OU loses recruit to Texas A & M
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 6:07 AM
NORMAN - What the Oklahoma defense needs, given both Friday night's Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M and the 2012 season in general, is help. It needs reinforcements, if not reassurance.
It does not need what happened Sunday night. It does not need players who were thought to be in the boat jumping out, and right into another one.
In a bulletin first reported by 247Sports, Dallas Jesuit linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni switched his verbal commitment from OU to Texas A&M on Sunday.
It was jolting enough to lose Mastrogiovanni, a 225-pounder rated as the nation's No. 7 high school inside linebacker by ESPN.com. To lose him to the Aggies just two nights after A&M hammered OU 41-13 intensified the tremor.
Not long ago, the Sooners were taking A&M's recruits. Dallas Skyline linebacker Corey Nelson switched three years ago and became an OU starter.
One year ago, however, four-star cornerback De'Vante Harris changed from OU to A&M. He made 27 tackles for Kevin Sumlin's 11-2 team during his freshman season.
One month ago, four-star defensive tackle Justin Manning committed to A&M after once being considered a near-lock for the Sooners.
The Sooners struck back a week after losing Manning, when Skyline defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins flipped from A&M to OU.
Mastrogiovanni's change of heart, however, stops any of that momentum. Now, OU coaches must knock on doors knowing they have just one linebacker commit in their recruiting class - Norman North three-star Jordan Evans.
The reboot just got a little tougher for Bob and Mike Stoops, as well as linebackers coach Tim Kish. Kish has starters Nelson and Tom Wort slated to return, along with younger role-players Frank Shannon and Aaron Franklin.
But the performance of the group was so inconsistent that it was worth wondering if recruiting would be affected. Perhaps opposing coaches would use the Sooners' issues against them, and try to change some minds.
"I haven't heard anything like that," Kish said in Dallas the week of the Cotton Bowl. "We've got some good linebacker commits right now. ... They're very excited about being here next year."
As of Sunday, Mastrogiovanni won't be a part of it.
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355