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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Can Alex Grinch repeat Brent Venables' feat at Clemson?


Can Alex Grinch repeat Brent Venables' feat at Clemson?
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47Straight
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 01:38 pm

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Can Alex Grinch repeat Brent Venables' feat at Clemson?
by Berry Tramel
Published: Wed, August 14, 2019 5:00 AM


NORMAN — Clemson hired Brent Venables as defensive coordinator in January 2012, a week after the Orange Bowl. Not an OU Orange Bowl. Another Orange Bowl.

The West Virginia 70, Clemson 33 Orange Bowl.

These days, of course, Clemson’s defense is the gold standard. The Tigers have won two of the last three national championships and routinely send defenders galore to the NFL Draft — 19 in the last five years, including six first-rounders.

Now Lincoln Riley hopes he’s hired Oklahoma’s own Venables, which is quite confusing since OU HAD Venables. But the Sooner defense is in the same tatters, or worse, as was Clemson’s eight years ago. OU in 2018 ranked last in Big 12 defensive efficiency. The Sooners gave up 48 points to Texas, 46 to Texas Tech, 47 to OSU, 40 to KANSAS, 56 to West Virginia, 45 to Alabama in the Orange Bowl.

Why am I wasting your time? You know the numbers as well as I do. Alex Grinch is taking over a reclamation project even more difficult than what Venables found in the South Carolina hills after that shellacking by West Virginia.

A difficult assignment. A daunting assignment. But not an impossible assignment. Venables did it at Clemson. Why can’t Grinch do it at Oklahoma?

“So excited to be the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma, I can’t even tell you,” Grinch said Monday without the hint of a smile. “I know how hard this job is, but I know you can do hard things in this profession.”

Venables, a 13-year Sooner lieutenant for Bob Stoops, didn’t magically transform Clemson. It took time. In 2012, Clemson gave up 49 points to Florida State and 48 to North Carolina State. In 2013, five of 13 opponents reached 30 points on Clemson, including Florida State, which scored 51.

Coordinating defenses on any level of football is a thankless job these days. But Grinch seems primed for the test.

“The pressure’s on them,” Grinch said of opposing offenses. “That offensive coach that’s trying to get a head job, he better be scoring 40 a game, or he ain’t going to get a look. Maybe I just convinced myself of that, that somehow we have an advantage that way. In any event, focus on the job at hand. Always next-step type of talk … it’s just do your job and be excited to have a room full of guys looking back at you and embracing some of the things that you say.”

Grinch said he knows the landscape. Knows that defensive coordinators aren’t on the fast track to head coaching jobs. Heck, Venables remains the Clemson d-coordinator after all these years and all that success.

“If I was an athletic director right now, I’d probably hire an offensive guy, too,” Grinch said.

But there is much to like about Grinch. You’d expect Riley to hire a fireball, and he indeed has.

“He’s wired different,” said OU cornerbacks coach Roy Manning, who came over in the off-season from UCLA but coached with Grinch at Washington State. “How he sees the game. How he sees life, is really different.”

How so? Manning says Grinch gets excited when his own offense has to punt. Instead of, uh-oh, we’ve got to play defense, it’s “great, we GET to play defense.”

Grinch certainly is preaching aggression, both with his schemes and his words.

“He starts barking at you early,” said OU sophomore safety Brendan Radley-Hiles. “He makes sure that if you’re walking around, a little sleep in your eye, or you’re not locked in, focused, he’s going to start talking loud. He’s going to start talking fast. He’s going to make sure you understand the tempo at which he’s speaking … you’re going to want to give him your undivided attention.”

Manning said Grinch has something “every single day” to get players and staff going. “Hopefully you’re a self-starter. But if you aren’t, you’ll be revved up to go after every meeting, after we break down any huddle out there. You can’t fake it, you can’t get this far along, just kind of jibber-jabberish. You can see it in his eye, that he means every word and believes everything.”

Grinch certainly is intense. So was the old gang 20 years ago, when the Stoops brothers and Venables arrived and changed football in this state and beyond.

Of course, things were a little different then. Offense didn’t necessarily rule the land, and it was the OU offense, not the defense, that needed a 1999 overhaul.

So Grinch’s mission is prohibitive. But so was Brent Venables’ when hired at Clemson.

https://oklahoman.com/article/5638571/ou-football-can-alex-grinch-repeat-brent-venables-feat-at-clemson

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 01:51 pm

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Who's Brent Vulnerables? My hats off to William Swinney, he's done a great job of keeping South Carolina's in-state talent there with 39 players on their roster being from there and his recruiting prowess has really built up the Tiger defensive front to completely mask what is still an extremely vulnerable middle of the field if it wasn't for that extremely talented defensive front brought in by Swinney.

Grinch will set an NCAA record for an 80+ place improvement in pass defense in a single season. Vulnerables is the guy that has to rely on talent to be successful, Grinch is the other guy that does not.

