Oklahoma Sooners: Cale Gundy

Twitter can be such a beautiful thing, but it can also be an outlet for impulse emotions and knee-jerk reactions that can leave you embarrassed and backtracking.

Oklahoma running backs coach Cale Gundy is on the backtracking front after taking a shot at Alabama coach Nick Saban on Twitter Tuesday night, when he went after Saban's backing of the now tabled 10-second proposal that had most offensive coaches in a real tizzy.

Here's what Gundy tweeted from his account (@OU_CoachGundy):
Looks like someone came up short again. You better take that SEC country somewhere else. Let's Play Faster. #Boomer

You don't need to be Albert Einstein to figure out the subject of Gundy's tweet. And Gundy didn't have to be an Einstein to realize that he might want to retract those electronic shots he fired. Within an hour of throwing that tweet together, Gundy deleted it and add an apology (which has also since been deleted):
I apologize for my last tweet. My passion for OU football is crazy. I respect the great college football teams. #Boomer Sooner

— Cale Gundy (@OU_CoachGundy)
[+] EnlargeNick Saban
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyNick Saban hasn't responded to Cale Gundy's tweet, and it's unlikely he will.
I get it. Gundy wanted poke fun at Saban and the fact that he stands with the controversial proposal that was created to slow down no-huddle offenses. He wanted to jab him for not getting something he'd like to see implemented at the college level. And he also wanted to point at the guy his team beat by two touchdowns in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Saban's team was the favorite to win its third consecutive BCS national championship, and people are out for blood when you fail to meet expectations.

It makes sense because OU likes to run the hurry-up, and its offense left the Crimson Tide's defense panting down on Bourbon Street. I'm all for having fun on Twitter and showing that you aren't a robot coach, but you have to be careful poking the bear that is Nick Saban. We don't know when Saban will get a rematch with the Sooners or Gundy, but you'd better believe this is something that will be in the back of his mind the next time that opportunity comes.

Saban might not publicly respond to Gundy, but he'll be thinking about it. His team will know. The people around him will know. And he'll wait until he gets his chance to strike.

Maybe, he'll just retaliate by taking it out on the hurry-up offenses he faces in 2014. I'm sure he's anxious to make on on-field statement.
Last week, the NCAA Football Rules Committee tabled the controversial 10-second rule proposal that would have slowed college offenses.

Oklahoma running backs coach Cale Gundy took the opportunity to take a shot at Alabama coach Nick Saban, who had been one of the proponents behind the rule proposal.



Gundy was obviously referring to the Sooners' 45-31 win over the Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Within the hour, Gundy deleted the tweet, then later offered an apology:



 
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Auburn already has one of the top 2014 classes, but it got even better this week after adding a solid, three-star junior college defensive back; and you didn’t see any Big 12 coaches on the final ESPN recruiter power rankings, but there were still several coaches who did plenty of good things on signing day.


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Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • A top target in Texas is visiting Oklahoma for the second time this spring.
  • OU offered a Florida linebacker who hasn't heard much from the Sooners -- but he's interested.
  • More on the Sooners targeting an east Texas high school.
  • An in-state wideout is blowing up this spring.
  • Could the Sooners offer the brother of a current player?
  • An in-state tight end is working out with a former Sooner, trying to improve his footwork.
  • Could the Sooners find a hidden gem in Norman?

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • Could the Sooners add a top receiver at their spring game?
  • A Texas wideout is hoping to visit Oklahoma soon.
  • Texas athlete is focused on a handful of schools.
  • Will an in-state linebacker make another visit to OU?
  • A Sooners signee is "like a big brother" to a 2014 target.
  • What's next for ESPN Watch List safety Steven Parker?
  • A Florida wideout has a connection to a new OU assistant coach.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • A top California target is focused on academics this spring.
  • OU's quarterback offer is visiting a rival next week.
  • OU made an impression on a big Texas defensive end.
  • A recent defensive tackle visitor is in no rush to decide.
  • The door is open for an in-state athlete to look at the Sooners.
  • One Texas running back hopes to visit the Sooners this spring.
  • Are the Sooners firmly in the mix for an in-state linebacker?
  • An in-state point guard is hearing a lot from the Sooners.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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Oklahoma running backs coach Cale Gundy has done it again. While OU coach Bob Stoops felt a change in his coaching staff was necessary for the 2013 season, Gundy was never on the chopping block.

Wednesday afternoon is evidence of why that is, as ESPN Watch List running back Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) became the first running back commit for OU’s 2014 class.


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Nobody is pressuring ESPN Watch List running back Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) to make a decision, but Perine might be close to making one.


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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff finally was able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

[+] EnlargeStanvon Taylor
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comStanvon Taylor could play well at many positions, but Oklahoma sees him strictly as a corner.
Tulsa (Okla.) East Central cornerback Stanvon Taylor drew unparalleled praise from the Oklahoma coaching staff on signing day, as they raved about the versatility and upside of the No. 199-ranked recruit in the ESPN300.

