Sting Factor: Colton Vasek’s flip from Oklahoma to Texas

When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

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THE STORYLINE

Colton Vasek plays at Austin (Texas) Westlake, he’s a Texas legacy and the Longhorns really wanted him in their recruiting class so when he committed to Oklahoma on Aug. 1 it was a major win for the Sooners.

It was a big recruiting statement from first-year coach Brent Venables as Oklahoma beat Texas and Oregon for Vasek’s services. The four-star defensive end cited his relationship with Venables and a host of assistants as one of many reasons why the Sooners won out.

But in recent days, Vasek backed off his pledge to the Sooners and flipped to the Longhorns.

His relationship with QB commit Arch Manning and many others in the class along with Texas playing better – and maybe the Sooners struggling a little more – played roles in Vasek’s final decision.

One thing is clear: Oklahoma looked like the big winner in the Vasek sweepstakes until it didn’t. And Texas is getting one of the better defensive ends in the 2023 class.

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LOCAL REACTION

I don’t think there is any way that you can argue this one doesn’t sting Oklahoma considerably, not only do the Sooners lose a high-end commitment at a key position but their loss is their biggest rival’s gain.

The Sooners have done plenty to prepare for something that has felt likely since the Cotton Bowl meeting almost a month ago. And though those preparations help the recovery, there is just no denial that the risk of pursuing a Texas legacy from Austin stung the Sooners here. – Josh McCuistion, SoonerScoop.com

Sting factor: 8

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NATIONAL REACTION

Even though Oklahoma eventually missed out on Vasek, Brent Venables and his staff should continue to go after top targets regardless of whether they’re legacies somewhere, even those who live down the road from Texas or any other campus. The Sooners have to flex their recruiting muscle and keep going after the best players in the country even if they miss on some guys like Vasek or David Hicks, Jr., or anybody else. Oklahoma should take a backseat to nobody.

In terms of how much this hurts, it’s definitely significant because Vasek is very talented plus he flipped to Oklahoma’s rival. There’s no getting around that the four-star could have been a major contributor in the Sooners’ defense but I’m pretty sure many top players would jump at the change to join OU’s recruiting class. – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 7

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