By John Shinn
CNHI News Service
With the hiring of defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery Tuesday, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has sent a strong message that recruiting is the area where the program needs the most improvement.
Like Bill Bedenbaugh, who was hired as offensive line coach earlier this month, Montgomery is young, but has already built a reputation as a very strong recruiter.
Both have the ability to relate to 17 and 18 year olds.
“I’m probably maybe the only coach on the staff that listens to what they (recruits) listen to, a little Drake and Lil Wayne and things like that,” Montgomery told Sooner Sports TV after his hiring. “At the same time, it’s about building a relationship with your players and getting those guys to play for you. When they know that you care about them, they’ll do just about anything for you. At the end of the day, building relationships and relating to them is going to be a big part of what I bring to the table.”
Bedenbaugh, 40, feels the same way.
”I think recruiting is, first of all, relationships,” he said last week. “And I know everybody says that, but you have to get to know the kid that you’re offering, the kid that you’re recruiting, you have to get to know everything about him. His high school coach, guidance counselor, principal, family, all those things. And then, understand who’s gonna be involved in that decision. And you have to be relentless. You have to talk to them all the time. You have to make those kids understand how important they are and how much you want them here. And I think that’s it. I’m gonna work hard at it, just like I am coaching. I don’t think there’s any magic. You’ve just gotta be yourself. I don’t BS kids. I tell them exactly who I am. That way when they get here, I’m not a liar. I’m gonna tell them exactly how it is, exactly how I’m gonna treat them, what Oklahoma is all about.”