2009's Hardrick Goes Early

Kyle Hardrick, a freshman power forward from the Class of 2009, took the weekend off from AAU basketball and made a campus visit. From there, he opted to make a verbal pledge to a Big 12 program.

Apparently, Jeff Capel does his best work on weekends.

Seven days ago, Capel lured Scout.com's No. 14 prospect, Blake Griffin, to Oklahoma right as the Edmond product was about to blow up. A week later, Capel dipped into the Class of 2009 for a very early pledge.

Kyle Hardrick, a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower, visited Norman unofficially and then made a commitment to play for Capel.

"When I saw Blake go there I knew that wherever Blake goes, I knew I wanted to go there too," Hardrick said. The freshman is an AAU teammate of Griffin and clearly thinks very highly of his 2007 frontcourt mate.

As a freshman on Eisenhower's varsity squad, Hardrick said he averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks while being named all-conference. Even though he's 2009, you can see the shot blocking ability and already he's a reliable finisher inside.

Capel's commitment to recruiting players from the Athletes First program (Hardrick, Cade Davis and Griffin's team) is evident. Since taking the job at Oklahoma, Capel has accepted verbal commitments from 3 players off that roster. Other candidates from the Athletes First program, in case you are wondering, are 2009ers Xavier Henry and Daniel Orton, both high-major prospects.

For Hardrick, playing with familiar faces was important. "I played AAU ball with all the players and now I know them and I've wanted to go to OU since I was little."

Toss in the fact that Hardrick was excited about how Capel lets his players do everything – "dribble, pass and shoot" – and the foundation for Sooner basketball through 2009 has been laid.

In addition to having Hardrick on campus, sources also told Scout.com that 2007 Top 25 point guard John Roberson was also on campus.

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