Here are some quotes from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops during Wednesday's signing day press conference.
"I really just want to say just how pleased I was with the work of our staff
to work throughout this process. Really, the work they did early, and the
commitments we had early. Then after the bowl game we had more than we thought,
just a great work ethic through the rest of recruiting. Really the reception
we got after Christmas and in the last two weeks I thought really completed
the class in a great way.
"I felt more than anything we answered all of our needs. We came into this
recruiting season and knew where most of our shortcomings were. We would have
to sign more offensive players than defensive players. That was where the
biggest need was. I felt like we really got what we needed in those areas and
answered those questions. Defensively, the same thing, we got the guys we
needed. When it all balanced out at the end and I look at the whole team
roster we have the numbers we are used to having at every position. That part
of it was really good.
"The way it broke down with the 25 signees you have 11 different states
represented. It really shows the broad range, maybe the overall popularity
throughout the country and just the recognition around the country. The
success that maybe we have had through the years reaches really everywhere.
Three players from California, a player in Maryland, to three players in
Florida let alone our home base here in Oklahoma and Texas where together we
had 10 guys. A guy from Cleveland, one guy from Chicago so all of that makes
you jump around, but it's really positive in that I love to recruit the whole
country. You just have so many more opportunities I feel moving forward.
Usually players recruit players. Now I feel as we go back into those areas
next year and the year after players are going to recognize and say ‘so-and-so
has gone there and he did well, it could be a great opportunity for me.'
Hopefully that will continue.
"We also had six junior college players. This is more than we have had in the
past, but I felt that we had more immediate needs this year than maybe at some
other times. I feel these guys all really fit what we need and are special
players. We have six guys who are already here enrolled in Trey Metoyer,
Jordan Wade, Chaz Nelson, Kass Everett, Taylor McNamara and Brannon Green.
These guys are all two tight ends, a corner, a wide receiver, a defensive back
and a defensive lineman, guys that will really make a big impact in the spring.
That is a positive getting them in early. How it all broke down there are 17
on offense and eight on defense. Again, I think it's a great class. I couldn't
be more pleased with it. I expect these guys to really make a big impact, all
of them, in next year's team."
On the staff's effort on this recruiting class:
"They did a great job. I said that earlier. I really thought they did a great
job of always knowing that here are players that we have always liked, now we
know we have more room or opportunity to go recruit. We had kept in touch and
knew about them. There was some relationship there. Then we followed up on it.
Fortunately for us I think with the overall success we have had in the last 12-
13 years, usually when we are in the game, kids are going to give us an
opportunity. Once they got here our players did a great job recruiting them
when they are on campus. The facilities that Joe Castiglione and President
Boren have provided for us really work well for us when players get to see our
campus. Our coaches did a great job following up with them. To complete the
class in the last week and a half was really special."
On Oklahoma's wide receiver class:
"I love all these guys. They are all special athletes. When you look at Durron
Neal, Sterling Shepard, Derrick Woods, Courtney Gardner and Trey Metoyer they
are fabulous athletes in speed, quickness size, catching the football, running
with the football and returns. Courtney Gardner is a little bit older and
bigger. Here is a guy who is 6-3 and 215 and has all kind of upside once he
gets to training with us. To me all of these guys are really special. I think
they have a chance and are really going to make a huge impact. Trey Metoyer is
already on campus. Trey is who everyone talked about in last year's class as
the best receiver in the country. In my opinion he was. Now he is here
training and I am excited about him as well."
On recruiting Courtney Gardner:
"I talked to Jay Norvell one day, he'd be on the east coast one day and the
next day he'd be on the west coast. He just kept flying to get to all of those
guys and get to the parents. He did a great job with them, just keeping them
alive. Here at the end we got him in. He had a great visit and saw the great
opportunity here. It worked out well. He is a big, strong guy with speed. What
don't you like about him?"
On recruiting junior college players:
"It's hard when the parents are in a different location because when you see
the player on one day you have to see the parents on the same day. So if they
are in different states it can be harder. A lot of times what we will try and
do is one coach will go see the player and one coach will go see the parents.
Or the young man may have just been on his visit on the weekend. Here it is
Tuesday and he just saw me or the coaches. He may say, ‘Hey go see my parents
this week don't worry about me,' even though you always worry about them. They
tell you that and then they miss seeing you. My point being, sometimes it
works that way. It's a little bit harder but usually you find a way to have
enough contact that you need."
