Venables has right approach, but will it help to keep players in an NIL and transfer portal age?
Brent Venables must be doing things the right way on the recruiting trail.
Empirically, it’s working.
Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period, Venables and the Sooners inked 27 prospects, only one of them a five-star athlete in IMG Academy’s and Del City native David Stone, an offensive lineman, and 17 others with four stars to their name, so says the 247Sports composite recruiting rankings.
According to those same rankings, Venables has now inked three straight top-10 classes: No. 8 this time around, No. 5 last time around and No. 8 his first time around, having just arrived in Norman from Clemson.
It’s the right approach.
It’s clearly working.
Yet, will it matter beyond signing day and next season is a whole other question, just ask, say, Texas A&M, because did you really sign the class the services claim you signed when you can’t keep that class on campus for, say, longer than a year or two?
Try on this quote.
“I’d also like to thank all of our players,” he said. “You don’t attract the quality of the people this class represents, both as people and players, without being a shining example of what we want in our locker room, and how we do what we do.
“I always believe in the young men in our locker room having a multiplier effect.”
That means relationships.
That means intangibles.
It means good kids playing roles in more good kids coming to Oklahoma.
Or it should.
It means selfishness is out and selflessness is in and name, image and likeness earnings, while a part of it, are not what it’s all about.
It’s the right approach, at least, because it gives players who might otherwise bolt for more playing time or the chance to start somewhere else a reason to stick it out a little longer, hoping their chance may eventually come.
Bottom line, it ought to make leaving harder.
But will it?
Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning is a reader-supported publication. Most of my work comes paywall free, though not all. To receive all of my columns, please consider a paid subscription for just $6/month or $60/year.