NORMAN — Bob Stoops said there was much more than just Oklahoma's Sugar Bowl win over Alabama that went into the Sooners' strong finish to the 2014 recruiting class.
“Ahead of the Sugar Bowl, we were on track,” Stoops said Wednesday after the Sooners added 26 players on signing day. “We were on a lot of great players. We had some great commitments already. Definitely in the month after that, that momentum had a strong positive impact on us finishing out and getting these guys in the last few weeks. It isn't just the game. The assistant coaches did an excellent job. Hopefully I had a little bit to do with it, how we were all working with them, and finished in a really strong way.”
Whatever it was, it worked.
Oklahoma's strong finish continued into signing day. The Sooners inked a pair of players that went into signing day uncommitted, flipped another from an SEC school and held on to a commitment that had publicly considered another school.
The closing momentum that started Tuesday with the commitment of Jenks safety Steven Parker continued early on signing day, when New Orleans St. Augustine defensive tackle Courtney Garnett stuck with his verbal to the Sooners.
The longtime Texas commit pledged to the Sooners last week, but he went ahead with a planned trip to Notre Dame just before signing day.
Stoops read the situation and decided a softer approach was better than a take-it-or-leave-it stance with Garnett.
“I didn't like my chances if I said that,” Stoops said. “You've gotta weigh your hand. If you're going to bluff, you'd better be ready to lose. Sometime you fold 'em, sometimes you stay with it.”
Shortly after Garnett's decision became public, the Sooners signed offensive tackle Kenyon Frison (6-foot-5, 290 pounds), who chose OU over Utah.