OU football fans are too quick to judge Tim Kish, incoming class of recruits

Two things, in particular, seem to be bugging the Sooners supporters: First, the name Tim Kish did not wow enough as a hire for the linebackers opening. Secondly, in the recruiting class that will officially sign Wednesday is not up to the lofty standard.
BY TRAVIS HANEY Modified: January 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm •  Published: January 29, 2012

Wonder how many Patriots fans were once thinking, “Who the heck is Tom Brady? Did he even play at Michigan? … “Wes Welker? Who's this shrimp?”

And now?

Am I saying the Sooners, because of this class, are going to beat the Russians – or, connecting the analogy, compete with USC or LSU or Alabama? No. But who's to say they aren't? Let's wait and see. Plenty of time to establish those opinions.

Same for Kish. Sorry, folks, Ray Lewis was not available to coach your linebackers.

I've heard a lot of people trotting out this “but they couldn't even win at Arizona” argument, regarding both Kish and new-slash-old defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

Well, guess what? A lot of people wouldn't win at Arizona, and Stoops' staff actually worked a minor miracle there without many people noticing. The Wildcats had been to bowl games in the three years leading up to Stoops' firing. That's noteworthy in Tucson, even if 'Zona wasn't regularly in BCS games.

Kish was so integral to the staff that he was Stoops' choice to replace him as the interim. And Kish told me last week that he had been regularly conversing with both Mike and Bob Stoops in the past month, just in case something happened with Brent Venables or anyone else on the staff. The Stoopses sure think a lot of the guy. I would think that's a pretty strong endorsement.

He carries the strong-recruiter reputation, like a lot of assistants around the country do. But how many got their new employer in the door with a top-10 recruit that the school previously had zero shot with?

Just after Kish was hired, he flew to Arizona to meet with Phoenix-area native Davonte Neal, an “athlete” rated ESPN's No. 8 overall prospect. The Sooners are still longshots to get Neal as a receiver or cornerback, but they're now in the conversation.

At Arizona, Kish could sell sunshine and pretty girls. At Oklahoma, he's got seven national titles to go along with pretty girls (never mind the wind, guys). He's got an expanded recruiting budget and resources like he's never had before. In a world of haves and have nots in college football, Kish called OU a “have.”

So, give the guy a chance. Give this recruiting class a chance.

It's distinctly possible that these guys exceed your expectations. If not, we'll let our columnists pile on them later.