Open Post | Weekend, April 26th & 27th

– Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I coach my nieces softball team and we’ve got our end of the season tournament today. We finished the regular season in 1st and are hoping to win the tournament today. Wish us luck!

– To start off, a new offensive tackle offer went out yesterday. This time it was to Jalen Merrick of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We’ll have a write up on him shortly and we’ll also get in touch with him to see if there is some special interest in the Sooners. Merrick isn’t a diamond in the rough that the Sooners have discovered. He already has a pretty impressive offer list.

Also we’re going to be digging into the OT position in the coming weeks because right now there isn’t a guy out there that we feel is OU’s to lose and we want to try to understand why.

– Everything we heard and saw of Blake Bell early in spring practice indicated that he was advancing at an incredibly rapid rate. I remember one of our sources tell us that he would literally look significantly better from one practice to the next. Well I had an interesting conversation with a well connected source the other day and the topic of Blake Bell came up. He told me a couple of noteworthy points. Firstly, he said that before Blake’s injury Blake had become nearly unguardable. He said that OU tried to defend him with every defender and couldn’t find anyone that could consistently guard him. This had nothing to do with Blake’s speed but moreso just his physicality, body control, hands and his ability to find the football. But physicality seemed to be the separating factor. I was also told that Blake looked so good that there are some that believe that, while Blake was injured, there may have been some extra motivation to keep him out of the spring game in order to keep his ability under wraps.

As a traditionalist, I can’t tell you how hopeful I am that this all be true. I say that because 1) I love seeing effective TE sets, I simply love the way it allows an offense to dictate certain terms and 2) I’d love to see Blake Bell’s loyalty and toughness rewarded with a great football career at OU and beyond.

– I know many sites, including ours, reported that Jaylon Lane would be visiting Oklahoma last weekend. That didn’t happen and the reasons are personal. But I want assure you that it is no indication that things have slowed down between Jaylon and Oklahoma. We are still very much in the mix. As a matter of fact Jaylon called the coaches last night and had a great conversation with them. Jaylon and his family will make it up to Oklahoma soon and we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens.

– Also, interesting note about Eric Striker. I was talking to someone close to the program and I asked him about Striker’s ability at the nickel spot. He was praising Striker and told me “Eric can do everything at that position.” So I asked him if he could man up the slot which I’m sure is the one thing we’re all concerned about. He replied by saying, “Eric can do EVERYTHING at that position. Trust me.”

  • Sooner Ray

    Is it football season yet?

    • Super K


    • EasTex

      It must be, bought some new OU gear the other day.
      You should see my new cap, black with a Crimson OU outlined with white. Got a bunch of wide-eyed looks before they looked away(quickly) at the grocery store in North Dallas. It has a feature I really like, no adjustable band in the back. The entire circumference of the cap is a stretch material, these strong winds couldn’t make it budge.
      /126 days

  • Zack

    Hope your guys are right about bell I would like for him to be successful at TE. Also looking forward to the OT notes, this class is going to be important towards building depth in a couple years with the number of juniors and seniors on the oline.

    • Super K

      If Bell is as good as we are hearing then we’ll have a plethora of weapons and combinations to cause chaos in the big 13 with guys like bell, flowers, rip, ijalana, etc

      • Eric Tauriainen

        Super K – this is what has me excited about next year’s offense. If BB can really be a true weapon I see all kinds of Red Zone scoring opportunities and 3rd down conversions. Multi-dimensional offense is a real possibility.

  • Ed Cotter

    Good luck in the Softball Tourney. Thanks for the updates. Gives me a little something to keep me going with no football.

  • Daryl

    TFB we obviously know all of the things to talk about9 in regards to OU. Championships, sending guys to the league, facilities, sold out crowds, Headington Hall, TV exposure and so on. So what about OU is the non selling point. We have lost guys to every school imaginable despite being the only school ever just a few years ago to have 3 of top 4 picks in draft and playing for a title. The. The A&M’s of the world can’t even be in conference title conversation and have the whole country excited. So from you guys perspective what are to downsides to OU that we don’t talk about.

    • Ballard

      Great question. I’d like to know TFB opinion as well.

    • ATM gets to sell kids on playing in the SEC-SEC-SEC while remaining in Texas. That’s undoubtedly their biggest selling point, if not they’re only selling point.

    • soonermusic

      imo, every school loses guys to every school imaginable. It’s just part of what happens with recruiting and kids that age. I think if you monitor any program as closely as we’re monitoring OU, especially on a moment by moment basis, you can find things to worry about. Kids have all sorts of reasons for picking one school over another, and it’s not even always directly football related.

      • EasTex

        If we all liked the same thing, there would only be one car manufacturer and there would be no options available or color choices.

    • pitbull17

      It sounds dumb, but to some kids, 34 different uniform combinations is a major selling point. And like EasTex said, we all like different things, some kids just don’t want to be in Oklahoma.

