Friday, April 11, 2014
Early Offer: Expect big things for OU, OSU
By Jeremy Crabtree
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are facing tougher challenges recruiting against in-state programs such as Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor, but there are plenty close to the situation who still have big expectations for the Sooners and Cowboys in the Lone Star State.
Wyatt believes OU, OSU will flourish There isn’t a better expert on Oklahoma and Oklahoma State’s recruiting efforts in Texas and the ever-changing culture of courting Lone Star State prospects than Darrell Wyatt. Wyatt coached for both programs and recently was on Mack Brown’s staff, going head-to-head against the Sooners and Cowboys. So it speaks volumes when Wyatt says he’s still bullish on Oklahoma and Oklahoma State's chances to land quality Texans recruits, even with a new coach in Austin, an emerging program in Waco led by a man high school coaches adore (Art Briles) and a charismatic coach in College Station (Kevin Sumlin) recruiting to the SEC.
“The people that think OU and OSU are going away because there’s now more competition in Texas don’t know Bob Stoops or Mike Gundy very well,” said Wyatt, a native Texan who coached at Oklahoma State in 2001, Oklahoma from 2002-05 and Texas from 2011-13. “Recruits from Texas can see that Texas players had success on and off the field at OU. Another big lure is the tremendous history of success and winning championships and all the national awards. OSU can sell a lot of similar things, especially with [its] recent success. There were a lot of Texans that were able to come up to Oklahoma State and have success at a high level. Just because there’s more competition in Texas isn’t going to stop them from having success moving forward.”
It's been 10 years since Adrian Peterson was the top recruit in the country, and his name recognition continues to help Oklahoma in recruiting.
Peterson still sells for the Sooners
The Sooners have had plenty of success recruiting in Texas under Bob Stoops, luring highly-recruited prospects such as Mark Clayton, Tommie Harris and Trent Williams. But there was no bigger get for the Sooners than Adrian Peterson. Ranked as the nation’s No. 1 player in the Class of 2004, Peterson’s signing was a watershed moment for the Sooners. Peterson’s success in college and eventually in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, opened up numerous doors for the Sooners in Texas and still helps OU to this day.
“He was such a very visible recruit,” said Wyatt, who recruited Peterson to Oklahoma for the Sooners. “He was a guy that developed an unbelievable following, and obviously the success that he had at OU and in the NFL opened a lot of eyes. To this day, there are kids in Texas that know OU because of Adrian Peterson.”
Stoops calls an audible
When a coach is faced with a difficult situation, they often change the game plan, which is partly what the Sooners have done to combat A&M’s surge in the Lone Star State. The Sooners have looked to other parts of the country to find talent. With the Oklahoma brand carrying a lot of clout, it’s been a very successful shift. That’s especially true with prospects in California. Since 2012, the Sooners have signed nine California prospects ranked among the top 80 in the state, including 2014’s effort, when Oklahoma landed top-10 prospects Joe Mixon and Michiah Quick.
“I think some of the success Oklahoma has had in the state of California and places out West has made it easier for them to handle the success of teams like Baylor and A&M have had in Texas,” Wyatt said. “Coach Stoops is certainly a person that is open to looking at all parts of the country. He definitely wants to do a good job in the confines of the state of Oklahoma, and you have to obviously do a good job with your border state of Texas, but you can tell with the success in other parts of the country, he's smart and knows what he's doing.”