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Chat transcript: OU writer Ryan Aber talks Sooners recruiting, Baker Mayfield and Lon Kruger

by Ryan Aber Published: January 10, 2014
Ryan Aber 11:01 a.m. All right, time to get started. Keep the questions coming.
Aaron 11:01 a.m. Ryan, any word on Corey Nelson's medical redshirt? Still in the appeal process? Thanks.
Ryan Aber 11:02 a.m. It appears he's reached the end of the line on appeals. His gaining a medical redshirt was the longest of longshots going in. OU appealed on his behalf but he won't be returning to the Sooners. It's a shame his OU career ends like that because he was having an outstanding season before the injury.
Yours truly 11:03 a.m. Could it be Josh being such a good QB coach the reason Mayfield wants to play as a walk on?
Ryan Aber 11:05 a.m. I don't think so, and that's not saying Heupel isn't a good QB coach. Mayfield grew up an OU fan but went to Tech when it appeared that was his best chance to play. After not receiving a scholarship and being frustrated with Kliff Kingsbury, he wanted to go to a familiar place. I can't see him earning playing time at OU with how crowded the quarterback spot is already, even before you throw him into the mix.
Ryan Aber 11:05 a.m. And Mayfield hasn't had any contact with OU's coaching staff yet.
Lee 11:05 a.m. What was the issue in Sugar Bowl when Justin Wilson was being yelled at by numerous OU defensive players especially Colvin during timeout? TV was all over it.
Ryan Aber 11:07 a.m. I assume you mean Julian Wilson? We never did get a definitive answer on that, although there was clearly a disagreement over the coverage there. The next day, Bob Stoops wouldn't say which one was right, although I'd bet on Colvin.
Trent 11:08 a.m. What's wrong with the basketball team's defense right now?
Ryan Aber 11:10 a.m. Quick answer: They're struggling to contain dribble penetration and rebounding inside. It's been confounding for Lon Kruger, as he's tried to use various zone looks to go with their base man defense. This is a pretty good team, really good offensively, but they have to improve on the defensive end if they want to make the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Aaron 11:10 a.m. Any idea on how many kids OU plans on signing for recruiting? OU currently sits at 21, how many more do you expect them to sign? Thanks.
Ryan Aber 11:11 a.m. It looks like they're in a position to sign anywhere between 27-29 in this class. That would mean a couple players would have to leave the program but that certainly wouldn't be a huge surprise. They've been on a nice run recruiting-wise after the Sugar Bowl and have the potential to keep it up over the next few weeks until signing day.
Masonic Sooner 11:11 a.m. With the hype about Trevor Knight and the quarterback situation at OU with all the talent behind him do you for see any transfering if Trevor lives up to his Sugar Bowl Performance and becomes that quarterback on a regular basis.
Ryan Aber 11:14 a.m. It's certainly a possibility. Kendal Thompson seemed the obvious choice but he's already come out and said he was staying. Blake Bell could transfer and be eligible immediately elsewhere if he graduates in the spring. Looking down the road, if Knight establishes himself, Cody Thomas could be a possibility but he has baseball as well. Would expect one to transfer over the next year or so but wouldn't be stunned if all stuck it out.
Guest 11:14 a.m. From what we've seen so far of Iowa State, do the Sooners have a legitimate chance for a win tomorrow over the Cyclones?
Ryan Aber 11:15 a.m. They do. Oklahoma has the offense to stick with anybody and Iowa State, as good as their offense is, they have some similar deficiencies on the defensive end. The Cyclones are also a very different team on the road. If I was picking, I'd go with Iowa State but there is a path to victory for the Sooners.
Trey Metoyer 11:16 a.m. What's my status? Any chance Bob let's me back on the team? If not, who do you see as OU's top 3 wrs next year- Sterling and?....
Ryan Aber 11:18 a.m. Sorry, Trey. Think your time in Norman, at least as an OU football player, is done. Can't see Bob giving you another chance. As for the top receivers after Sterling Shepard, right now I'd go with Durron Neal and Derrick Woods. Neal has shown flashes of his potential and Woods had a great catch in the Sugar Bowl. They've got plenty of holes to fill at the spot, though, especially after you got booted.
Buster 11:19 a.m. Were seeing so many big tall physical wide receivers in college football now, are there any RS freshman are back up wider receivers from this year that can make a impact with Jalen, Lester, and Jazz leaving..
Ryan Aber 11:21 a.m. They've definitely started going after taller receivers. Neal doesn't really fit that category and Woods at 6-foot-1 is borderline in that category. They've got Dannon Cavil who is 6-foot-5 that could make an impact next year. Jordan Smallwood and K.J. Young aren't huge but both have a chance to contribute quickly. And their recruiting class features a couple of tall WRs already.
Shawdog 11:22 a.m. It's obvious that Kruger has OU heading the right way but long-term...do you think he is a coach that can get the players needed and get OU to become a tournament fixture. Or is he a short-term fix?
Ryan Aber 11:23 a.m. I think there's no doubt he is. Now, he's probably not going to recruit a ton of McDonald's All-Americans to OU but he's done a solid job recruiting and he seems to always get about as much as you could ask for out of his teams. This was going to be a transition year to begin with and they've played pretty well, all things considered. The class they have coming in next year could make a really big difference.
Eddie 11:23 a.m. Any bold OU recruting predictions? Maybe OU lands Clark and Steven Parker? Maybe a name you care to share we haven't heard yet?
Ryan Aber 11:25 a.m. I think if OU lands Clark, Parker and Quick, they'd be absolutely thrilled with the class. And, individually, I think all three go that way. I think Clark winds up wanting to stay close to home, the coaching changes recently elsewhere helped OU with Parker and the Sooners have a solid Fresno pipeline going. Would be a big close for the Sooners.
Moonie 11:25 a.m. With the Big 12 not having a confernce football championship game and with the new 4 team playoff will it hurt the Big 12 from getting a playoff spot..
Ryan Aber 11:27 a.m. It's one of those things that could have an impact but I think the greater impact would be if there was a conference title game and an undefeated team lost it. An undefeated Big 12 team is still going to make the playoff and a one-loss team will have an excellent chance. There are years when it certainly could have an impact and I'd rather all conference had a title game, but it won't hurt more than it helps I don't believe.
Guest 11:27 a.m. The Juco tight end that we signed in Dec is he going to make a big splash in the spring? We haven't had a huge tight end impact since James Hanna left in 2011? Are we actively recruiting the position???
Ryan Aber 11:30 a.m. I don't know that he'll make a huge impact but I think he'll be a solid player for them. OU wants to make the tight end more a part of its offense and they started to do that, at least a bit, by the end of the season. I think they're more recruiting the position for the 2015 class right now.
Ryan Aber 11:30 a.m. All right, time to wrap this up. Thanks for the questions everyone.

by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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