We'd been trying to reach Fitzgerald, Ga., High School running back J.D. King most of the afternoon after finding out that he and his high school's quarterbacks coach, Jesse Lynch, had left the Oklahoma State campus early Friday afternoon. King's cell phone wouldn't answer, not unusual for prospects these days. It turns out his phone took a dip in the pool and didn't survive. But we finally were able to reach Coach Lynch and Henry was standing next to him.
"Yes sir, I committed to Oklahoma State," said the 5-11, 203-pound King. "They had really always been my leader and then from the time I got there (Thursday) and saw the facilities and had a chance to walk around campus, it felt like home. Then today when I had all these questions to ask it was like they answered them all before I asked them. I didn't get to meet the players but the coaches and Coach [Mike] Gundy and it is family first there. I could feel that."
King has power and speed. His strength is also a primary attribute being a senior-to-be, and already at 200-plus pounds. He runs track and that helps his speed, but when you watch him it is easy to tell that he has a special knack for finding open space. His vision is really good with the football in his hands.
Last season as a junior, he rushed for 2,434 yards and 33 touchdowns to lead the state of Georgia in rushing yards (all classes). His sophomore season was spectacular with 1,559 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns on 214 carries. He doesn't get called on to do it much but he has good ability to catch the football.
Besides Oklahoma State his growing offer list included Cincinnati, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina State, Minnesota, South Alabama, South Carolina, Troy, Tulane, and Western Kentucky.
"I'm used to a small town," King said of Stillwater. "Fitzgerald is a small town with a big high school team and Stillwater is a small town with a big college team. I love it with all the friendly people, everybody talks to you. It's a good place."
Lynch says King is a good player and teammate.
"He's great, as good as they get," Lynch said. Obviously, the coach must be special taking time out to help his kids make unofficial visits. It is documented that he has taking other Fitzgerald players on unofficial trips to different schools. You don't see that kind of interest or commitment as much these days.
King said he appreciated it and despite the loss of his cell phone he has called home to friends and family to let them know he has committed to the Cowboys.
"I'm not sure what I will major in yet, but something where I can be a trainer or a strength coach," King added thinking that he might major in anatomy or kinesiology.
He is now the ninth verbal commitment for Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Gundy and his staff. He is the fourth on offense that also includes lineman Adrian Wolford, receiver Tylan Wallace, and the Pokes other Georgia pledge (that's right, two commitments from Georgia) as Ellenwood (Cedar Grove), Ga., quarterback Jelani Woods is also committed to Oklahoma State.