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Friday, January 11, 2013
Recruiting faceoff: Most important visitor

By Bob Przybylo 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: It’s a huge official visitors weekend for OU. Of the seven confirmed recruits coming to campus, who is the most important?

Bob Przybylo: You could make a serious case for several of them, but I’m going with four-star cornerback L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East). Moore has wanted to see OU for a while, and it finally looks like OU coaches Bob and Mike Stoops are onboard with Moore coming to town. It certainly helps to have Moore’s teammate, ESPN 300 safety Hatari Byrd, as an OU commit, too. It feels like Oregon State is the leader for Moore, but it also feels like Moore is looking for a reason to be swayed. OU needs defensive backs. Moore needs a home. Feels like a perfect match.

Brandon Chatmon: I've got to go with safety Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga). When you look at the Sooners' needs, nothing jumps out more than the safety position with Tony Jefferson's departure. Combine Jefferson's decision with Mike Stoops' defensive system and you have a potential situation on your hands. OU needs to bring in as many quality safeties as possible, become as versatile and athletic as possible and as deep as possible at the safety position. And Goodman would be a terrific step toward reaching those goals.

Przybylo: Nobody is going to look at you funny for saying an ESPN 150 safety is the No. 1 visitor. With Goodman, I think it’s too big of a hill to climb. Schools like USC, LSU and UCLA are in hot pursuit right now for Goodman, and recent history suggests OU cannot win those battles. Safety is key, no doubt, but I don’t think it’s Goodman. Funny how a month can change things. Ask this last month and defensive tackle Charles Walker (Garland, Texas/South Garland) is easily No. 1. But with Jefferson leaving, the secondary is where most eyes are glued right now.

Chatmon: The Sooners' chances could be slim but the fact they've been able to earn an official visit should mean something. It's OU's opportunity to completely blow Goodman away and make him reevaluate the entire recruiting process. And no matter who leads, it's unlikely any program of OU's stature offers the opportunity to step right in from Day 1. Moore would be a quality get, but Goodman would be even better because the number of recruits with his talent at this need position are quickly dwindling.

Przybylo: That’s why the timing of this week is peculiar. Students and players do not have to be on campus if they don’t feel like it. Wonder if OU can blow away Goodman with a rather mundane atmosphere expected for the weekend. Heck, even safety Zack Sanchez was questioning having so many top recruits on campus when nobody is going to be there. Either way, it’s a big weekend for OU coaches to reverse a disturbing seven-day period for OU on the field and on the trail. And whether or not you believe the most important visitor is Walker, Moore or Goodman or somebody else, the Sooners certainly need some sort of help on the defensive side of the ball. Will they get it?

Chatmon: The timing is not ideal but things aren't always going to be perfect. The ability to adapt often separates good from great, so the Sooners coaches need to be able to adapt to the lack of a normal atmosphere around Goodman's visit. Regardless, the Sooners need something good to happen, and landing Goodman is clearly the best-case scenario.

Editor’s note: Your turn. Vote in our poll about who is the most important official visitor to OU this weekend on the SoonerNation forum.