Walt
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 03:05 pm

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ClintA.Adams wrote:
Who's Brent Vulnerables? My hats off to William Swinney, he's done a great job of keeping South Carolina's in-state talent there with 39 players on their roster being from there and his recruiting prowess has really built up the Tiger defensive front to completely mask what is still an extremely vulnerable middle of the field if it wasn't for that extremely talented defensive front brought in by Swinney.

Grinch will set an NCAA record for an 80+ place improvement in pass defense in a single season. Vulnerables is the guy that has to rely on talent to be successful, Grinch is the other guy that does not.


Mr. Clint, the one thing you said above that got my attention was the "39 players" from the home state. I know you have limited history about OU recruiting and your friendship and love of James Hale is likely responsible for your lack of knowledge. :soonermad:

Here is a lesson for you. Swinney is recruiting at Clemson as the Sooners did for so many decades. We would have 40 or so kids from Oklahoma and the rest from Texas and a handful of other states. We took those 40 some Oklahoma kids because they were great prospects. Mr. Clint, that isn't the case today.

No, it isn't the case today as Oklahoma High School football has dropped the ball. We just haven't
been able to find that kind of Oklahoma talent in close to 25 years.

In recent history we just haven't been able to find more than 4 to 6 kids a year in Oklahoma. So, instead of being able to keep 40 plus Oklahoma kids on the roster we are in he 20s ... and some years lower than that.

I just counted and we have about 12 Oklahoma Scholarship players on the 2019 roster. That is TWELVE [12] kids who played their high school football in the state of Oklahoma.

Another fact. Finding the big uglies, especially the big defensive uglies in Oklahoma is almost a lost art. It is hard to do. And, that is why it is so darn hard for OU to recruit great defensive linemen.

Quickly give me the name and year of the most recent big time Oklahoma born and bred Defensive Tackle, please.

Gerald McCoy was signed at OU in 2005 and his last OU game was in 2009. McCoy signed his OU LOI Fourteen [14] years ago ... McCoy is the last great DT from Oklahoma that I can think of ... maybe another one or two, but not great ones.

I rest my case.

:P

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 03:27 pm

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Walt wrote:
ClintA.Adams wrote:
Who's Brent Vulnerables? My hats off to William Swinney, he's done a great job of keeping South Carolina's in-state talent there with 39 players on their roster being from there and his recruiting prowess has really built up the Tiger defensive front to completely mask what is still an extremely vulnerable middle of the field if it wasn't for that extremely talented defensive front brought in by Swinney.

Grinch will set an NCAA record for an 80+ place improvement in pass defense in a single season. Vulnerables is the guy that has to rely on talent to be successful, Grinch is the other guy that does not.


Mr. Clint, the one thing you said above that got my attention was the "39 players" from the home state. I know you have limited history about OU recruiting and your friendship and love of James Hale is likely responsible for your lack of knowledge. :soonermad:

Here is a lesson for you. Swinney is recruiting at Clemson as the Sooners did for so many decades. We would have 40 or so kids from Oklahoma and the rest from Texas and a handful of other states. We took those 40 some Oklahoma kids because they were great prospects. Mr. Clint, that isn't the case today.

No, it isn't the case today as Oklahoma High School football has dropped the ball. We just haven't
been able to find that kind of Oklahoma talent in close to 25 years.

In recent history we just haven't been able to find more than 4 to 6 kids a year in Oklahoma. So, instead of being able to keep 40 plus Oklahoma kids on the roster we are in he 20s ... and some years lower than that.

I just counted and we have about 12 Oklahoma Scholarship players on the 2019 roster. That is TWELVE [12] kids who played their high school football in the state of Oklahoma.

Another fact. Finding the big uglies, especially the big defensive uglies in Oklahoma is almost a lost art. It is hard to do. And, that is why it is so darn hard for OU to recruit great defensive linemen.

Quickly give me the name and year of the most recent big time Oklahoma born and bred Defensive Tackle, please.

Gerald McCoy was signed at OU in 2005 and his last OU game was in 2009. McCoy signed his OU LOI Fourteen [14] years ago ... McCoy is the last great DT from Oklahoma that I can think of ... maybe another one or two, but not great ones.

I rest my case.

:P



wally2, so how was I correlating South Carolina's in-state talent to Oklahoma's? :big confused: I wasn't. ;) And there is no comparison, South Carolina has a million more people and a black population of 27% where as our beloved Oklahoma consists of a bunch of slow white fat guys like me. So they have an sizable edge in population and demographics.

OU can recruit great defensive linemen, just not in Oklahoma due to the population base. I guarandamntee you that after Grinch establishes himself and IF he is a great recruiter, he will be able to steal DTs out of the SEC states.

OU can "steal" any offensive recruit out of the SEC states because of Riley and it won't be any different on defense if Grinch gets the job done. The Oklahoma name matters nationally.

OU's last relevant down linemen on defense was Phillips and he was from Wichita and before that as you mentioned, was McCoy. The problems there wasn't near due to the dearth of DTs, but the bad reputation that Vulnerables and Mike Stoops developed.

