The plan was simple for Oklahoma City Casady offensive guard Josh Wariboko. Commit early and be done with the recruiting process.
Seemed logical enough. Wariboko, ranked the No. 5 offensive guard for the Class of 2015 and No. 120 in the Scout 300, did just that. He committed to Oklahoma, his dream school, during the last week of June.
OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel had a message for Wariboko, though. They knew the process wasn't over with. They knew as more film leaked out on Wariboko that actually the recruiting process had just started.
Wariboko is finding that out now, too. It started in September when on an unofficial visit to Texas A&M, the Aggies made the offer. Within 24 hours later, USC had offered. Less than 48 hours after that, Ole Miss offered.
"I committed early because I wanted to be done with all that," Wariboko said. "It hasn't stopped anything. I don't like the recruiting process at all. It's very time consuming."
Instead of a text statement on the offer, it was filled with capitalization and exclamation points. LSU meant a little more to Wariboko than the others?
"When I got USC and LSU, I started to reevaluate things," Wariboko said. "But I still feel pretty comfortable with OU. I still like OU best."
He's not trying to hide anything. Among the first people he tells about a new offer are Bedenbaugh and Heupel. Full transparency here.
The A&M offer worried some OU fans but that was more about an opportunity than anything else. Wariboko, like most high school kids, just wanted to see the Texas A&M-Alabama showdown in person. He was there to have a good time.
At OU, it's different. He's there to have a good time, but he's also there starting to visualize how he fits into the grand scheme of things.
With Bedenbaugh at the helm, Wariboko is liking what he sees.
"I'm overwhelmed right now," Wariboko said. "I've sit in on some of the practices and seen a couple of the games. Coach Bedenbaugh is for real. He is somebody who can help me grow. He's a great coach and a great person."
Wariboko went to OU's first home game of the season and returned for the TCU game. Like a lot of recruits, he had no idea how many prospects from California were making the trip. It did lead to a different atmosphere.
"There were a lot more recruits there than have been in the past," Wariboko said. "I got there pretty late, but it was still a lot of fun. We have to get at least one of them to commit."
Schools like USC and LSU can enter the picture now. Other big-time schools are likely to enter the mix eventually. But OU was there from the start.
Wariboko visited OU twice during the spring and was immediately offered after OU's three-day camp in early June. The Sooners, known in the past for slow-playing some in-state recruits, realized immediately what they could potentially have in Wariboko.
This is something that is not lost on Wariboko.
"I talk to Coach Bedenbaugh about twice a week. I always make time for him," Wariboko said. "It means a lot to me they offered early. It showed how much they wanted me. I mean I was offered while I was a sophomore. They were the first ones to be there, and I appreciate that."
His junior season has been a lot different than he imagined. A hamstring issue slowed him down initially, but he's fine now. It's his team that has been bitten by the injury bug.
Oklahoma City Casady was 4-1 but has dropped its last two games and has a huge game Friday against Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints.
"I'm sure I'll go against him a few times at strongside defensive end," Wariboko said. "But for the most part I'll be playing nose guard when I'm on defense."
Wariboko has been busy this season playing both sides of the ball. At first it was because it helped the team to have him out there but now it's a necessity because of how banged up the group is.
Wariboko doesn't have any issues with it.
"Defense is a lot more fun," Wariboko said. "Hitting the quarterback is a lot better than protecting him. And I think it's helping me offensively by playing defense because it helps understanding the mentality.
"It takes a lot out of you playing both ways, but the coaches have done a great job of watching how many reps I get and keeping me fresh. I can't complain."