One of Oklahoma's best looking around

Another year, another name, the state of Oklahoma usually putting out at least one bonafide superstar each season. Last year, it was Reggie Smith and this year, the honors could be currently up for grabs. One of those players, though, that could make a stab for his right to shine is Ardmore high school's Jermaine Gresham. He's got all the physical attributes, but if you look at who some of his offers are from, that says plenty right there; Gresham could already be a star.

Standing 6 foot, 6 inches tall, if you are thinking tight end, you'd almost say that Jermaine Gresham is at least physically, the prototype. Weighing in at around 230 pounds and running a 4.6/40, prototypical just evolved to ideal.

Put all that impressive ability inside a mentally tough individual and you have the potential of greatness. Gresham will admit to some potential, but he's not ready to label himself the next "chosen one" quite yet. "I like my ability to do a lot of things, catch, block and do something after I get the ball," Jermaine said. "But, there's always stuff to work on and I don't even know what my potential is right now. I like it, but you don't really know what you can do at the next level until you get there."

Gresham might be vocal in his modesty, but his numbers from last year, especially for someone his size, they are somewhat less-so. Over 50 catches for over 700 yards, scoring four times, that's almost 15 yards per grab.

What sets Gresham apart from some tight ends, though, is that out of those 50+ balls, you can bet that it wasn't many more than that, that were actually thrown his way. "I don't like missing balls I have a shot to catch," Jermaine said. "If I can see it, I can catch it. That's just how I think and if the ball is close to me, I'm coming down with it."

That's refreshing to see, some tight ends, even at the professional level opting to short-arm balls when going over the middle instead of taking the hit. The problem is as Gresham pointed out, you are still going to get hit, so cowboy up and come down with the ball.

"I don't understand why you don't make that catch," Jermaine said. "I mean, if they are my size, it's not like they are getting hit by someone bigger than they are and honestly, you are going to get hit as it is, so make the catch."

"There's no excuse not to make the catch."

That's what you want to hear and colleges have responded in kind, written offers coming from not just the local powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners, but elite programs all over, the ‘Canes of Miami jumping in along with Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas State, LSU and Nebraska.

Oh, those Sooners, though – the allure of the program, the tradition, the success – for an in-state kid, especially if they are one of the best football players that year, the temptation is often just too much.

Well, that's what usually happens, Reggie Smith being the perfect example last year, but Jermaine said that his eyes don't see Crimson when it comes to deciding where his collegiate career is to be spent. "I can't look at it like that, because what if it's not the place for me?" Gresham posed. "I might go there and it could be perfect, but that's four years of my life and you can't just go someplace because everyone else is telling you that's where you should go. What do they know about where I should go?"

The local fan-base obviously doesn't have a clue where Gresham "should" go, but Jermaine will chuckle a bit when he talks about fans saying where he shouldn't. Of course, they all want him to be a Sooner, but if he isn't, there's a couple of teams that they would just as soon not see him join.

"Texas for sure, everybody says that I can't go to Texas," Jermaine said jokingly. "I'm not supposed to go to Texas and right behind them, Nebraska. I hear it all the time about those two, more about Texas, but I hear plenty about NU."

There will probably be plenty more of that, the Huskers not just one of his offers, but possibly a future destination as far as camps, Nebraska holding two regular sessions this year, Ardmore teammate Ellis Knight already scheduled as a participant. "If he wants me to go, I'll probably go," Jermaine said. "That's kind of how I have been looking at all the camps. If a teammate wants me to go, I'll probably go with them, so we'll see."

The summer is big in regards to recruiting, but it's also significant as far as what Gresham is doing to prepare for his final year of high school football. So much so, that it has dictated his basic timeline on recruiting, his eventual school of choice having to wait until well after his regular season.

That's how Jermaine wants it and it's for the one thing he wants that most people in-state feels he should already have:

Certainty.

"Don't know if you don't go," Jermaine said about visiting the schools he's looking at. "I've got to go see them, see what offense fits me the best, what place feels the best and just the best overall environment for me."

"I don't know a lot about most of these schools outside of what I have seen on TV, so I have to get to those places to take a lot closer look."

As to when, that's up in the air, but again, it's safe to say it's after the season. As for where, ditto, as Jermaine insists that there are no favorites, none, nadda, zilch.

Ok, so what is he going to do now?

"I'm going to continue to work out, work with my team when I can and other than that, enjoy myself a little. It's good to be out of school."

We'll catch up with Gresham before Nebraska's camps start to see if he indeed is making it down. So, stay tuned as we keep up-to-date with what could be Oklahoma's best player this year.


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