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OU football: Sooners recruiting game plan goes beyond Texas

California has become one of OU's favorite places to recruit as well as some of the SEC states.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 2, 2014


photo -  Oklahoma's Brennan Clay (24) runs for a 64-yard touchdown during an NCAA college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State University Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Oklahoma won 41-31. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Brennan Clay (24) runs for a 64-yard touchdown during an NCAA college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State University Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Oklahoma won 41-31. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — When it comes to recruiting, Oklahoma is depending much less on Texas these days.

Of the Sooners' 22 current commitments in their recruiting class of 2014, only seven are Texans. And of OU's remaining targets, two are from Oklahoma and one is from Utah.

In fact, the Sooners have nearly as many commitments from California (5) as they do from Texas.

Oklahoma became less and less dependent on Lone Star State recruiting as it became apparent that most of the top-flight talent in the state that the Sooners wanted was choosing Texas, said Josh McCuistion, who covers OU recruiting for the Rivals network site SoonerScoop.com.

“It does surprise you when you think about it from a tradition standpoint and the footprint of Oklahoma football and how much connection there is to Texas, but when you look at the results they were getting,” McCuisition said. “They weren't landing those guys. Texas was landing the elite guys that Oklahoma offered and clearly wanted.”

So coach Bob Stoops and his staff began looking elsewhere, and lately, California has become one of their favorite places to hunt for talent.

“That 2010 class was the first time you really saw it,” McCuistion said. “Brennan Clay really liked Oklahoma early, and it just kinda fell into their lap that he was so big on them.”

Clay persuaded his close friends, Tony Jefferson and Kenny Stills, to join him Norman. All three became important contributors during their OU careers, and have helped recruit more California prospects to Oklahoma.

“I think a lot of things,” Stoops said earlier this year when asked what California high school players find attractive about OU. “Success, you know, the championships we've been in and won, and not won.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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