NORMAN — To hear Urban Meyer say it — or see him Tweet it, more appropriately — Bob Stoops is on the cutting edge of social media.
“My good friend Bob Stoops talked me into this Twitter stuff — lets see how it goes,” Meyer tweeted Tuesday after opening an account on the site. Stoops has had his own Twitter account for about a year but it had always been set to private — until Wednesday.
Around noon, Stoops' Twitter account, @OU_CoachStoops, was opened to the public after being closed off to all but a select few since it opened.
It was a big shift in philosophy for Stoops, who said as recently as last month that he did not intend to use the account for anything other than recruiting purposes.
Stoops was asked on signing day in February — a day when he (or someone on his account) was tweeting each signee as they came across the fax machine — whether people other than recruits had tried to follow him on Twitter.
“Are you kidding? Of course. Yeah, quite a few,” Stoops said. “That's not happening. It's like I had a published e-mail for a day. My secretary walked in with a stack of papers, just suggestions and what I need to be doing and everything else. That was way back in 2001.”
He later went on to say he used it as a recruiting tool but wouldn't tweet to the masses.
“Do I do it publicly,” Stoops asked. “No. That's not gonna happen.”
Wednesday, it didn't sound like Stoops was embracing the change when reminded of those comments.
His first answer would've fit nicely in the confines of Twitter's 140-character limit with plenty to spare. His second would've extended the limit by just eight characters.
“Yeah, so now it did,” Stoops said Wednesday. “So what? That was a long time ago.”
He wouldn't talk about what led to the switch.
“Now, I don't need to get into all that,” Stoops said. “You guys want to talk about Louisiana-Monroe, we'll talk. Other than that, I don't care to discuss all that.”
When the account was unlocked, Stoops had less than 200 followers — mostly recruits, fellow coaches and current and former players. By Wednesday evening, he had more than 5,500 followers and climbing.
Meyer was nearing the 30,000-follower mark at the same time.
Stoops hasn't exactly had a fond relationship with Twitter in the past.
Three years ago, Jaz Reynolds was suspended for a tweet he posted shortly after a gunman opened fire in the University of Texas library.
“Hey everyone in Austin, tx…….kill yourself #evillaugh,” Reynolds tweeted.
When Kameel Jackson was suspended last year, he took to Twitter to announce he was transferring to Texas A&M, which drew an admonishment from Stoops.
“He shouldn't be on Twitter when he's making a foolish statement,” Stoops said then.
Jackson wound up transferring to a junior college and is now at Tennessee.
Wednesday, Jackson was one of the former players who reacted on the site when Stoops' account was opened.
“Coach Stoops has a twitter???? Haha, that's funny,” Jackson posted.
The vast majority of Stoops' tweets have been retweets from the official OU football account.
After Wednesday's practice, that account posted a short video of Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin, who had mentioned Stoops' account in a tweet earlier in the day, encouraging fans to follow the now-open account.