Chat with Bob Przybylo
Welcome to SoonerNation! On Monday, recruiting writer Bob Przybylo stops by to chat about everything Oklahoma.
Bob Przybylo joined ESPN.com in 2011 after spending four years with The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman covering high schools and recruiting. Przybylo lives in Oklahoma City.
Send your questions now and join Przybylo Monday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bob Przybylo (4:00 PM)
First day of spring ball. Fallout from junior day. A lot to talk about with Oklahoma so let's not waste any time.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Backup Quarterback for Landry Jones in 2012 at Oklahoma?
Bob Przybylo (4:02 PM)
I think it's Drew Allen. Blake Bell has made a lot of strides, but Allen seems to have a better understanding of the whole offense. Either way, with Landry Jones back, OU is in a very good spot at QB in 2012.
Oklahoma appears to be employing a national approach to recruiting, rather than a regional strategy. The de-emphasis on regional recruiting means that Oklahoma is less likely to pick up elite recruits from the region (Texas, Missouri, Kansas), thus placing a greater need on landing players in California, Florida, Ohio, etc. The 2012 class, however, shows that OU was able to get only three non-regional ?elite? recruits: Taylor McNamara (California), Derrick Woods (California), and Ty Darlington (Florida). Many fans are dubious Oklahoma can draw sufficient ?elite? talent outside of the region on a consistent year-to-year basis. It is for this reason, I believe, that so many of us are apprehensive about this new recruiting strategy.
Bob Przybylo (4:03 PM)
I guess, Bubba, it depends on what you feel is an elite recruit. I've said it for the last month or so that I believe a couple of Florida defenders in CB Gary Simon and S Eric Striker will end up being the names to remember on defense from the 2012 class.
Bob Przybylo (4:04 PM)
Also, at some point, you have to trust Tim Kish and Mike Stoops. They've been in the trenches on the west coast for a long time. I just don't see them going after kids just for the sake of going after them.
Any updates on the status of Jaz Reynolds and Dom Whaley?
Bob Przybylo (4:05 PM)
Good news on both fronts. Bob Stoops said today that Jaz Reynolds is cleared to participate in spring. Whaley is still recovering from his injury, but Stoops said Whaley is making good progress.
My understanding is that TV networks can force changes to the football schedule. Have you heard anything about any OU games being moved? I wouldn?t mind seeing the Baylor game moved to the 3rd week (the week before KSU). If it happened, this could give OU a bye week before the West Virginia game
Bob Przybylo (4:06 PM)
I have not heard anything about games being moved. The 2012 schedule was incredibly tough to put together that at this point, I don't see any changes coming.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Ford got the Sooners off the snide with his commitment this weekend. Do you anticipate more players to follow suit in the coming days? If so, who is most likely?
Bob Przybylo (4:07 PM)
I don't want to get anybody's hopes up, but I could see maybe one more. I do think OU is content in utilizing a patient approach. DE Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy) had a phenomenal time at junior day and clearly has OU No. 1 on his list.
People are speculating that OU could have the chance to have a top 3 recruiting class in 2013 with many players interested. What would you say ?
Bob Przybylo (4:10 PM)
We're a long ways away from judging classes. No doubt OU will have a chance to make a big splash, but will they? That remains to be seen. The question is going to be how many of these non-regional kids can the Sooners entice to come to OU. The staff hasn't been bashful in offering top national kids. But except for a couple of recruits, OU hasn't been a clear favorite for some of the national recruits. A lot of work to be done.
Bob, who's the guy among OU's 2013 offers who should be getting more attention but isn't? I know Sooner folks have been really discouraged by the developments among the elite OLs and the lost battles with Texas, but is there an OU offer flying under the radar who could really surprise us?
Bob Przybylo (4:13 PM)
Not sure if flying under the radar would be the way to phrase it. Because OU is targeting so many non-regional kids, they're all kind of known. However, I do think OU is in a great spot with defensive Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif.). USC looks like a favorite, but OU is right up there. There are some OK/TX recruits I believe OU should offer but still haven't at this point.
