Sunderland excited about OU offer

Oklahoma has once again made an early offer to an in-state recruit. This time it's Midwest City safety Will Sunderland.

This time it's for real. Following an impressive performance at Oklahoma's summer camp, Midwest City (Okla.) High Class of 2015 safety Will Sunderland thought he had an offer from the Sooners.

Turns out OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said he would like to offer Sunderland. But he needed some film to do so.

That film came Thursday in an impressive season opener for Sunderland and that offer became official during Sunderland's unofficial visit to OU.

Sunderland, listed at 6-foot-3, might actually be a legit 6-4 at this point and has started to put all the pieces together. His camp performances have helped him land in the Scout 300 and his outing Thursday will make sure he is not forgotten.

And now the Sooners are trying to make sure he doesn't forget about them.

"They let us into Bob Stoops' office, and he said he liked how I performed Thursday against Edmond Santa Fe," Sunderland said. "He said he likes my size and how I can move.

"Then he left for like five minutes and came back and told my parents he was going to offer me. I was sitting down on the couch and couldn't believe it."

Anybody who saw Sunderland last week can believe it, though. He was sensational with eight tackles, an interception and saving the game with a goal line stop on a one-on-one showdown with a wide receiver.

He was hoping the offer was going to come after the first game of the season, but he never really knew for sure until it happened.

"Man, he's really offering me," Sunderland said. I was speechless. It did cross my mind to commit right there, but I'm going to give it time."

Cannot blame Sunderland on that one. Since colleges have been able to be in touch with 2015 recruits again, he has already heard from Auburn and Missouri. He said he wants to visit Auburn, and he was at Missouri this summer for its camp.

But a visit to Auburn will have to wait because Sunderland knows where he's going to be next Saturday.

"I'm going to be there again Saturday," said Sunderland as OU hosts Tulsa. "This feels really good because OU is in my home state, and it means they recognize what I'm doing. I really liked the atmosphere and the crowd and the coaching staff."

He would like to fully experience the environment. Sunderland said he had to leave after the third quarter Saturday because of his father's work schedule.

Sunderland grew up a Texas fan so it has never been a slam dunk for the Sooners. But OU has put itself in a great spot as the first school to offer Sunderland.

The improvement in Sunderland's game is apparent now in his junior season. It's something even he realizes.

"Last year was a learning process," Sunderland said. "Now everything is slowed down. I can read stuff better. I have better footwork. I didn't worry about the offer. All I could do was do me and hope everything worked out."

Footwork is the one thing he noticed while watching OU safety Quentin Hayes.

"No. 10, yeah, he's got some great footwork and wasn't afraid of anybody," Sunderland said. "I really like that atmosphere and want to see that defense again."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories