Monday, January 7, 2013
OU postpones junior day to focus on 2013
By Bob Przybylo
Is it possible the last 72 hours have simply been a nightmare for Oklahoma? OU fans would certainly wish that was the case.
When it rains, it pours, and it’s a thunderstorm of bad news for the Sooners right now. The latest misstep is with OU’s junior day.
Bob Stoops and the Sooners have postponed their junior day away from this weekend.
Originally scheduled for this Saturday, ESPN Watch List quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was among several expected visitors to confirm they have been notified that OU is postponing its junior day.
It’s possible it won’t hurt things in the long run, but it does give the perception of the OU program not being very organized. OU picks its own junior day and Bob Stoops and company decided Jan. 12 was the best option. To change now, less than a week before the event, is not a positive sign.
The reasoning makes sense and is logical. The Sooners cannot seriously address the 2014 class when the 2013 class is not sitting pretty.
And this weekend is a big visitors weekend for senior recruits. Five have already been confirmed to be making their official visits, including four-star cornerback L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and two recruits where commitments seem likely to occur in three-star wide receiver K.J. Young (Perris, Calif./Citrus Hill) and defensive tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland).
But it has been known for a while that Jan. 11 appeared to be a huge visitors weekend. Other official visitors might be planned, especially after what happened Sunday, which could have played a role.
OU’s defensive class took a major hit Sunday evening when ESPN 300 linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit), a lifelong OU fan, flipped his commitment to Texas A&M.
His defection left a gaping hole at linebacker for OU’s class. It would be tough for OU coaches Tim Kish and Mike Stoops to spend the amount of quality time necessary with 2014 prospects when 2013 is not even close to being sewn up.
The trouble, though, is OU looked like it was ahead of the curve with such an early junior day. A constant complaint among 2013 recruits was OU took too long to offer. With an early junior day, some of those problems were being addressed.
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It's unknown when the junior day will actually occur now, but it’s tough to see OU having the stage all to itself. This is a busy month of junior days and the possibility of having to compete against the likes of Texas, Texas A&M or LSU is not ideal.
There are some silver linings with the change. For one thing, the players and students are guaranteed to be on campus when junior day does happen. Students do not have to be and probably will not be on campus this weekend.
And now the 2014 prospects will get all the necessary attention needed to have a successful junior day. No coaches’ time will be divided with official visitors and junior day recruits.
Heading into this week, no confirmed visitor was from a location that would require a flight. All were from either Oklahoma or Texas, well within driving distance.
Add in the Cotton Bowl debacle against Texas A&M with the decommitment of Mastrogiovanni and now the junior day postponement, and it’s safe to say it has been a rough 72 hours for OU football.
The class can be salvaged, and it might start with some help this weekend, but it’s an uphill battle right now for OU coaches on the trail.