Oklahoma had a chance to make a huge impression on a bevy of visiting recruits this weekend. With a 24-19 loss to Kansas State, however, it's safe to say the Sooners didn’t do themselves any favors with a home loss in front of several top targets and ESPN 300 prospects.
For the most part, though, the opinions about OU before Saturday haven’t changed for recruits after Saturday night.
“I know OU is a great program,” said Owing Mills (Md.) McDonough four-star offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers. “It was a close game. It’s not like they can’t compete with the best. At this point with me, winning and losing doesn’t make that much of a difference.”
Rodgers was on his official visit, and it was his first time seeing the OU campus.
One recruit who has seen just about everything there is to see about OU is ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball).
Manning, the younger brother of former OU defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger, has seen a lot of ups and downs when it comes to the Sooners. There have been more ups, he said, but he knows it doesn’t always work out the way you had hoped.
“Nothing has changed with me,” said Manning, who was also on his official visit. “Nothing at all. OU is still one of the best programs in the country.”
Manning will see three more top programs in the next three weeks. He’ll be at Texas A&M next weekend, followed by trips to TCU and LSU in the two weeks after that.
The loss also didn’t sour any commits who were there in attendance. Four-star defensive end Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy) was another recruit on his official visit and had nothing but positive things to say about his experience.
Regarding the game, he said it was more about what OU did to itself than what Kansas State did to the Sooners.
“Kansas State is a good team. I think if you watched that game, then you know we beat ourselves,” Dimon said. “We didn’t take care of the ball and had three turnovers.
“From where I was and who I was with, I don’t think it changed their impression of OU at all just because the Sooners didn’t win.”
That is definitely the case for 2014 ATH Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). Saturday marked the first time Parker has attended an OU game as a recruit and not just sitting in the stands.
He said he spent the majority of the night watching the OU secondary and trying to figure out what tips he can take with him going forward.
Any chance at all this might sour Parker, who already has an OU offer, on the Sooners?
“No, sir. It was great experience at OU,” Parker said. “I’m hoping to definitely have another as soon as I can.”