    • Doobie74OU

      IMO you can sell one of two things. 1) Championships & Tradition – Alabama and the SEC have this on lock down right now due to winning 7 out 8 championships. 2) Excitment – Teams like Oregan & aTm and such sell excitment (swag) no real winning championship tradition to speak of so it is all about the excitment , the uniforms, the helecopters and such! Unfortunately OU falls in between right now! Due to lackluster performances in championship and bowl games for several years, and then look at some of our best players lately Bradford Jones Sanders going back to Q. Griffen Mark Clayton and others they are real low key hard working players. Not the kind of Johnny Football players that gets the whole nation talking.(I don’t think that is a bad thing by any means) WE HAVE TO KEEP WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS CONSISTANTLY TO CLOSE THE GAP! We have won the Big 12 Championship but most people (right or wrong view Texas as our only compitition and since they have been down for several years it has even hurt our reputation. We just need to keep heading in the direction we are heading and “EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE!” (i through that last line in for you Jordan LOL!)

  • Why do I get the feeling that by the end of next season, everybody, everywhere will know the name “Eric Striker”? He’ll be the new “Chuck Norris”.

    • Shifty

      The next Roy Williams

    • Cory Reedy

      Eric Striker has a bear skin rug. Well, it’s not actually a rug, it’s a large black bear but it’s afraid to move.

      • Ed Cotter

        Eric Striker sleeps with a night light. Not because he is afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of Eric Striker.

        • ToatsMcGoats

          Eric Striker once punched a hole in a cow just to see who was coming up the road!

    • hOUligan

      The earth spins faster when Eric Striker runs.

    • Super Keith

      Eric Striker can slice through a hot knife with butter.

  • WilliamJack

    Everyone in the Sooner nation is pulling for Bell. I hope he lights up the opposition all year long! BOOMER! Team first players are always better than the 5 star loners imho.

    • pitbull17


  • Boomer4life

    Bell=Warrior. Gonna be a season to remember!

  • Jason Vos

    So I guess Bob Stoops saying Blake Bell was the best receiving TE on the team was no joke

  • John Garner

    Great news about Bell. Love to see him prosper at TE next year and beyond. I wonder as well why we can’t hold onto to kids or get them excited about OU. There are few, if any, schools that offer what we do in terms of tradition, player development, winning and solid coaching. It’s a head-scratching issue. TFB’s insights will be appreciated.

  • bmrsnr

    Hope you guys can figure out the mystery of why we struggle with recruiting OT’s especially since we put so many in the league.

    • EasTex

      I have wondered if the HUNH scares off some OL prospects and maybe that is why so many athletic players convert to OL so successfully. Having said that, I would prefer finding players that fit our system instead of altering the system to fit what players we have. A good example would be Bama, one look at their OL and its obvious they are best suited for their style of play.

  • soonermusic

    If somehow Bell or someone on the staff knew or suspected that he had tremendous natural aptitude for TE, then his decision to stick around makes even more sense. We know he played it some in high school or wherever, but this sounds a bit above and beyond that.

  • EasTex

    I have no difficulty believing Bell is a stud TE. If he can perform at that position at a high level it is a bonus, as his leadership and spirit are invaluable.

  • Jordan Esco
    • Zack

      I missed this but that is how you narrow down a list. I’m tired of seeing these top 20 lists.

  • Will Narramore

    Do you guy think Brennan Clay is gonna get drafted/ have a sustainable NFL career?

    • Jordan Esco

      Drafted, highly unlikely IMO (not necessarily saying I agree w/ that, btw). Can he have a sustainable career, I think that’s much more likely but he’ll obviously have to catch on at the right place.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Great to hear about Bell and Striker doing well. Happy for Blake, the guy is truly a team player.

  • Chris Henson

    I can see it now…the perfect ending to the perfect story. In 2012, Bell sinks OSU with a TD run, in 2013 Bell destroys the pokes conference title hopes with a TD pass….NEXT chapter, Bell beats the pukes with a TD reception in the last seconds (hopefully the game is not remotely close enough to need this). T-R-I-F-E-C-T-A!!! BOOMER!!!

  • hOUligan

    Well if and when you guys figure out why OU is having such trouble getting OTs to sign on, be sure and let the staff know what’s up. Maybe after they put a couple more in the league next year, Thompson and Williams, recruits will start to take notice. And we are all pulling for Bell to kill it next season and get a shot at playing on Sundays.

  • JJsooner1

    Hmmmm. I see a QB throwback pass to a tight end and then downfield to a wide open receiver? just a flash thought……….

  • EasTex

    Only 125 more days.

  • OUknowitscomin

    While the Sugar Bowl side of me hates to not see him rushing QB all the time, seeing Striker turn up all over sure sounds like fun too.