Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops admitted Tuesday that keeping upperclassmen players â€œall inâ€ from the end of the season to the bowl game has been a challenge in the past.
â€œThat's a legitimate factor,â€ Stoops said during his pre-Fiesta Bowl press conference â€” the Sooners will meet Connecticut on Jan. 1.
â€œJuniors and seniors already with a foot out the door. We had a bunch of kids already graduate, they're on to the next step as soon as they walk out your locker room they're in to something different after that game. Or a junior that's going out early. And that is an issue that in these games can be hard to manage, too.
â€œIt's talking to them about it, reasoning with them to stay all in until after the game then make those decisions. Because I believe if they already know exactly what they're doing, subconsciously, they've got a foot out, instead of waiting.â€
Stoops also confessed that could have been a factor in any of OU's five straight bowl losses. In most of those games, the Sooners had several underclassmen that declared for the NFL Draft the following week.
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