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

“And I think they pay attention and see a lot of the success California kids have had coming out here. I think it all goes together. And the fact that we're on TV every week.”

But the Sooners' non-Texas recruiting goes beyond California. Some of the best players on Oklahoma's 2013 team were from outside the area. Defensive end Charles Tapper is from Baltimore, and linebacker Eric Striker is from Florida.

Four-star 2014 offensive line commit Alex Dalton is from Troy, Ohio, and the Sooners have even crept into SEC country this year, with two New Orleans commitments, defensive back Tito Windham (Gulfport, Miss.) and defensive end Dwayne Orso (Homewood, Ala.).

Last February on National Signing Day, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was asked about the Sooners' national recruiting strategy. He had helped OU land defensive backs Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore, both from Fresno, Calif., and Ahmad Thomas, from Miami.

“To me, my responsibilities with my players and our team here, and then to travel was very difficult,” he said. “We were able to get in on kids that were committed to Oklahoma from the get-go and didn't waver one bit. … It's hard. The travel is hard. It isn't ideal. But you have to get the best players.”


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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