On the running backs in this year's class:
"There are guys out there each year that are really pretty amazing and pretty
exciting. Damien [Williams] does a great job. I love the young guys we got.
When you look at Alex Ross and David Smith with the big size then you look at
Daniel Brooks who is half their size but has all kind of speed. He may be the
fastest guy in Texas this year. So those guys are great young players too. As
I showed a year ago you need to have four or five backs when you are snapping
the ball as often has we have to keep everyone fresh and healthy."
On quarterback Trevor Knight:
"Trevor is a great leader. He is talented. I love the athlete he is. I think
everything starts with us and Trevor is this way. It starts with throwing the
football. I think he has a great release in how he throws the ball. I think he
has excellent feet to go with it. That is exciting to have a guy once in a
while who can make something happen. It always begins with guys being able to
throw the ball first. So that's what we liked about him first, but then you
throw in some of the other intangible. He is a very bright guy, competitive.
He is a leader. He has been in our locker room a bunch after our games
throughout the years and you can tell he has the personality you want. He has
always helped recruit other guys for us. He is a sharp player."
On defensive end Mike Onuoha:
"We worked it to the end with Mike Onuoha. I really love the athlete Mike is.
He has all kind of size and range and you watch him and his ability to change
direction and run. I think he hasn't played football all but a couple of years.
So I think again his upside when he really gets comfortable and the more he
plays as he fills out that body he is going to be a really special player. He
is going to be one these d-ends that we have had. I think he has a real chance
from watching his athleticism as a young guy."
On Mike Stoops' impact:
"Mike had an excellent impact but so did all of our coaches, I think too much
is made sometimes when one guy leaves or one guy comes in on recruiting a guy.
We all recruit. Our program recruits. All of our guys hustle and at the end I
think the program recruits as much as anything. That's what makes OU
interesting and able to sustain our success. Mike has a great reputation at
his time here and his defenses at Arizona and how they have played and been
structured. I thought it was pretty seamless though, the transition."
On the recruiting process:
"It is kind of always flowing. I don't think there ever is an exact process.
Some years you have more seniors than others or you have more positions to
fill than others. It's always a little bit different. Usually after a bowl
game things always transition a little bit. Then you keep flowing with it and
keep working it until the end. I thought our guys did a great job."
On recruiting big tight ends:
"It is something you always want. Those previous guys did a good job for us.
You got to admit those guys did a lot of good plays through the years for us.
But these guys have a chance to be bigger guys. All of them have the size and
strength. Sam Grant a huge guy out of Cleveland and Taylor McNamara who had
been committed to Arizona for a long time. We loved the way he played also.
Then Brannon Green is another big physical guy. So they are the kind of guys
we are used to having and the guys we are used to having success with."
On defensive end Charles Tapper:
"I watched him play basketball. He scored about 30 points a game. He is 6-4
and 255 pounds like another Charles Barkley in there. He has great speed and
tenacity at the defensive end. He is a great athlete, powerful and tough. I
think he is really special, just a tough physical guy and again, a great
basketball player. Coach [Lon] Kruger might be checking him out. There are a
bunch of guys here that they might be looking at."
On Eric Striker:
"Great story, Eric Striker is a fabulous outside linebacker or wherever he
wants to play. He was on a 15-0 team and I think they signed 11 players today
out of his high school. Eric is one of the true leaders on the team, really a
special player. He begged his coach to call Oklahoma. He called Oklahoma for
like three weeks the spring of his junior year. Finally his coach called and
we were on spring break and he left a message. We followed up and got all of
the information on him and watched him and sure enough this guy is special. We
offer him a scholarship and coach said you could hear him screaming over the
phone at the track meet just because of how excited he was. He committed
shortly after. He could have gone about anywhere he wanted, but he wanted to
be here, which is a pretty neat story.
"He said while he was in grade school that one of the first games he can
remember really watching we were playing someone but he didn't say who. He
just kept hearing the chant O-U, O-U, O-U. From then on he said that every
time OU was on TV he watched. So it's pretty special that a guy all the way
down there in Tampa, Florida is following you that way."
On recruiting three players from Florida:
"I think I said it earlier but players recruit players. When players start to
see one guy in their area go and do well they trust that guy. They visit with
them. Then they see the same opportunity for themselves."