking to me. Yet, it's not Justin Manning I consider the most disappointing.

That honor goes to Greg Gilmore, the defensive tackle from Hope Mills (N.C.) South View. Gilmore came for a official visit when the Sooners played Notre Dame and, undoubtedly, saw the potential to play immediately in Norman, Okla.

And yet Gilmore, who is No. 104 in the ESPN150, decided to commit to LSU instead. Gilmore had the size and athleticism to help the Sooners defense immediately but decided to play in the SEC for the Tigers over possibly playing as a freshman at OU.

The fact the Sooners got Gilmore on campus was impressive, but it means nothing after their inability to convince him of the opportunities with the Sooners.

And to make matters worse, the Sooners options at the position are quickly dwindling. Therefore the biggest disappointment is probably the fact the Sooners find themselves in this situation in the first place.

It's not easy to find quality defensive tackles. But it's not this hard either.