Bennett comfortable with Crimson and Cream

NORMAN, Okla. — Manvel (Texas) HS wide receiver Austin Bennett made his college decision when he committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks back in early March, but no one could have foreseen what was about to transpire.

What transpired shocked the college football world.

Hogs head coach Bobby Petrino had a motorcycle accident with employee Jessica Dorrell aboard.

It turned out that the two were having an "inappropriate relationship," and Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long relieved Petrino of his duties.

That prompted Bennett to look elsewhere.

"I couldn't stay committed to somebody who wasn't there anymore," Bennett said. "You know, with what's happening with Petrino, you know, he got fired and John L. Smith got hired for a 10-month contract. So, I don't know what the coaching staff is going to be there or what's gonna happen over the next year, so I just decided to de-commit and open up my recruitment."

In came the Sooners.

They offered the other day following OU's satellite camp in Missouri City, Texas.

"I kinda knew that they were gonna offer me," Bennett said. "They contacted my high school head football coach and they were trying to get in contact with my dad, so I knew something was up. Then, they told me to show up at their camp and show out and like I always do, I always come to camps with the intention knowing that I'm gonna do great, better than anybody else. So, I kinda figured that I'd get this offer."

Immediately after that, Bennett listed them in his top five.

Wednesday evening, he called them No. 1, giving OU head coach Bob Stoops and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell his verbal.

"I'm very excited that I'm committed to OU," Bennett said. Hopefully it brings kinda somewhat of a close to my recruitment, so everybody was pushing me, you know, so I can relax and just enjoy my senior year. I'm pretty excited about it."

So were the Sooners, apparently, as they picked up their second wide receiver commit in the 2013 class--Jordan Smallwood committed a couple weeks ago--and fifth offensive player.

"I was actually sitting down in Coach Stoops' personal office and Coach Stoops was there, my parents, my little brother and Coach Jay Norvell was there," Bennett said of the situation when he made the decision. "And I told them that --I mean, because at first he asked me, ‘What are my feelings on the football program?' And I told him that it was a good program, and I decided to commit and he was very excited."

The 6-foot, 170-pound speedster who's currently ranked as the No. 95 wide out in the country said he's already started to form a solid rapport with the coaching staff, too.

"To tell you the truth, just with today and me seeing them at that one day camp, I've already built a relationship with them because, I mean, it's easy to build a relationship with the great people," Bennett said. "I mean, they're family, they're family people and they're a family oriented program. They care about their recruits very much, so it was pretty easy getting along and understanding where they're coming from when it comes to recruiting."

That was ultimately what sold him to finalize the switch from Arkansas to OU, with other schools like Mississippi, TCU and West Virginia also in the mix.

Well, and something else players talk about all the time when referencing OU.

"It really was the coaching staff, that they always have a great coaching staff, Bob Stoops going into his 15th year with the Sooners, and just the history and the tradition that OU has with its program is just phenomenal," Bennett raved.

Now that he's seemingly got the big decision out of the way for good, it's on to focusing on what lies ahead.

In light of that, he's already laid out some things he's shooting for next year at Manvel.

"My personal goals, I want to set some kind of record with my quarterback," Bennett said. "I plan to get over around 60 catches this year for over 1,000 yards overall, probably like around 15 touchdowns. I just want to get first team All-District again and probably go in the running for the Offensive MVP in the Greater Houston area. So, those are some of my goals for the season."

As for now, it's time to take a deep breath.

The Sooners certainly are after getting a very talented three-star prospect to rack up their 2013 total to 11 commits so far.

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