Do you think that the Belldozer will be used much more in 2012?
Bob Przybylo (4:14 PM)
It will be used as necessary. It stemmed from OU's lack of red zone success in 2011. If the Sooners' running game is stout, perhaps OU doesn't have to rely on it and certainly not as much as we saw in the latter half of 2011.
Alex (Hoffman Estates)
Do you think Oklahoma can go all the way?
Bob Przybylo (4:15 PM)
I have a lot of questions about the defense at this point. Replacing Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis won't be easy. The secondary had some major gaps in 2011 and no idea how that group will respond in 2012. I like OU's offense, but the defense is a concern.
Carter (Oklahoma City)
In addition to recruiting more nationally this staff seems more intent on rolling out offers more slowly. Why is that do you think?
Bob Przybylo (4:17 PM)
The OU staff isn't looking to offer kids just for the sake of offering them. They want to get to know them as players and people and see how they fit with OU. Then they want to be able to evaluate their talent in person. It's a gradual process that a lot of recruits are respecting. Honesty is going a long way for OU in 2013, even if the commitments aren't coming at this juncture.
Pryz! Justin Manning signs with OU. True or False?
Bob Przybylo (4:18 PM)
True. Don't know when, but Manning wanted to feel wanted by OU. After last weekend's junior day, it is clear OU and Manning are seeing eye-to-eye. DeMarcus Granger is playing a big role. Feel like it is a matter of time.
What/Who should we pay attention to during Spring Ball?
Bob Przybylo (4:20 PM)
I'm interested in seeing how the LBs/DBs adjust to life with Kish and Mike Stoops. And on offense, I want to see how TEs Brannon "Moose" Green and Taylor McNamara look as well as WR Trey Metoyer. It really depends on what is your cup of tea because there are a lot of storylines to watch that colleague Jake Trotter has already talked about.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Besides Metoyer, are any of the other Sooner WR recruits participating in spring practice?
Bob Przybylo (4:21 PM)
No, none of the other receivers are enrolled early. Durron Neal, Sterling Shepard, Derrick Woods and Courtney Gardner will have to wait until the summer to show what they can do.
What are the chances of OU signing DJ Ward from Lawton in 2013 over Texas?
Bob Przybylo (4:23 PM)
OU is in great standing with D.J. Ward. It's been a month of frustration for Ward in terms of not being able to hit certain campuses. He has interest in Texas, but the Sooners have been so persistent with Ward. He had a good time at junior day but don't expect a commitment any time soon.
Was Hanna's performance at the combine a surprise to you?
Bob Przybylo (4:24 PM)
Not really. We saw what James Hanna could do in 2010. And maybe the numbers weren't eye-popping in 2011, but it wasn't his fault. Hanna has a great future as do a number of OU players from the 2011 class.
What do you think of the addition of three ex sooner players as coaches?
Bob Przybylo (4:25 PM)
I like it. I'm a fan of having people who know what it's like and what it means to be a Sooner coming around and teaching the younger guys.
How soon does Manning commit?
Bob Przybylo (4:27 PM)
It's a good question. Manning wants to see LSU, and he's in a position where he can take his time in making his decision. I do feel like OU will eventually be his destination, but it wouldn't shock me if we're still asking this question in the summer. He's high on everybody's board so he has the power.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will Tim Kish be able to lure Chans Cox and/or Marcus Farria out of Arizona to Norman?
Bob Przybylo (4:28 PM)
Not too sure about Farria since OU has offered so many DEs at this point. However, the Sooners are in a good spot regarding Chans Cox. Of all the non-regional kids, feel like Cox is OU's best shot at this point.
Really random question: it seems like people have trouble understanding what recruiting really entails. I wonder if some of this stems from stuff like the NCAA video games: pitch program prestige -> ???????? -> profit. What one thing do you wish every fan knew about the real recruiting process that nobody seems to understand?
