Sooners Take 3rd Early Pledge

Chris Early saw what he needed to see in Norman, Okla. The 2007 forward visited Jeff Capel's program on his own dime and the trip yielded a commitment from the Boo Williams Summer League team standout.

Jeff Capel loved Chris Early when he was the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth. That love affair carried over even when the coach changed addresses.

On Wednesday, Early offered the Oklahoma Sooners his verbal commitment. Miami, VCU, Providence, Bradley, Wisconsin, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Temple were also very interested in Early. caught up with Early shortly after he touched down at home following his unofficial visit to Oklahoma.

"I went down there and I needed to see what I was getting into and I liked what I saw," Early said. "I saw a program that knows what they're doing and I'm happy with it. They told me what I needed to hear and I saw the campus and it worked out for me."

In Early the Sooners are getting a player who is hitting his stride. In the Big 12 he's likely to find himself cast in a Renaldo Balkman-type role. His perimeter game is coming around and he has one of those strong, athletic frames.

Early also has a friend. The Oklahoma Sooners are recruiting his Huntington (WVa.) High teammate Patrick Patterson,'s No. 36 prospect.

"He's my best friend," Early said of Patterson. "I know he's in love with Kentucky right now."

Time will tell if Early can go from recruit to recruiter and help Capel score Patterson. Either way, the Sooners now own 3 commitments. Shooter Cade Davis came on board first and then power forward Blake Griffin, an all-american candidate, followed suit.

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