“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.”