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How Oklahoma's Brent Venables is Using Social Media Reports to Help Vet Recruits

The new OU head coach is using every tool at his disposal to ensure he's recruiting high-character guys to Norman.

DUNCAN, OK — Brent Venables is using every tool at his disposal in recruiting.

Since arriving on campus, Venables has stressed how his program is going to do everything possible to only bring in the right guys that fit the culture.

And now, he’s using social media to help sift out recruits who may not be a fit.

“Part of our recruiting staff’s responsibility is to give us a weekly report, a social media report, of every guy that we've actively (recruited),” Venables said Thursday at the OU Coaches Caravan stop in Duncan, OK.

The goal, Venables said, is to try and find any red flags the coaching staff may have missed or not yet uncovered before a potential problem even arrives on campus.

“We call it above the black line,” Venables said. “So above the black line on our recruiting war room board means like, they're the dudes. It's our first rounders. OK, that's the guys that we'd like to take first. And so we're doing this social media report on those guys. And if it's green, it's good. But I'm looking for anywhere its red.

“Whether it's questionable content, questionable abusive language, guys that don't really care about their platform, OK? And there's always — everybody who deserves some grace. Just for us is, that's OK, that's an alarm. Let's check out that, let's look a little further. The information’s there, why not take advantage of it?”

The new Oklahoma head coach said he’s trying to do everything in his power to ensure that his staff is only pursuing high-character guys who live and breathe football and want to be Sooners.

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“I think too often people just offer. They don't value their own offer,” Venables said. “They just offer off highlight tapes and they're not looking for fit.

“We're looking for fit, and we're looking, again, for long-term commitment. We're looking for people who are gonna bring value to the University of Oklahoma.”

The plan is far from foolproof, Venables acknowledged. But he said it would be stupid to not try and use every single data point he can find throughout the recruiting process.

“When you deal with 17-18-19-20-21-22-year-olds, they're gonna be gonna get into some stupid stuff sometimes. Right?” Venables said. “And so you've gotta respond the right way, but we're going to try to avoid that on the front end of the recruiting process and just try to be thorough.

“And it's not error free, but we got to be very committed to that process.”


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