Tuesday update: Holding pattern for Venables, Clemson
CAMPUS CORNER — Lots of questions today on my live chat about Brent Venables and what he’s going to do. Short answer is, I don’t know yet.
I spoke for a while with a friend of mine in Clemson, and it’s likely one of two prevailing theories during this holding pattern – and both would seem to indicate that Venables is Dabo Swinney‘s guy. (We get to that conclusion from the fact that Venables was the first to interview and visit Clemson’s campus, which happened this past weekend.)
Here are those theories …
1) Venables has an offer and is weighing it, giving Bob Stoops and OU time to talk with him about how responsibilities will be divvied and whether he’ll receive any sort of raise. In other words, the ball is in Venables’ court.
2) Swinney has a couple of interviews — serious, courtesy or something in between — left to do before offering Venables the job. That’s distinctly possible, too. Swinney, I’m told, has been out on the road recruiting yesterday and today. Could he had talked with candidates on the phone? Sure. But if he’s serious about them, I’m sure he’d like to give them the same red carpet, in-person treatment that Venables received.
Wild card: Maybe Venables knew K-State was coming open, and now that’s a factor in this. If nothing else, it could advance the Clemson timeline, if Dabo was dawdling. If Venables still has any desire to be the head coach at his alma mater, perhaps this is the doorway. But that’s complicated, as you know, and Clemson might be the better job, anyway, because of money and how the program is situated in a winnable league. Then again, there’s the pull of the home state and alma mater.
Recruiting note: Running back David Smith of Midlothian, Ill., picked the Sooners over Big 12 rival (?!?) West Virginia a few minutes ago. Smith was in Norman last weekend, visiting with Bob Stoops and Cale Gundy. He’ll provide depth at a position that was suddenly lacking after the transfers of Jonathon Miller, Jermie Calhoun and Brandon Williams (and especially the latter).
What struck me about Smith was his size. He had the same build, roughly, as receiver Kameel Jackson. He’s 6-1, 190, something like that. Tall guy for running back — especially compared to the top three guys, Dom Whaley, Roy Finch and Brennan Clay. Well, I guess Whaley’s not that small (5-10), but over 6 foot is fairly uncommon for a back. He’s lanky.
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