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Sunday, February 3, 2013
Sooners go on offensive for junior day

By Bob Przybylo

NORMAN, Okla. -- A common complaint among 2013 recruits was that Oklahoma took too long to offer. Its patient and methodical approach left it on the outside looking in too many times.

The Sooners had a chance to change that on Saturday and that’s exactly what they did. Offers didn’t flow from junior day last year. But they were flying out of Norman, Okla., on Saturday.

Ty Barrett
ESPN Watch List OT Ty Barrett picked up a Sooners offer on Saturday.
OU also picked up a commitment from safety Vontre McQuinnie (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster). It's a pure coincidence that McQuinnie is from Lancaster, Texas, because 2013 cornerback Dakota Austin -- who attends the same school -- committed to OU on his official visit hours earlier.

McQuinnie was offered by OU defensive backs coach Mike Stoops on Monday and had no intention on committing. But after he saw the championship trophies and got a feel of the atmosphere, he felt at home.

OU was hoping to get more commits. It didn’t, but the bevy of offers show the Sooners coaching staff has learned from any Class of 2013 mistakes.

Two high-profile prospect whom many thought would get offers, did. Another problem in 2013 for the Sooners comes from the coaches saying they want to evaluate prospects longer.

Not much more evaluation needs to be done regarding ESPN Watch List prospects Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) and quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe). The Sooners have been hot on the trail for both of them for more than two years. OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel is very deliberate with his offers but even he realized he had to make a move with Hansen.

Hansen has picked up offers from Arizona State and Texas A&M in recent weeks and has major interest from Florida State. More schools are going to knock on his door, and it was vital for OU to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

The race for Barrett might be a lot tougher than Hansen, but it’s one the Sooners can win by the fact they’ve made the first move.

Schools like Michigan and Texas are taking serious looks at Barrett, but it’s OU that was proactive and offered him. Nobody expected Barrett to commit on the spot, but OU coach Bob Stoops went out of his way to make sure Barrett knew how special he is to OU’s class by offering him face-to-face.

You wouldn’t say there is a shortage of safety prospects for the Class of 2014, but OU offered one more Saturday in Watch List recruit Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt). Springs already has an offer from Texas Tech.

There was at least one more confirmed offer from the day, the most surprising. But with the track record of wide receivers coach Jay Norvell, most fans won’t question OU extending an offer to receiver Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla./Union).

Mead might be a little raw, but you can't teach his size -- 6-foot-7. Mead grew up a quarterback but was moved to receiver and had a productive junior campaign. At 6-7, 168 pounds, Mead is thin, but Norvell obviously sees potential.

There were also several offered prospects on campus although none pledged to the Sooners. It’s too early to fully realize how successful OU’s 2014 recruiting and junior day approach will be, but if the first 24 hours is an indicator, the Sooners had an incredibly successful weekend.