Sunderland builds deeper OU connection

OU's junior day didn't produce any commits, but there's no doubt it left a big impression on Will Sunderland.

Plans can change with recruiting in a heartbeat, and they almost did for Midwest City (Okla.) High four-star safety Will Sunderland.

Sunderland, a Scout 300 prospect for the Class of 2015, said he had no intention of committing to Oklahoma during last weekend's junior day. But he ended up coming pretty close to doing so.

"I'm falling more toward OU every time I get up there," Sunderland said.

He does want to see more schools, though. That will start next weekend with a trip to Missouri for junior day. It will be his second trip to campus, having camped at the campus last summer.

But OU is definitely becoming more enticing. Sunderland said he really wants to be close to home and no major school is closer to home than OU.

Offers are starting to pour in for Sunderland. The Sooners started everything with an offer in August and now he can add Arkansas, Tulsa and Oklahoma State. He said Texas A&M is starting to show steady interest.

Sunderland has been to Norman so many times in the last year that junior day wasn't about the facilities or anything like that. It was about something totally different.

"I loved being able to sit down with Mike Stoops and watch film," Sunderland said. "We watched the film against Alabama, and it was a lot of fun."

Sunderland said he has noticed a change in the recruiting landscape since OU's victory against the Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. There are a lot more recruits starting to show the love once again toward the Sooners.

He's fine with that.

"It has helped big time," Sunderland said. "Everybody wants to be OU now. They've got all that pressure, too, because everybody wants to beat OU. I love it. I love the competition. That's something that gets me pumped up."

But it's not all about football, which Sunderland learned Saturday. He was able to listen to wide receiver Sterling Shepard talk about the importance of academics and his family was able to get a tour of the academic center.

Things were going so well that a discussion of committing came up with his parents.

"I was talking with my parents, and I was definitely close to doing it," Sunderland said. "But I don't know, I just feel like I want to wait for it and see what else is there."

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