Przybylo's Mailbag: Thomas worth the risk

Bob Przybylo answers readers' questions about Oklahoma football and basketball recruiting in his mailbag every week. Got a question for Bob? Send it to his mailbag at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

Bill in Tulsa, Okla., asks: We got Cody Thomas! Yes! Is he going to stay with football, or do you see him playing baseball?

Bob Przybylo: You ran through the gamut of emotions there, Bill. It remains to be seen if Thomas is going to up in a crimson and cream uniform, but it is worth the risk.

Thomas is a quality MLB prospect, but according to Jason A. Churchill, Thomas is not a slam dunk talent on the baseball diamond. Churchill is the executive editor of Prospect Insider and helps cover the MLB Draft for ESPN HS and ESPN Insider.

Here's what he told SoonerNation about Thomas' draft prospects for 2013: “Right now, as is, he's probably a kid who would be drafted, at the earliest, in the 4th-5th round. Big, strong kid, 6-5, 220, bats left, throws right. He'd have to have a huge summer and 2013 spring to go high enough for me to believe he'd pass on football. Bet on the Sooners here, and bet hard.

That doesn’t rule out the real possibility of Thomas playing both football and baseball for the Sooners. As a first-round pick, you would have to think he would be all but gone. But what if he slipped to where the money wasn’t as good? Is fourth-round money enough to bypass a chance to quarterback the Sooners? Only Thomas will know that answer.

OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel made it clear the last few weeks that Thomas was his target. But don’t you feel Thomas did the same? Thomas had a very impressive offer list, but he waited. And when he got the OU offer, that’s when he made his move.

The Sooners are in a good position with a couple of top in-state 2014 quarterbacks in Coleman Key (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) and Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe). With the solid group on campus combined with what looks like a bright future ahead, OU would have been foolish to pass on Thomas.

Gary in Oklahoma City asks: Pretty excited about getting Thomas. I think Heupel made the best of that situation. What’s next? Where do we attack now?

Bob Przybylo: There are three positions where I think the OU coaches should start ramping up their efforts: wide receiver, linebacker and defensive tackle.

OU has been more aggressive at receiver and linebacker this week, making some offers to several quality names. I’m not a firm believer the Sooners need to pursue even more defensive tackles as much as I think they need to press the ones they’re on already.

And when you think defensive tackle for this class, it starts with Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). Ranked No. 9 at the position and No. 85 in the ESPN 150, the Sooners are back on good terms with Manning. But good terms shouldn’t satisfy anybody at this point. With his ties to the program -- being the younger brother of former Sooner Demarcus Granger -- Manning is there to be wooed. If OU shows that type of “you’re our guy” interest, perhaps Manning won’t wait until after his senior season to announce his decision.

Harold in Phoenix asks: OU has made so many offers so this might be tough but please try. Who is one guy the Sooners haven’t offered that they should?

Bob Przybylo: He’s in Texas, and he’s a linebacker. I’m not sure what OU is waiting on when it comes to Brett Wade (Kennedale, Texas/Kennedale). Wade, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, is a four-star prospect ranked No. 9 at inside linebacker.

After offering Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit) and Raaquan Davis (Heath, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) this week, it could be a sign OU is starting to evaluate the linebacker group in Texas again.

Wade has admitted he is a big OU fan, but with no offer, it's tough to say if he harbors any negative feelings toward the Sooners. He has offers from Baylor, Clemson, West Virginia, among several others. Like Mastrogiovanni, Wade was a favorite of former OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables. After looking at Wade more, will he become a favorite of OU linebackers coach Tim Kish?