Five of the top seven prospects in The Oklahoman's final Super 30 rankings are Sooner commitments, which syncs up with East Central coach Bobby Klinck's theory that OU's history, tradition and continued success still make it the more attractive option for the majority of the state's top high school players.
“If they had to choose between those two, usually OU's gonna win that battle,” Klinck said. “Maybe OSU's just decided that they can get more guys down in Texas than here.”
Manning doesn't necessarily buy that. He thinks it depends on how the player was brought up.
“I don't think it's one of those deals where everybody wants to go to OU,” he said. “I think right now it's just kind of how were you raised?”
It's clear, though, that OSU continues to make talent-rich Texas a recruiting priority, as 16 of its 22 commitments for 2013 are from the state.
OSU has already offered four Oklahoma players for the 2014 class, including Broken Arrow running back Devon Thomas, a four-star prospect who switched from OU to OSU in December. And some last-minute 2013 in-state offers could come just before Signing Day, much like the ones Muncrief and Vester received a year ago.
Even with the lack of Oklahoma recruits in this particular class, OSU coaches have had a continued presence with in-state high schools throughout the recruiting season.
Manning had a meeting with former offensive coordinator Todd Monken last spring to discuss quarterback Justice Hansen, who is primed to be a national recruit. Johnson said he feels his staff is always welcome in Stillwater to talk Xs and Os with the Cowboy coaches. The hiring of new assistant Jason Ray, a former Broken Arrow player who recruited Oklahoma while he was coaching at Wyoming, suggests in-state recruiting is still important to OSU.
Johnson certainly doesn't feel his school, his players and his state are being ignored.
“We've always had a great relationship,” Johnson said. “I don't see that changing. … The one thing that we look for, as far as a high school goes, when they're being recruited is, ‘Are they being treated right?' Those guys are definitely doing it.”