NORMAN — The Stoops brothers each praised Oklahoma's newly signed defensive backs Wednesday afternoon, while hinting their 2013 secondary group remained incomplete.
“When this group finalizes today, this will be as complete a group of secondary guys that I've ever been associated with,” said Mike Stoops, Oklahoma's defensive coordinator.
Head coach Bob Stoops added, “I feel great about the skill and the ability of those guys, and we'll see if there's anything more to add to it by the end of the day.”
Two hours after the signing day news conference, L.J. Moore completed the group.
The four-star cornerback from Fresno, Calif. — and high-school teammate of safety signee Hatari Byrd — announced he'd also chosen Oklahoma, becoming the 24th member of the Sooners' 2013 signing class.
“It's going to be really nasty in that secondary,” Byrd said.
With its new signing class, Oklahoma took steps to improve in areas where it struggled during the 2012 season; added prospects to thin, inexperienced units; and, in some cases, signaled possible schematic or philosophical changes.
Asked what he told recruits regarding any offensive or defensive system changes, Bob Stoops said: “I say that is something that we are always looking to tinker and see what would work best and what would fit best. There hasn't been any decisions made, but those are the things we will look at in the next month.”
Mike Stoops addressed reports of an impending shift to a 3-4 defense, saying such speculation was premature, while admitting the necessity of greater schematic flexibility in correcting the various problems that resulted in opponents' eye-popping statistics and point totals late last season.
“Toward the end of the year, we gave up way too many points, way too many yards,” Mike Stoops said. “As good as those teams were, we need to be better equipped to handle those styles of offenses. This group of players will help us move forward.”
Significant in such improvement will be enhanced linebacker play. When the spread offenses of teams like Baylor, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas A&M trotted out four wide receivers, Mike Stoops tinkered with defenses that featured six or seven defensive backs.