Bob Przybylo (4:31 PM)
Interesting question. I'm not gonna say nobody understands it, but things can change very quickly. And just because a recruit had a great time on a visit sometimes doesn't really mean too much in the long run.
Steve (Moore, OK)
Other than having to put up with fans of other teams using it as fodder, why is everyone so worried about the lack of commitments?
Bob Przybylo (4:32 PM)
Ha ha, been asking that myself, Steve. I think fans are feeling like OU is getting left behind as schools like Texas and Texas A&M and Michigan rack up the commits. But the truth is OU hasn't lost too many realistic targets, and the Sooners approach hasn't turned off any recruits. They won't get them all, but it won't be because the patient approach was the problem.
If you could pick 2 LB's (one Inside, one out) for the class of 2013 who would you pick?
Bob Przybylo (4:34 PM)
Inside linebacker I really like Chans Cox. Been impressed with his film and like what he brings to the table. Definitely appears as if he is a fan of the Sooners. At outside linebacker, I'm going Deon Hollins Jr. He could play a hybrid role of defensive end and linebacker, but I think OU really pursuing Hollins hard in the next month would be a great idea.
Is there any kicking battles to watch or are we set in all three phases?
Bob Przybylo (4:36 PM)
For once, I don't have any questions about OU's kicking game with Hunnicutt and Way. Stoops even brought up that Hunnicutt is even stronger than he was last year. OU was so sure in the kicking game that the Sooners didn't pursue a kicker in the 2012 class, felt like it wasn't needed.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Who was the best Sooner on the great defenses of the 80s (Bosworth, Casillas, R. Dixon, Dante Jones, K-Murphy etc)
Bob Przybylo (4:38 PM)
A lot of good names, and I hate to be boring, but I'm going with The Boz. As someone who didn't grow up in Oklahoma, even I knew who The Boz was. His impact was national, and he delivered the goods.
Jamelle Holieway (OU Legend)
Am I the greatest wishbone operator Barry Switzer ever coached at OU?
Bob Przybylo (4:39 PM)
You're on the short list, no doubt. Definitely wish YouTube was around during your time.
Bob Przybylo (4:44 PM)
OU needs to focus on defense for the 2013 class, but the Sooners offense is so appealing to recruits. You see it with OU getting the Keith Ford commitment this weekend. RB Greg Bryant is also high on OU. It's tough to move away from the offense, but the Sooners staff is definitely attacking the defense although the results aren't quite there just yet.
Will the 2013 class focus on the defense or is it going to be pretty evenly split?
Bob Przybylo (4:45 PM)
Sort of what I was alluding to before, but yea, the defense is vital for 2013. There isn't a spot where OU hasn't been aggressive already. You look at defensive backs, ends and linebackers, and you're looking at the bulk of OU's 2013 offers.
Will we be looking at any JUCO talent or is that something they don't really decide on until closer to signing period when it appears we might not get the HS talent we expected?
Bob Przybylo (4:51 PM)
The preference seems to be looking at the top high school talent first. That was definitely the case for the 2012 class until everything just kind of went nuts, and OU was forced to look at juco kids. OU hit jucos hard for the 2012 class. We're gonna find out soon if it worked out.
I always wondered how that worked, thanks. I really like what I saw from the JUCO WR we picked up this year, I think he will be awesome. When can he start working out with Norvell and the other WR's?
Bob Przybylo (4:55 PM)
There are a lot of people that believe two late pickups by OU in RB Damien Williams and WR Courtney Gardner are going to end up being the 'steals' of signing day week. Kenny Stills went as far to say Gardner is the best WR in the 2012 class. The plan is for Gardner to hit Norman early in the summer and work from there. Expectations are certainly high for Gardner.
Bob Przybylo (4:58 PM)
That will wrap up this edition. Appreciate all the questions. I know a lot of people are wondering about OU spring ball. Keep it locked on SoonerNation as Jake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon will break it all down.