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Mike Gundy Compares Recruiting Misses to Being Left in a Night Club By Yourself



Mike Gundy and his Oklahoma State staff have never cracked a top-15 recruiting class during his tenure in Stillwater. But it’s not for a lack of trying.

The OSU staff has pulled in some elite recruits who have confirmed verbal commitments through the years. But as recruitment goes, nothing is binding until national signing day. So a man’s word is only as good as that.

In an interview with The Oklahoman, Mike Gundy said the teams BCS bowl win in 2011 set a new level of ambitious expectations in recruiting. But at times, it hasn’t exactly panned out as he might’ve imagined.

“All of the sudden we thought that we could get the Lawrence Taylors’  [former five-star linebacker] and those guys,” Gundy said.

But those ambitious goals, although successful at times with commitments from the likes of Tyreek Hill, Mason Rudolph and Marcell Ateman, have also backfired.

When a school gets into play with an elite recruit as has been the trend, Oklahoma State has made it down to the final days before many pick elsewhere. Four and five-star prospects name OSU on their “final list”, but the staff hasn’t been able to close out. Even when the recruits may lead on and “make us feel good,” as Gundy put it.

“We got left at a point late in January that we had all these good players that are making us feel good,” Gundy said. “And then when the nightclub closed down they all left with somebody else and we’re going home by ourselves.”

Such has been the luck of OSU recently. Four-star running back Ronald Jones, who was committed for months to the school, flipped his pledge to USC late in the process after the Trojans came calling in 2015. In 2016, OSU earned a pledge from four-star linebacker Levi Draper, who subsequently flipped to OU following a Bedlam loss. And in 2017, it’s been a slew of offensive line commitments — Dan Moore and Adrian Wolford — who pledged to Texas A&M and left OSU searching for answers that haven’t been found yet.

“Not that we don’t want to go after everybody,” Gundy told The Oklahoman. “But we now do a better job of making sure that we have a B-list that are really good players who can come in here and we’ve proven we can win the BCS bowls with. But we don’t want to get left out, and that happened to us a couple years.”

With less than a week until national signing day, OSU is still pulling out names of of its “B-list” hat. The staff likely still wants a cornerback, an offensive lineman, and perhaps a linebacker at the least. Gundy’s on the clock, but this is a situation he’s been in before.

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