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Ryan Aber: Sugar Bowl win will continue to have impact on OU's program for several years

by Ryan Aber Modified: January 17, 2014 at 9:25 am •  Published: January 17, 2014
NewsOKSports 9:20 a.m. Ryan will be logging in at 11 a.m., but you can begin sending in your questions now.
Steve Lackmeyer 11:01 a.m. All right, it's 11 a.m. and time to get started. Keep the questions coming
Ryan Aber 11:01 a.m. And this is Ryan, not Steve
dooby 11:01 a.m. gut feeling, where does Deondre Clark end up? also, who would win in a moped race, Rhode or Tram?
Ryan Aber 11:03 a.m. First and most importantly, my gut says Clark winds up at Oklahoma. The family was hurt that OU ceased contact when Jackie Shipp left but Bob Stoops especially has done a lot to repair that relationship over the past couple of months. He's not going to announce until signing day in all likelihood but it looks like he'll stay close to home. Clark was scheduled to visit Shipp and Arizona State this weekend but chose instead to be in Norman for the Sooners' big recruiting weekend. That's a big indicator to me that he'll go to OU.
Carter 11:04 a.m. Looks to me like the Parker kid from Jenks is just teasing the Sooners and would rather sign with Texas A&M. But with the loss of A&M's defensive backs coach he seems to be waivering from them. Where do you think he will go?
Ryan Aber 11:06 a.m. I'm not sure about teasing OU. But right after the coach left, I certainly thought the Sooners were set with Parker. He initially said he didn't want to take this close to signing day but he's certainly doing that. I don't see it as teasing OU, because I still think he winds up in Norman but I think he's being deliberate and considering all options before he makes a commitment. Sort of wish more kids would do that instead of rushing to commit and then reconsidering later.
Mike 11:07 a.m. looks like The Alabama win is paying off this year and probably 2-3 years after this year, with recruiting and National respect
Ryan Aber 11:09 a.m. There's no doubt it's making a difference. That all started with Joe Mixon and has grown from there. When you get a win like that, it attracts the attention of the nation's top recruits. And when the nation's top recruits go your way, you have a lot more sway over other guys you want. There's no doubt the ripple effect from the Sugar Bowl win will continue to affect things in Norman for several years, even longer if they build off this to get back into the national title picture regularly.
Jacob 11:09 a.m. What's going on with Cameron Clark right now?
Ryan Aber 11:12 a.m. Teams are defending him differently now and he hasn't figured out how to adjust yet. After being the best player on the floor in the OU-KU game, he's really struggled against Iowa State and Kansas State. The difference in this year's Cam Clark and the one of the past, though, is that I don't think this will linger. In the past, Clark has let a bad game eat at him for long stretches and hasn't bounced back well. Now, he understands better how to stick with things and keep adjusting. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a solid game tomorrow in Waco against Baylor. He felt like he passed up some looks that he should've taken against Kansas State and I don't anticipate that being an issue tomorrow.
Sean 11:13 a.m. Is Buddy Hield's foot bothering him? He didn't look the same in the second half against KState
Ryan Aber 11:14 a.m. There's no doubt it's an issue right now but he insists that it's not going to turn into a major one (while still admitting that he worries it will give him problems in the future). It flared up around halftime of the Iowa State game and ached a bit against Kansas State but he said a look at the foot indicated there was nothing to worry about long term. He is wearing a boot at times when he's off the floor out of an abundance of caution.
Theboardrider 11:15 a.m. Keep hearing how great OU's recruiting class in football will be in 2015. Where is that projection coming from? Do we have early commits?
Ryan Aber 11:18 a.m. The Sooners already have four commits for 2015 including a pair of top-flight in-state kids in Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko and Jenks defensive tackle Marquise Overton. They also have Allen (Texas) OL Bobby Evans, whose father played basketball at OU, and Houston Cypress Falls DT Du'Vonta Lampkin. All but Lampkin are ranked as four-star players by Rivals so that's a solid start. OU is also believed to be the leader for Lawton offensive lineman Jalin Barnett. Bill Bedenbaugh and Jerry Montgomery are already making big waves with their 2015 recruiting.
Mike 11:18 a.m. Have you heard anymore details on the Athletics Facilities upgrades that are being discussed
Ryan Aber 11:20 a.m. It's been relatively quiet on that front but I know there's a back and forth over whether to do the football stadium upgrades, including a new press box, first or to take care of whatever changes are determined to be needed at Lloyd Noble Center. Both will happen, just unclear when they will start or what order they will come yet.
Carter 11:21 a.m. How many wins do the Sooners need in the Big 12 to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Ryan Aber 11:23 a.m. I think to feel safe they need to be .500 in the league, so seven more league wins. It won't be easy but there's certainly a path to get there. They should sweep TCU. Texas Tech is much tougher than most expected, especially after beating Baylor the other day. There's a decent chance the Big 12 sends six to the tournament but to be safe, a .500 league record should do that.
Dooby 11:23 a.m. it has been a year now, grade Stoops' staff changes from a year ago. also, imo Boulware has been kind of the unsung hero. I can't remember a year special teams have been this significant to OU.
Ryan Aber 11:27 a.m. I think when you look at things in totality, I'd give all A's. I agree with Boulware being the unsung hero, though they did have some issues on special teams in the middle of the season. But the way they finished up there, he earned that A. Both lines played excellent in the Sugar Bowl. I thought Bedenbaugh especially did a great job of holding things together through all kinds of injuries and position changes. The same can be said about Montgomery to a bit of a lesser extent. Never would've expected Jordan Wade to play like that against Alabama and obviously Gene Grissom and Charles Tapper took big steps forward this year.
Ryan Aber 11:27 a.m. That should be Geneo Grissom
Jason 11:28 a.m. What happened with Jordan Woodard the other night? Was he hurt?
Ryan Aber 11:30 a.m. He wasn't hurt. Sooners coach Lon Kruger liked what he was seeing from Je'lon Hornbeak as far as getting his teammates involved and defending. Hornbeak hasn't shot well since his return from a foot injury but he's gotten better and better the past few games elsewhere on the court. Talked to Woodard yesterday and he said it was a growing experience that he was OK with. Of course he would've rather been out there but he's handled it well.
Ryan Aber 11:31 a.m. Time for one more
Galileo 11:31 a.m. Has OU abandoned recruiting the Houston area? The last time I checked the Houston Top 100 none of them listed OU as verbals. Not good.
Ryan Aber 11:33 a.m. They haven't abandoned it but it's not as key for them as it has been either. They're still recruiting the Houston area but as California has opened up for the Sooners and they've explored some other places they don't normally go, the emphasis on Houston has lessened.
Ryan Aber 11:33 a.m. One more since it was in earlier...
Dooby 11:33 a.m. what is up Juwan Dowels? i heard OU was high on him and now there is a descrepancy in the grades OU received and the grades he received from his HS?
Ryan Aber 11:34 a.m. I've heard a bit of that and won't be surprised if he ends up elsewhere. They're still recruiting him but it seems as if things have cooled off a little over the past couple of weeks.
Ryan Aber 11:34 a.m. Thanks everyone for taking the time. Looking forward to next week.
by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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