"People were talking about how Stanvon could be a receiver, but you love it when a corner has receiver-type ball skills to go after the ball," head coach Bob Stoops said. "He reminds us very much of Aaron Colvin, just the athlete that he is. We believe he is special. We are excited about Stanvon at corner. He is a great athlete and will play for us early.”

The Sooners would be giddy if Taylor matches Colvin's career path. Colvin starred at Owasso (Okla.) High School before playing cornerback early in his true freshman year in 2010 and leading the Sooners in tackles as a sophomore safety in 2011. Colvin returned to cornerback and earned All-Big 12 honors as a junior and decided to return for his senior season earlier this year.

Taylor has the versatility and ball skills to remind people of Colvin, and his talents could be needed immediately as the Sooners look to replace three starters in their secondary.

"We’re projecting him to come in and solidify our depth at the position," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "I can’t say enough about this guy. He’s going to play corner for us and I think he has a chance to be a special player, an Aaron Colvin-type player, they’re very similar in their styles and versatility as players. He has all the qualities you want to be a superstar, [he's] your prototypical cover corner."

There were questions about what position Taylor would play at OU but both Bob and Mike Stoops made it very clear they expect Taylor to line up on the defensive side of the ball. Yet that didn't keep OU's offensive coaches from noticing the talent he brings to the program.

“A lot of people in our profession say he might be the best in our class when it’s all said and done,” running backs coach Cale Gundy said.

2015 RB Anderson stands out at SPARQ 

February, 24, 2013
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SHENANDOAH, Texas -- Katy (Texas) High School running back Rodney Anderson isn't your typical sophomore.

An injury to a teammate opened up an opportunity for him to start at running back as a freshman for Katy, a perennial powerhouse. As a sophomore, he already has a state championship as the Tigers went 16-0 en route to the Class 5A Division II title in 2012, a season in which Anderson split time between running back and receiver after his teammate, Nebraska signee Adam Taylor, returned healthy from his injury and got the majority of the backfield carries.


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Coaches' corner: OL Dionte Savage

February, 21, 2013
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

Oklahoma is looking to get tougher, more physical along its offensive front. Guard Dionte Savage (Flint, Mich./Arizona Western) should help the Sooners reach that goal. At 6-foot-5, 340 pounds, Savage brings unique size to OU's interior line.

"This guy has size on top of size," co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "What a physical presence he brings. When you say full-grown man when he walks in a room, this kid is a full-grown man. We had a lot of injuries last year and it was tough at the end getting healthy bodies out there. This guy is a big strong guy who can help us with our running game and depth."

After ending the 2012 season with very limited bodies at guard, Savage joins returning starters Adam Shead and Bronson Irwin along with Tyler Evans and Nila Kasitati, who are returning from injuries. Savage brings a better body than any of the Sooners returnees.

"He is a specimen," running backs coach Cale Gundy said. "He’s someone we expect can come in and give us some help, possibly be one of our starting guards.”

The Sooners were impressed by Savage's dedication, as the former 400-pounder lost more than 60 pounds to get into better shape for his second season at Arizona Western.

"Dionte Savage is a big, strong, physical guy," head coach Bob Stoops said. "A huge weightlifter and a powerful, strong guy. He’s got great ability to move and great strength, so I believe he is going to help us be more physical in there. Just really powerful, an excellent young man. Loved having him on campus, he loves to work. He’s going to help us be more physical."
After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

Oklahoma hopes it landed an offensive tackle with terrific long-term upside in Christian Daimler (Houston/Stratford). A 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, Diamler is a lanky tackle with room to grow physically and mentally. The Sooners coaching staff repeatedly compared him to a departing starter on signing day.

"We [signed] an excellent athlete in Christian Daimler," head coach Bob Stoops said. "He’s a guy that reminds us a lot of Lane Johnson. Last check he’s taller than 6-6, almost 6-7, 285 or 90 pounds and is a good athlete."

The Sooners raved about Johnson's athleticism during his time in Norman, Okla. Now he's a potential first-round pick. OU hopes the same happens with Daimler, who is showing traits of unique athleticism at his size.

"He bends well, he uses his hands well and he stays on his feet," running backs coach Cale Gundy said.

One attribute that really stood out about Daimler is his ability to be athletic and keep his feet throughout a play, allowing him to make a bigger overall impact on plays. It wasn't unusual to see Johnson running down the field to get in position to make a downfield block. Diamler has shown similar traits.

"This is one of the guys we were able to spend time with at the satelitte camp in Houston," co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "[He has] incredible length. When we watch offensive linemen it’s important to see guys with athletic ability who play hard, are hard-nosed but also can keep their feet. It’s difficult to find big people who can stay alive, keep their feet and stay on people and also play with the aggressiveness and toughness. You want to see a guy who dominates the line of scrimmage and pushes people around."

