This just in, Texas football is pretty good at recruiting. With Texas fans already starting plans for their 2013 recruiting championship parade down Sixth Street, Oklahoma fans are left wondering why they've yet to receive their first commitment for 2013 and when exactly that might come. What could be getting lost in the shuffle however is how the Sooners might be able to benefit from what is expected to be a small Texas class in 2013 and a class that is rapidly losing available spots.
As Oklahoma prepares to host its second Junior Day this coming weekend, Texas has already hosted two and because of their expected small class they've been forced to be even more selective with their offers than they usually are. As a result, several talented recruits have left Austin empty handed, without a Texas scholarship offer, and several have voiced their disappointment. This is where Oklahoma comes in.
Can the Sooners take advantage of the situation with some of these kids who do not have an offer from Texas and convince them to cross that Red River? Back when Bob Stoops first got here, he had a ton of success with kids from Texas playing with a chip on their shoulder because the Longhorns never came knocking. Why not try and capitalize on Texas' current situation and recreate that success in this year's class?
Admittedly, it's a bit of a slippery slope for the following reasons. Let's say you snag one of these kids who has been dreaming of playing for Texas and for whatever reason they don't receive an offer from the Horns. So OU comes in and capitalizes on the situation as we described it, secures his commitment, and all is right in Sooner Nation. Then, again for whatever reason, something changes at Texas and a spot opens up. So the Horns come swooping in and this kid who had been committed to OU, but grew up dreaming of wearing that burnt orange (yuck!) just can't pass up the chance to play for his childhood team and decommits from the Sooners switching to Texas (we can now call this a "Naashon" as our friend Jon Woods so aptly put it). It wouldn't be the first time or the last, so it will be up to the coaches to determine whether or not that risk is worth the reward.
All we can do for now is give you the names of some of the players who could be 'ripe for the picking' after being passed over by the Texas coaches.
Here are just a few of the players from this 2013 class that Oklahoma is targeting, that Texas has yet to offer, and that could potentially pay big dividends for the Sooners were they able to secure their commitment.
RB Keith Ford (VIDEO) - Ford is currently the top back in the state of Texas and is expected to be at OU's Junior Day this weekend. Ford already holds an offer from the Sooners and is one of the top two backs currently on their wish list. Unlike many Texas high school players, Ford doesn't hold an undying allegiance to the Horns and has repeatedly said he's open to any school that's interested in him. He's not expected to receive an offer from Texas as they already have one back committed and have their sights elsewhere for a possible second in this class.
WR Eldridge Massington (VIDEO) - Massington is one of the kids we were talking about who was just at Texas' second Junior Day and came away without an offer. Instead, Texas took a different OU target, WR Jacorey Warrick, and as such there is some talk that the Horns may not offer another wide receiver in this class. Perfect example of what we were talking about and the Sooners scooping up a very talented wide out. Massington is a big (6'3") lanky receiver who has better speed than some may give him credit for. He excels at attacking the ball at its highest point and would be a perfect fit for what OU does with their outside wide receivers. He does not currently hold an offer from OU, but that could quickly change given that Texas seems to have passed at least for now.
LB Naashon Hughes (VIDEO) - Hughes is yet another player who attended Texas' second Junior Day, came away without an offer, and was noticeably upset about it taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure. He actually has a brother, Camron Hughes, who is on the Texas football team and has been open about really wanting the chance to play with him. However now without that offer (again, for the moment), he'll be forced to reevaluate things and maybe Oklahoma can sneak into that picture. Hughes is an explosive player who at the moment could actually play linebacker or safety. The OU coaches could potentially sell him on being the hybrid type player they love so much in their defenses. He doesn't yet have an offer from the Sooners, but we'd be surprised if that doesn't change soon as the OU coaches are surely aware of his displeasure with Texas at the moment.
LB Deon Hollins Jr. (VIDEO) - Yet another player who didn't receive an offer at Texas' second Junior Day and has since voiced his disappointment after the fact. Hollins recently stated in an intereview that after not getting an offer from Texas and seeing their other offers/commitments at his position(s), he had moved OU very high up on his list. Hollins plays defensive end for his h.s. team, but projects as an OLB at the college level. On film, he is a quality edge rusher who uses his speed and quick first step to get to the quarterback. Hollins does hold an offer from Oklahoma and while he has said he'll try his best to make the Sooners second Junior Day this weekend, he is not expected to be there at the moment.