Kahlil Haughton's trail to OU

OU knew the battle wouldn't be easy, but the Sooners put in the work to land Kahlil Haughton.

Everybody knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get Waco (Texas) Midway safety Kahlil Haughton away from hometown Baylor.

The Bears had made a strong initial push and let everybody know they weren’t going to let a hometown kid like that slip through their fingers.

They didn’t. Baylor did everything right, but Oklahoma just felt like a better fit for Haughton, who officially committed to the Sooners last Friday.

“It was probably that morning when I knew,” Haughton said. “I woke up Friday morning. I had prayed about it and realized OU was where I wanted to be.”

Haughton was originally going to announce in August but said he needed more time and wanted to take his official visits.

He did. All five of them. OU, Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas Tech and Baylor. Every school was given the opportunity, but in the end, it was down to the Sooners and Bears.

“Those visits gave me a chance to talk with all the guys and get their perspective and what their experiences have been like,” Haughton said. “I knew those visits would help me get to know more about the coaches and what they’re really like.”

OU constantly let Haughton know how huge of a priority he is to the class. And coach Bob Stoops made sure Haughton knew immediately on his first in-home visit.

Stoops arrived at Haughton’s house wearing an OU jacket. Under the jacket, though, was a No. 15 jersey on. Haughton later tweeted a picture with himself and Stoops in the jersey. Haughton said it wasn’t his idea at all. Stoops was wearing the jersey, and it set the tone for the rest of the visit.

Haughton has made five trips to Norman since February and one of them included the Baylor 48-14 beatdown in Norman in November.

Baylor is 11-1 and has won at least a share of the Big 12 title in back-to-back years. OU is 8-4 and has lost to the Bears in back-to-back years. Down to those two schools, Haughton explains how the Sooners still pulled off the huge recruiting victory.

“There’s so many different factors,” Haughton said. “When I would be there (Baylor), some of those playmakers aren’t going to be there anymore. And you’re looking at the class, and you want to be a part of that group of guys that come in and change things.

“The goal is always to win the Big 12 championship. And with the guys we have and the guys we’re going to have, we believe that can be done.”

OU has spent nearly a whole year recruiting Haughton and now Haughton is putting on his recruiting hat as he knows who his No. 1 priority is going forward: Aledo (Texas) four-star wide receiver Ryan Newsome.

“I’m really excited right now,” Haughton said. “Ryan Newsome is a name I’ve heard a lot and know he’s a guy we want. I’m definitely going to try to recruit some players as much as I can. I want to play with the best.”

Unfortunately for OU, Haughton might have to focus elsewhere. Newsome's final three Tuesday night didn't include OU.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories