Oklahoma Sooners: J.T. Barrett

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)

It won’t be the most eventful weekend on Oklahoma’s campus, but there are going to be a bevy of OU targets on display in Texas.

An Elite 11 quarterback camp will be at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night, followed by a Nike Football Training Camp event Sunday at the Cowboys' practice facility. About 300 prospects are expected to participate in the event.

Here are 20 recruits with OU interest to keep an eye on:

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Przybylo's Mailbag: Panic button? 

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
12:15
PM ET
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.

Larry in Wichita Falls, Texas, asks: That’s three recruits that picked Texas over OU this last week. What’s going on?

Bob Przybylo: It wasn’t a great week for OU recruiting, but it wasn’t a disaster as some have labeled it. It became clear in the last week or so that OU had fallen off in its quest for dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright). He said he liked his OU junior day visit but wasn’t overly impressed. He went to Texas', and the Longhorns closed the deal.


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

1. Had to wait a couple of weeks, but the Tim Kish effect on the West Coast is starting to take shape for Oklahoma and its new linebackers coach. The Sooners are a big-time player for linebacker Chans Cox (Pinetop, Ariz./Blue Ridge), who has ties to Kish. OU offered Cox on Monday afternoon. Talking to one California high school coach, he said OU is now a major factor in California and Arizona. He said Kish did a great job at Arizona, a program that doesn’t have near the tradition of the Sooners. Now with Kish in Norman, the West Coast is wide open.

2. OU men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger has picked the right time to hit the in-state talent as the 2013 Oklahoma high school class is easily going to be the best since 2009 that produced NBA players Xavier Henry (Oklahoma City/Putnam City) and Daniel Orton (Oklahoma City/McGuinness). On Monday night, Kruger was in attendance for a showcase performance by point guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass). Clark, ranked No. 58 in the ESPNU Super 60 for 2013 and with an OU offer, had 35 points and 16 assists. Clark said Monday night he hopes to be at OU-Texas on Tuesday.

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Three thoughts this morning:

1. Oklahoma's quarterback recruiting under coach Josh Heupel has evolved and it will be interesting which way the Sooners go for the class of 2013. Since Heupel became the quarterbacks coach in 2005, here's the list of OU quarterbacks: Sam Bradford, Joey Halzle, Keith Nichol, Landry Jones, Drew Allen, Blake Bell and Kendal Thompson. Every quarterback since 2008 (Jones) has been a dual-threat, and the trend continues with the 2012 QB Trevor Knight, who rushed for 943 yards and 15 touchdowns this season to go along with 2,092 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns. In 2013, the Sooners seem to have an early list of four quarterbacks that they're targeting: two pro-style and two NFL-style, drop back passers. Those are Tyrone Swoopes and J.T. Barrett for the former category, and Kelly Hilinski and Brayden Scott for the latter category. And though none have been offered yet, Heupel will surely have to make up his mind soon. If it were me, I'd go with Barrett who, right now, is more of a polished passer than Swoopes.

2. Looking ahead for Oklahoma basketball, virtually all of the Sooners' rotation will return next season. Their only seniors are C.J. Washington, Barry Honoré and T.J. Franklin. Can they compete for a Big 12 title next season with this roster? Not likely. But they have to get more production out of forward Cameron Clark, who has had a disappointing sophomore season. Most projected him to have a breakout campaign, but his stats are down across the board and he's playing just 24 minutes per game, down from 34 last season. Clark was No. 32 overall on the 2010 ESPNU 100 and his athleticism is off the charts. But he has yet to put it together on the court, and if the Sooners want to contend in 2012-2013, Clark must improve tremendously.

3. Which Sooner will get taken first in the 2012 NFL draft? Most people think defensive end/outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis will get taken in the first two rounds, but my vote is for cornerback Jamell Fleming, who was the only OU player selected to the Senior Bowl. I don't know how fast he'll run the 40-yard dash or if he'll impress much at the NFL combine in March, but he can play in the pros. And I think his game tape is much more impressive than the extremely raw Lewis. I'll predict both Fleming and Lewis get drafted late in the second round.

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Quarterback J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) knows he can make big-time plays with his legs.

But he also realized that if he was going to have a future in college as a quarterback, he had to evolve his game.

So Barrett, 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, hit the film room before his junior season and dedicated himself to getting better. That dedication has paid off, as Wichita Falls Rider made a deep run into the Texas state playoffs and has only set the bar higher for his senior season.

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A win against Texas can be a push in the right direction for Oklahoma, giving the Sooners the edge in head-to-head recruiting battles. And looking ahead to 2013, there could be some good ones between the Red River rivals.

Many 2013 prospects are expected to attend Saturday's OU-Texas game, and three notable 2012 recruits who have committed elsewhere will be on hand. What’s at stake this weekend? Here are some of the notable visitors:

Committed elsewhere

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