Things are fixing to change and in a very good way. And way are we talking about this? It's time to start figuring out what is for lunch! And I never rest my case, I keep on annoying!

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 03:55 pm

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My Clint your hate for Venables is way over the top of
most peoples head. Brett is a great coach & always will be.
You have said time & again it is the players he has that's his success. Maybe just maybe his hang up here was Bob Stoops & Mike?

The Stoops brothers had there own stile of coaching. It
became out dated. Maybe Brett could not do things his way?
No bud I knew Brett & he was as full of fire as anyone I
have met in my entire life. Talk to the players under him
what they thought? Then ask them what they thought of Mike. Bob was loyal to his brother as anyone would be.
But Brett was not family & had his hands tied. You don't
know the inside of this. I love your post, but this topic
your way over the top.

Fly
:ou:

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 04:24 pm

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Calling a potential recruit claiming to be John Blake isn't part of the recruiting game, it's flat out dishonesty and I have a big time problem with dishonesty.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 04:37 pm

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ClintA.Adams wrote:
Calling a potential recruit claiming to be John Blake isn't part of the recruiting game, it's flat out dishonesty and I have a big time problem with dishonesty.


I haven't heard this story....

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 04:51 pm

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K2C Sooner wrote:
ClintA.Adams wrote:
Calling a potential recruit claiming to be John Blake isn't part of the recruiting game, it's flat out dishonesty and I have a big time problem with dishonesty.


I haven't heard this story....




But it's not any less true. It goes back to when Vulnerables was at KSU obviously.

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 04:56 pm

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Ah, here we go. This doesn't cover the phone call that was made (with a different recruit), but does cover them impersonating Oklahoma football coaches.

Yeah, I have a big time problem with that and my loyalties lie with Oklahoma, not a liar that later became an assistant at Oklahoma and then left later on, which I was and am still completely fine with:

https://www.espn.com/blog/ncfrecruiting/on-the-trail/insider/post/_/id/48990/the-recruitment-of-jeff-kelly

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 05:25 pm

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Hummmm You say it is Swinney responsible for the
recruiting great players to Clemson. But Kelly is still close with Venables and considers him the best recruiter he’s ever seen. Can't have it both ways Clint. Switzer did many things
in recruiting as that. What about Pat Jones not sending
the tapes to Switzer when he was told to by Barry Sanders
dad? That's recruiting you can't have both ways. What goes around comes around.

Fly:ou:

Last edited on Wed Aug 14th, 2019 05:26 pm by Fly

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 06:43 pm

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Fly wrote:
Hummmm You say it is Swinney responsible for the
recruiting great players to Clemson. But Kelly is still close with Venables and considers him the best recruiter he’s ever seen. Can't have it both ways Clint. Switzer did many things
in recruiting as that. What about Pat Jones not sending
the tapes to Switzer when he was told to by Barry Sanders
dad? That's recruiting you can't have both ways. What goes around comes around.

Fly:ou:



The point wasn't about Kelly's comments in regards to recruiting, it was in regards to Vulnerables being dishonest. ;) And shame on Pat Jones for being dishonest. When was Barry Switzer dishonest in his recruiting stories? I don't recall any from 'Bootlegger's Boy' , but that was ages ago when I read that.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 06:55 pm

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ClintA.Adams wrote: When was Barry Switzer dishonest in his recruiting stories?
Just off the top of my head  --  How about when he told a recruit's dad that his favorite beer was what he knew the dad drank?

Attachment: Clay Henry.jpg (Downloaded 89 times)

StatesEye
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 07:04 pm

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Just throwing this out there.....again. Interpret as you wish.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 07:11 pm

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Would we not all be shocked in what has gone on in recruiting. Never say never that most recruiters lie.
Come on Clint I know your not that gullible (wink).

Fly:ou:

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 07:56 pm

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:P I am so sorry my, supposed to be humorous post, turned this into a Venables thread. I think I will go slit my wrists :shock:














Well, not really.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 08:46 pm

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Hey Walt your the one that wants lots of post during
the slow time of year. Nothing better than getting Clint
all bent out of shape. We need him in best form for the up coming season.:lol:

Fly

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 09:46 pm

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Fly wrote:
Hey Walt your the one that wants lots of post during
the slow time of year. Nothing better than getting Clint
all bent out of shape. We need him in best form for the up coming season.:lol:

Fly



:lol: All in good fun. Let's get the season started. Boomer!

Walt
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 11:07 pm

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ClintA.Adams wrote:
Fly wrote:
Hey Walt your the one that wants lots of post during
the slow time of year. Nothing better than getting Clint
all bent out of shape. We need him in best form for the up coming season.:lol:

Fly



:lol: All in good fun. Let's get the season started. Boomer!


I think we are only 18 days until Houston comes to Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Can't get here quick enough.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 15th, 2019 02:51 pm

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All recruiters lie... at least that's what my Drill Sergeant told me in BASIC.

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Thu Aug 15th, 2019 03:02 pm

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MoSooner2 wrote:
All recruiters lie... at least that's what my Drill Sergeant told me in BASIC.

:lol:


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