Coaches' corner: OT Josiah St. John

February, 19, 2013
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

With Lane Johnson moving on to the NFL, the Sooners needed to bring in some immediate competition at the tackle position. Junior college signee Josiah St. John (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley Community College) fits the bill perfectly. At 6-foot-7, 300 pounds, St. John brings size and athleticism to the Sooners offensive line.

"We were looking for an older mature guy who can play tackle and help us at that position," co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "That was an area of need with Lane Johnson leaving the program. He gives us maturity, gives us length and incredible depth at the position."

Tyrus Thompson, who saw extensive time at right tackle and spot duty at left tackle in 2012, could have stepped right in at left tackle with Daryl Williams at right tackle, but St. John will provide quality competition for both players, making nobody's starting spot secure under new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

"Josiah St. John is a big tackle, all of 6-foot-6, 305 or so pounds and is an excellent athlete at that position," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.

The Sooners fully expect St. John earn playing time this fall, with Stoops saying the Sooners don't bring in junior college players unless they anticipate immediate impact. Across the board, OU's offensive staff seems to believe St. John, the No. 6 player in the ESPNJC 100, could become a key contributor in 2013.

"Josiah St. John is somebody we expect can come in and help us immediately," running backs coach Cale Gundy said.

Coaches' corner: WR Dannon Cavil

February, 14, 2013
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

[+] EnlargeDannon Cavil
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comESPN 300 receiver Dannon Cavil signed with the Sooners after being committed to both Ole Miss and Cal at different points in 2012.
Oklahoma offered Dannon Cavil (San Antonio/Madison) late in the recruiting process but it was just in time to land the receiver and get him on campus for spring football. The late addition could be the most physically impressive of the Sooners receivers signees at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds.

“He’s a great player who is already in our program," offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "He’s a really mature kid, he approaches things the right way, he’s bright, he’s disciplined, focused, he wants to be a great player. Trevor Knight has talked about how far along he is for a guy coming in mid-year. We feel like we got a steal with him.”

As an early enrollee, Cavil is already working out with the Sooners and participated in testing in various drills and events, impressing the coaching staff.

“We already put our players through testing and he was probably in the top three of our receivers," running backs coach Cale Gundy said. "And here he is supposed to still be in high school. Great 40-yard dash, explosive in the broad and long jump.”

An hamstring injury hampered Cavil during his junior season, resulting in limited game film for the Sooners coaches to evaluate. After a strong -- and healthy -- senior season, Norvell evaluated Cavil and was confident he could help the Sooners.

"He did not play as a junior, didn’t have the film," Norvell said. "We’ve been trying to add size to our receivers. He’s a tremendous athlete for a big kid. How athletic he is and smooth he is is very rare for a kid his size. He’s a guy we absolutely love."

Departing senior Justin Brown showed the Sooners the value of a big physical receiver on the outside who can use his body and ball skills to create plays on third downs and in the red zone. Cavil fits that mold and could be even faster than Brown providing a better deep threat along with his unique size.

Coaches' corner: WR Austin Bennett

February, 13, 2013
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After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.

Receiver Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) signed with the Sooners despite late interest from Texas. His athletic traits fit right in line with the physical skills of recent Sooners slot receivers.

"Austin has a lot of the same qualities Jalen Saunders has," said receivers coach Jay Norvell, Bennett's primary recruiter. "We got to spend a lot of time with Austin at one of our satellite camps in Houston and that was a big benefit for us because we got a chance to work with him. You can look them in the eyes, tell them to do things and see how they react. I was so impressed with him. He has great agility in space. He has the ability to take direction then put it into play physically which is a real strength for a receiver. He has great characteristics, great mental toughness.”

The opportunity to evaluate prospects during those satellite camps can be invaluable. Norvell can see how a player responds to competition and how quickly they can apply coaching tips given to them during those camps. It's a way for recruits to separate themselves from other players of similar skills. And Bennett was one of those players who did exactly that last spring.

“Austin is such a good athlete he could play on both sides of the ball," running backs coach Cale Gundy said. "Obviously he’s not going to, he’s going to be on our side, but when you’re talking about a guy who could flip over and play corner, obviously he’s very talented. He’ll be a slot guy an extremely talented young man, a Jalen Saunders, Ryan Broyles-type.”

Broyles and Saunders make plays largely thanks to their quickness and open field ability and the Sooners think Bennett has the same traits. Even though Bennett only caught 42 passes for 676 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior, the Sooners are confident he can be a productive slot receiver in OU's system.

“Austin played in a great program," offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "We feel like he’s an electric player, he was at our camp in Houston and competed at a high level. He has the ability to make plays, great ability to make guys miss in space. His dad’s a coach, we love a lot of his makeup.”

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