If you're a head coach, like Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, or a position coach, like the Cowboys Jason McEndoo, then you really appreciate when recruits come in and give your school a bonus look in the form of an unofficial visit and not just for part of one day and a sporting event or a football game day in the fall but an overnight trip where you spend time with the current players, actually see the campus and the community.
That kind of visit happened this weekend as one of the most sought after tight end prospects in the country for the 2018 class in Mustapha Muhammad of Missouri City (Ridge Point), Texas along with linebacker prospect from the same school, Chad Bailey.
The pair arrived before the Oklahoma State-Texas basketball game and attended the game, sitting in the student section on the floor with McEndoo and a couple of Oklahoma State players in Cowboy back Keenen Brown and starting strong safety Tre Flowers. Then after the game, Muhammad and Bailey kind of experienced life as an Oklahoma State student-athlete.
"It was awesome. We got to hang with a lot of the players, like the back-up tight end Keenen Brown and got to meet the starter Blake Jarwin," Muhammad described. "We spent time with Tre Flowers, one of the safeties. We got to see the campus and be at the basketball game. Coach Gundy is a cool guy, we got to spend time with him."
Muhammad has accumulated a lot of offers. It's an impressive array of schools including Oklahoma State. Some of the other schools included in the over 30 offers are Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Houston, Mississippi, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, and Wisconsin.
I asked Muhammad if it gives him a sense that he is being chased by a lot of folks. "At this point, I do," answered the 6-5, 235-pound Muhammad. "All the attention is great but it can be pretty overwhelming."
I also asked him what factors he was looking at the most in choosing a school. His class may be the first ever to have the option of an early signing period for football recruiting with it likely that a December signing period will be approved.
"Most important things in a school to me, definitely academics," Muhammad detailed. "I want to graduate with a really good degree from a strong school. I want to major in business, some program like business management. Location, not so much whether the school is, but just that there are things to do. Then another part of it is how they teach me. I want to go to a school where they will work with me at tight end and make me better, Prepare me to be the best I can be."
Chad Bailey is a 6-0, 238-pound inside linebacker who just added Minnesota to his offer list which also includes Colorado, Houston, Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana, and SMU.
Bailey thought Oklahoma State was a school he'd like to have on his list. "I think it was pretty good and you can tell it is family oriented there," he said. "Everybody likes football up there."
Bailey said he is looking at more of the football factors as he starts sizing up college options.
"I'm looking at how I fit in the program. I want to know how long it is before they think I can play or start or do I need to red-shirt. I also want to be a part of a program where they mesh together and where the coaches and all my teammates believe we can win a national championship I want it to be like my family with my brothers and sisters, you know that we feel that strong about each other and have that bond."
The pair from the Houston area left midday on Sunday, so they spent virtually a full 24 hours in Stillwater and that was an unofficial visit.