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Friday, December 28, 2012
Recruiting faceoff: OU's early junior day

By Bob Przbylo and Brandon Chatmon

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

This week’s question: OU is having its first junior day on Jan. 12, earlier than it has been in a long time. Is this a good idea?

Bob Stoops
Bob Stoops and the Sooners are hosting their first junior day for 2014 recruits on Jan. 12.
Bob Przybylo: This is an excellent idea. If I was on Twitter, I would retweet it. If this was Facebook, I would like the status update. This is an example of the OU coaching staff adapting and listening to the kids. Some 2013 recruits mentioned OU simply took too long to get involved. Get them in early January and show them you know the direction of your program. You know what you want, who you want, and now you’re going to go make it happen.

Brandon Chatmon: While I agree it's a great idea, it's troubling as well. The Sooners will bring in several talented 2014 prospects on the same weekend as several key targets as they try to finalize their 2013 class. The question must be asked: Is it wise to split the attention between the class of 2013 and class of 2014? True enough, it's probably not a huge deal nor does it put undue stress on the coaches. Nonetheless, should OU add those distractions at all? I lean toward no.

Przybylo: That weekend is not only a big football visitors weekend, but Jan. 12 is the Bedlam home basketball game against Oklahoma State. I’m not going to sit here and say the OU basketball atmosphere is incredible, but anytime it’s the Sooners and Cowboys, it’s going to be interesting. That’s not a bad game for top 2013-14 recruits to see if you can’t show them an OU home football game.

Chatmon: If the Sooners are going to have a junior day in early January, the date of Bedlam basketball is better than most. But why not choose a date later in January to give the coaching staff a better grasp on the status of its 2013 class? There are still some holes to fill before February and bringing in juniors to add distractions is unwise. We all know that recruits need more individual attention than ever and bringing in players who won't sign until February 2014 could end up hurting the 2013 class. And that's not a risk the Sooners have to take.

Przybylo: The OU coaching staff has to be feeling pretty confident with the way it closed out the 2012 calendar year. Getting two commits at both defensive and offensive tackle has taken away that sense of desperation the Sooners could have been feeling going into January. OU has its targets set on certain 2013 prospects. The coaches know who they are. The recruits know who they are. Why not start building a bond between 2013-14 kids now at junior day and the Jan. 11 weekend? OU made some missteps for its 2013 class. With this move, 2014 is off to a fantastic start.

Chatmon: It could be off to a fantastic start, or it could stumble out of the blocks. What if an elite 2014 prospect comes to Norman on Jan. 12 and feels overlooked? There's only so much attention that can be paid to each recruit, so if even one 2014 prospect feels shunned and holds it against the Sooners, their smart plan of an early Junior day could come back to haunt them and make their job even harder. Having junior day in early January brings plenty of positives, but its fool's gold to overlook the potential negatives as well.