Friday, February 1, 2013
Recruiting faceoff: Top weekend 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 junior day for the Sooners. Who is the most important junior day visitor for OU this weekend?
Bob Przybylo: Just one? Argh. OK, just one. If there is one sole name for OU to make a huge impression with, then I’m going with ESPN Watch List quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe). The seeds have been planted with Hansen by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel for a long time. The evaluations have been done. Now’s the time to strike with Hansen. Maybe not even a public offer. I think a silent offer would be OK. But Heupel needs to let Hansen know exactly where the Sooners stand. With Texas A&M offering Hansen and schools such as Florida State eyeing his talents, this cannot be one that gets away. Not this time.
Brandon Chatmon: Until Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) commits, he should be priority No. 1 for the Sooners. He's simply too talented not to earn that type of attention. As a cornerback or safety, he's a versatile defender at a need position on the roster. There's no need to go on a nationwide search when you have an elite talent in your backyard. OU needs to make sure Parker understands he is THE priority in their 2014 class, starting this weekend.
It's important for the Sooners to let Justice Hansen, an OU legacy, know that he's wanted at this weekend's junior day.
Przybylo: I agree with the logic but just think it’s toward the wrong in-state kid. Mike Stoops has done a great job of letting Parker know he is wanted by the Sooners. But it’s starting to look like Parker will wait a while before committing. Not offering Hansen now, though, might end up hurting in the long run. He has top schools coming in all the time. He has the natural OU ties, with his father playing baseball at OU. If nothing more, it’s perception. OU needs to have that perception that it still dominates within its borders.
Chatmon: What if Hansen is not the best quarterback the Sooners can secure in 2014? Without question he is talented but the margin of error is much smaller with quarterbacks compared to defensive backs. Therefore, Heupel should take as long as he needs to properly evaluate the 2014 class. Meanwhile, Parker is an elite talent who already has some of the nation's top programs in hot pursuit. OU needs to take advantage of every opportunity to impress the defensive back.
Przybylo: It’s the wrong year to be a top defensive back. The Sooners are gunning for Parker. I think we’ve established that. But there are so many top backs in Texas that there are going to be choices for the Sooners if Parker decides to look elsewhere. There will be choices, too, if Hansen goes to another school. But for OU fans, it’s clear Hansen is their No. 1 choice. The fans want the coaches to feel the same way.
Chatmon: Bottom line for me is simple: The potential overall impact of Parker is higher than the potential overall impact of Hansen. Only one quarterback can play. Meanwhile four or five defensive backs can play and that's why I wouldn't be surprised to see Parker make an immediate impact as a true freshman, wherever he ends up. That's why OU needs to make sure they do what they can to secure him or risk thinking "what if.”