Washington could lose a commitment to Oklahoma, but it may have little to do with the departure of head coach Steve Sarkisian for USC and it's also part of a greater recruiting trend for Bob Stoops and staff.??U.S. Army All-American offensive guard Natrell Curtis (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) remains committed to the Huskies, but the 247Sports Crystal Ball is trending toward Oklahoma, predicting the Sooners at 40 percent with the last six predictions calling for the flip.??
Coaching changes impact program stability, which impacts comfort level of prospects and their families. Comfort level is perhaps the single most important key in recruiting- 99 percent of the time a prospect will go simply where he is “most comfortable”. So it's easy to assume that the change in Seattle is the reason for the the call for the flip.
That's not entirely the case here, however.
?The wheels for this potential change were set in motion when the 6-foot-3, 335-pound Curtis, a beefy, athletic interior trenchman, made an official visit to Norman on the weekend of Nov. 15. Also, Sooners recruiter Tim Kish, who established ties in the Phoenix area during his tenure at Arizona, is leading the charge for OU and already has four-star receiver Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), one of the top prospects in the Grand Canyon State, in the fold.
Curtis has maintained on the record, as recently as two days ago to RealDawg247, that he is still committed to Washington. That being said, where there's smoke there's fire and the feeling here is that if the Sooners make a strong push down the stretch, they could end up adding another big one from Arizona in this class.
On that note, expect Arizona and really all points west to continue to be a point of emphasis for Oklahoma moving forward. The rise of Texas A&M and Baylor has made recruiting the Dallas Metroplex as successfully as the Sooners once did more difficult, so obviously OU must look elsewhere to make sure it has a high number of quality athletes on its roster and heading west makes sense.
In the last half decade or so, ?Oklahoma has had success recruiting in California (Tony Jefferson, Brennan Clay, Hatari Byrd, etc.) and the Sooners have always had a pipeline to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, the top talent-producing high school in the state of Nevada (Demarco Murray's alma mater). When you recruit an area and players come to your program and have success, it establishes valuable in-roads and during the past five cycles or so, Oklahoma has established such.
In this cycle, Oklahoma already has two Golden State high school prospects committed in wide receiver Dallis Todd (La Habra, Calif.) and linebacker Curtis Bolton (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and is firmly in the mix (battling Notre Dame and UCLA) for four-star athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), among others.