Oklahoma Sooners: Austin Robinson

No position gets scrutinized more in the recruiting world than quarterback. A prime example of that was Oklahoma’s pursuit to find the perfect signal-caller for its 2013 class. In most years, schools are only looking for one quarterback. It takes time and a lot of effort.

For the Sooners, it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of bumps and turns in the road, but OU landed one of its prime targets in Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage). Thomas, a four-star prospect, is ranked No. 11 as a pocket-passing quarterback and verbally committed to the Sooners on Tuesday even though he went public with the news on Thursday.

How did we get here? A timeline of Oklahoma's quarterback search for the class of 2013.

November 2011: Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) attends Oklahoma’s victory against Texas A&M. It is on this weekend that Swoopes says his OU offer was implied, and he is clearly one of OU’s top choices.

Tom Hauck for ESPN.com
Max Browne chose USC over Oklahoma on April 4.

Feb. 3, 2012: A day before OU’s first junior day, the Sooners make their first known offer at the position to four-star prospect Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline).

Feb. 4: OU’s first junior day brings in two top quarterbacks. Swoopes is joined by top in-state signal-caller Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). Swoopes is happy with the visit but not blown away by everything. Scott doesn’t receive an offer but is told by OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel they will stay in contact.

Quarterback Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) is invited initially before being asked by Heupel to stay home. Quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) is also invited but cannot attend.

Feb. 17: Swoopes, ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country and coming off a fantastic visit at Texas’ junior day, commits to the Longhorns. He is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 150.

March 3: On OU’s second junior day, there is not much focus on quarterbacks. Barrett once again is invited but cannot make it. Austin Robinson (Houston/Bellaire Episcopal) is invited, but the distance keeps him from making the trip.

March 9: Browne makes an unofficial visit to OU. He is given the red-carpet treatment by the staff. He is shown the Sooners’ target board. It’s Browne at No. 1 ... and then everybody else. Browne says he could not have had a better time and has OU and USC as his top two choices.

March 28: A new name enters in Cody Thomas. Busy with baseball, Thomas manages to sneak in an unofficial visit on a Wednesday. He is not offered and is told by Heupel they will keep in touch.

(Read full post)

Przybylo's Mailbag: Smith stands out 

March, 26, 2012
The Oklahoma football team was on spring break, but it was a busy weekend in the recruiting world. The Elite 11 regional quarterback camp and the Nike Football Training Camp featured plenty of Sooners targets this weekend. Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every Monday. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Scott in Oklahoma City asks: Sounds like a real fun weekend. Who was the best Elite 11 quarterback and who was the best Nike camp recruit?

[+] EnlargeMaurice Smith
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comMaurice Smith showed why he's one of the nation's top defensive backs at Sunday's Nike Training Camp.
Bob Przybylo: I went into the Nike camp Sunday really wanting to see what the big deal was about cornerback Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles). I understand now.

Smith, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, has 13 offers and was in firm control all afternoon. He was clearly deserving of an invite to The Opening.

Smith picked up a Sooners offer in February and attended OU’s second junior day. OU is still on his short list, but after initially wanting to get the process over with, Smith is willing to let his recruitment play out.

As for the Elite 11 event, Devante Kincade (Dallas/Skyline) was easily the best out there. He took control of the day early and never let up.

Regarding potential OU targets, it was a good day for Austin Robinson (Houston/Episcopal). Robinson is every bit the 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds he is listed as.

Robinson was invited to OU’s second junior day on March 3 but was unable to attend the event. He showed nice arm strength and was one of the most physically strong-looking quarterbacks in the competition.

Dan in Dallas asks: Which 2013 in-state potential target helped his chances the most with his performance at the Nike camp?

Bob Przybylo: It was a really good day for defensive back Devanta Johnson (Tulsa, Okla./East Central). It was also a long weekend for Johnson, who visited Texas Tech on Saturday with fellow in-state prospect linebacker Devin Rolan (McAlester, Okla./McAlester).

Johnson, 6-foot and 175 pounds, looked comfortable out there among some of the best wide receivers in the class, and he said it was a huge confidence booster.

He has not been shy about wanting an OU offer and more performances like Sunday will only help his stock.

Ryan in Norman, Okla., asks: We’ve got a running back and a defensive end. What do you think is the No. 1 priority for the next commit? Who should the coaches try to pay the most attention to?


Stoops, Players Want To Effect Change
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops sits down with Gene Wojciechowski to discuss his team's stand against racism.