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OSU football: Staying close to home is a Cowboys recruiting strategy

Coach Mike Gundy is quite content right where he is, blanketing Oklahoma and Texas and picking from other neighboring states.
by John Helsley Published: February 5, 2012

Oklahoma State's football success is translating into a brand that has never been bolder.

Or broader.

Mike Gundy experienced firsthand the expanded awareness of his school and program on the recruiting trail.

“The success that we've had and being ranked as high as we were throughout the season and playing on TV as much,” Gundy said, “and then being in the BCS game, where we were kind of the only show on, gave us instant respect in a lot of schools.

“When we were in there recruiting after the bowl game, we walked in and they saw this logo” — Gundy said pointing to his chest — “and they saw Pistol Pete. Maybe 10 years ago, people didn't know who you were. But I noticed this year, people recognized who we were and we had instant respect when we walked in those offices.”

Indeed, OSU's appeal has gone national.

Yet don't expect Gundy's recruiting focus to do the same.

To the contrary, Gundy is quite content right where he is, blanketing Oklahoma and Texas and picking from the other neighboring states… and Georgia. Yes, Georgia, thanks to the knowledge and appeal of Glenn Spencer in his home state.

Beyond that, Gundy isn't so interested, unless there's a natural draw.

“There are certain areas we cover, and there's certain areas where we jump in and jump out,” Gundy said. “We're going to stay pretty confined.”

Why not branch out? Why not tap into a greater talent pool stretching from coast to coast?

The question isn't so much why not, but why?

There are more than enough players in Texas to go around with a few plum prospects here in Oklahoma.

“It's kind of like a fast-food restaurant,” Gundy said. “Somebody starts one and then they have 50 stores, and two years later you're bankrupt. I want to make sure we spend a lot of time and effort into areas where our success has come from, which is Oklahoma and Texas. And then a little time in Atlanta.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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