Oklahoma Sooners: Hayden Rettig

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.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. With the indefinite suspensions of wide receivers Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson, there are a couple of options Oklahoma could go regarding its 2013 receiver class. I explored a list of some receivers that the Sooners have been in contact with in the past and trying to make sure the Sooners stay in their good graces. The other option is to keep looking at new prospects, and Jay Norvell did that Monday with the offer to four-star athlete Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). Bailey is ranked the No. 5 athlete in the nation and No. 49 in the ESPN 150. Expect a lot of movement at the position in the next couple of weeks.

2. OU’s three-game sweep of Baylor has Sunny Golloway’s club on its biggest high of the season. However, part of that could slip away if the Sooners do not take care of business Tuesday night against TCU. In a previous meeting against the Horned Frogs, the Sooners blew a late lead. TCU is ranked No. 33 in the RPI, while the Sooners are ranked No. 48, according to Warren Nolan’s RPI system. With no Oklahoma City Thunder playoff contest combined with 50-cent hot dogs and cokes at the game, this is a chance for a quality mid-week attendance and is an important non-conference battle.
Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every week. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

[+] EnlargeHayden Rettig
Garry Paskwietz/WeAreSC.comQuarterback Hayden Rettig could add a Sooners offer as soon as next week.
Dean in Oklahoma City asks: I just want to know what’s going on with the quarterback spot. Who is the favorite?

Bob Przybylo: The favorite, in my opinion, looks like a recruit who wasn’t even being spoken about at this time last month, four-star prospect Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral).

Rettig has shown he is healthy coming off a torn ACL and meniscus. His confidence and attitude have helped him overcome his injury, said Los Angeles Cathedral coach Kevin Pearson.

Obviously you can't discount Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage), especially after getting the OU offer Monday. But with his potential future being in baseball, there are no questions of that sort at all when it comes to Rettig.

One way or another, expect the quarterback situation to be finalized before the end of the month. All parties involved need to know what is going on and move forward.


Dan in San Antonio asks: What is going on with our receivers? When are they going to get it through their head they can’t just do whatever they want? How will this impact things going forward?

Bob Przybylo: I’m not going to comment on the first two questions because I'm not sure anybody has the real answers to those. But let’s tackle that third one.

I thought it was a little suspicious how OU took in former Fresno State receiver Jalen Saunders, who will be eligible to play in 2013, with open arms. That makes a lot more sense after the indefinite suspensions of Kameel Jackson, Trey Franks and Jaz Reynolds.

The 2012 class is solid. On paper, it is the best class the Sooners have ever had. Trey Metoyer had an incredible spring and incoming receivers Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal, Derrick Woods and Courtney Gardner are all itching to get their chance.

But where things could change is with the 2013 class. OU receivers coach Jay Norvell hasn’t been as proactive because it didn’t look like the class needed but one or two at the spot. With the uncertainty surrounding the three receivers, it should force Norvell to ramp it up on the trail. The Sooners do already have Saunders, though, so that’s a good start.


Tony in Tulsa, Okla., asks: I’ve watched Dalton Rodriguez several times at Union. He’s good, but I never thought he was “OU good.” Are the Sooners taking a reach on Rodriguez?

Bob Przybylo: Tony, you are not alone in that sentiment. Because he wasn’t such a highly-touted prospect in the last year, some people are questioning the Dalton Rodriguez commitment.


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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. The dominoes are falling when it comes to the Oklahoma quarterback search. OU assistant coach Josh Heupel has already had an extensive visit with Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). And it was revealed Monday that four-star prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) earned an OU offer. However, four-star prospect Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) also said Heupel is going to visit him Wednesday. Coincidentally enough, Thomas is ranked No. 11 as a pocket-passing quarterback, while Rettig is right behind him at No. 12. Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) has also been in constant communication with Heupel.

2. Spring football is alive and well in states like Texas and Florida, but for the top programs in Oklahoma, there is still one more week to go. In taking a trip to the Tulsa area Monday, the recruits are itching for things to start. Cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) and offensive tackle Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union) want to show why OU has faith in them. Tulsa East Central teammates Devanta Johnson and Kimmie Carson want to prove that OU should take a look at them. There is no telling how many more in-state recruits the Sooners are really looking at, but the kids are ready to put on their best performances possible when May 14 rolls around.

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Quarterback Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) was getting tired of hearing questions about his health.

Rettig, who tore his right ACL and meniscus during his team's second game of last season, wanted to prove to everybody that he was 100 percent healthy. And at a quarterback academy event in California last month, he did just that, showing his mobility, arm strength and confidence. In other words, he showed he was back.

And the race to be Oklahoma’s 2013 quarterback has now added one more participant.

[+] EnlargeHayden Rettig
Gerry hamiltonOklahoma is expected to visit California quarterback prospect Hayden Rettig this month.
Spurred by that outing, the spring evaluation period has seen one top coach after another visit Rettig. And in the next couple of weeks, OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel is expected to be one of those visitors.

“You think of OU, and you think of all their good quarterbacks that have come from there lately,” Rettig said. “I remember watching Sam Bradford. You see what he was able to do, and you know you can succeed.”

Rettig is believed to be the fourth quarterback on Heupel and Oklahoma's radar for the class of 2013. Heupel has already had an in-person visit with Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and is expected to visit with Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) before the spring evaluation period ends on May 31.

It is likely Heupel will visit Rettig when he visits the other quarterback the Sooners are targeting, Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), because the two schools are in close proximity of each other.

Rettig said Heupel first contacted his high school coach nearly three months ago. Since that time, Rettig has been in communication with Heupel, talking to the OU assistant as recently as last week. With no more health concerns, Rettig and the Sooners seem to be on the same page.

At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Rettig is a four-star prospect and ranked the No. 12 pocket-passing quarterback in the nation.

If anybody thinks Rettig will have a problem going that far away home, just look at Chase, his older brother. Chase Rettig is the starting quarterback for Boston College and threw for 1,960 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

“[California] is nice, but you can always go back in the summer or on spring break and things like that,” Hayden Rettig said. “I want to go where I can play and compete for the spot.”

Rettig has offers from Auburn, Boston College, Vanderbilt and UCLA, among others. He said it has been a crazy process, but he has enjoyed it because he didn’t know how much attention he was going to receive after his injury. He threw for nearly 1,000 yards in the two games he played and was on his way to a stellar junior season, he said.

Rettig said it probably would have been one of his last plays of the game. Instead of getting out of bounds on a scramble, he tried to get a few more extra yards and that’s when the injury occurred.

“I thought I broke my leg,” he said.


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