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Oklahoma State Football Recruiting: Expectations Versus Reality




During Mike Gundy’s tenure as Oklahoma State’s head football coach, there have been many complaints from fans, the media, and even some within the program.

However, one of the larger and most educated is that of recruiting, more precisely the recruiting rankings for which Gundy is responsible every year.

Most of the comments you will hear on the matter are that they are “too low” or “not high enough to compete for championships”. You will also hear questions from the media and fans such as “Why isn’t Gundy going after 4 and 5 stars like everyone else?” and “Why does Gundy settle for less talent every year?”

Well, I am asking you this question.

Will he settle for less talent? Because in my opinion he is not.

I think the product he puts out on the field year after year has to prove it. Since Gundy is head coach, haven’t we seen some of the most explosive college football infractions in Stillwater, okay? Haven’t they had a consistent number of NFL prospects on the offensive side of the ball now moving to both sides of the ball? Also, haven’t we seen Oklahoma State account for the 16th most victories in the country since Gundy took over in 2005?

The Athletic has written an article about recruiting Big 12 football and each team’s expectations matched the reality we’ve seen over the past decade.

The article takes a look at each of the teams that have recruited the rankings from the past 5 and 10 years, the data of what they’ve put on the field, and a reasonable look at how the program is performing.

In Oklahoma State terms, here are the data:

5 year old FBS

10 year old FBS


The worst

5 years B12

10 years B12

Recruiting in the state of Oklahoma has become quite consistent over the past decade. The Pokes have hung out with each of their past six classes in the 35-45 series of the national rankings. Mike Gundy and his staff have a blueprint and don’t deviate much from it. Their reputation for offense and the NFL talent they have produced gives them the opportunity to sign four-star skill players and QBs. They are developing three-star defenders from Oklahoma, Texas and their surrounding states. They add good transfers to meet the needs.

The last time the program recorded a top-25 class was 2011. That never seemed to be a major concern to Gundy, who values ​​value over hype and knows exactly what he’s looking for to be successful.

The prospects: There is room for debate here. I would approach recruiting a little differently from him because I would like to finish higher in that recruiting rankings than we consistently do, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in 2018. Those comments, unproductive as they were, are a reflection of their recruitment ceiling . Oklahoma State wants to compete for Big 12 titles and CFP bids. The best college football programs have a Blue Chip Ratio of 50 percent or better. Oklahoma State is at 9 percent this year. Six seasons with more than 10 wins since 2010 brought them a lot closer to drawing classes similar to Oklahoma and Texas.

But they will continue to discover and develop three stars like Chuba Hubbard into superstars, and they will continue to win. If you want to argue that top 25 classes are reasonable, ask for a program that has been so successful, there is some credit to that. But when your recruiting results get that consistent, you’re probably doing the best you can.

Pokes Reports Robert Allen has his own take on the situation.

If you can get four star players that you believe can play and fit in with Stillwater and the Cowboy culture, go get them, but spend your recruiting time and budget efficiently. I see more high profile players being recruited, but never at the expense of the backbone of well-evaluated and developing players who have built the program to its current state.

I am also of this mindset. In my opinion, I am not fixing something that is not broken. Gundy and his staff routinely find diamonds in the rough and turn them into stars. Some top examples currently on the roster include Bitches Jenkins, a hopeful first round in this year’s draft, Kolby Harvell-Peel, who got votes to earn Big 12 DPOY, and Trace Ford, who some say might be the best. player in the Big 12. .

They had all been ranked three stars or even lower before, but Gundy saw them as real talent he wanted in his dressing room.

Oklahoma State also has a significantly smaller recruiting budget than the blue bloods fans and national media want Gundy to compete with in recruiting.

If you look at it like The Athletic has, you can see that these recruiting rankings are not an accurate representation of what will happen on the field. Oklahoma State is ranked about 5th in the Big 12 for recruitment, but 2nd in wins for the past decade, behind only Oklahoma.

This could be Robert and I, but I think if we win and compete for Big 12 championships, whatever Gundy and his staff are doing in the West End zone, it has to work.

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