Trail to OU: Arthur 'Hulk' McGinnis

OU had missed out on so many linebackers but nabbed the one that mattered most in Arthur McGinnis.

Weeks of recruiting, month of recruiting and even years of recruiting, and sometimes all it takes is one question to land that commitment.

For Oklahoma and New Orleans Warren Easton Charter linebacker Arthur McGinnis, it was the answer from OU linebackers coach Tim Kish he was looking for.

McGinnis said he does it a lot with college coaches. And as he was driving to the airport with Kish on Sunday on his way back to New Orleans following his Sooners official visit, he heard the answer needed.

“It sparked a little fire in me when I was going back,” McGinnis said. “I ask this to coaches all the time to try to see if they really want me as a football player or as a football player and a person.

“How would you feel if I wasn’t going to come to OU? He told me he would be disappointed, but he would still root for me anywhere I go no matter what. We had built that relationship beyond football.”

One question, one answer, one commitment, one signee. The next night, McGinnis let the world know “Hulklahoma” was coming to Norman.

McGinnis was down to OU, Texas Tech and Arizona. But in the end, it really felt like it was down to the Sooners and Wildcats. And most thought heading into his OU official last week that Arizona had a huge lead. But the Sooners won out.

“OU has always been in my top schools, and they’ve been there from the start,” McGinnis said. “I didn’t know at the time (of the visit) I was going to commit. But after talking to my family, my uncle and everybody, I knew.”

McGinnis was hosted by OU linebackers Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans. Their message was clear about how cool Coach Kish is and what a great coach he is. They also said McGinnis had to follow his heart.

The comments of Kish feel like a disconnect from what fans and media get to see of Kish. Not active on social media and never really made accessible for interviews, Kish is a bit of an enigma despite having already spent three seasons at OU.

It’s clear, at least with McGinnis, Kish played an instrumental role in helping him decide.

“He’s the type of guy – a great guy, great person,” McGinnis said. “Believe it or not, he has a great sense of humor. He’s a down-to-earth guy. Once you get talking to him, you feel like you’ve been knowing him for a long time. He is very open.”

Kish showed he was in tuned with what McGinnis has been saying. With the majority of OU’s coaches not on campus last Friday and trying to complete final in-home visits elsewhere, Kish was leading the charge with McGinnis on Friday.

McGinnis, looking to major in sports communication, had a pretty big surprise when he arrived at OU on Friday.

“One of my favorite parts was when I got there, Coach Kish had already planned on taking me on this academic tour,” McGinnis aid. “He took me around everywhere and showed me behind the scenes of the news broadcasts and things like that. It was great.”

McGinnis let the world Monday afternoon he was going to decide later that night. With the self-imposed deadline, it was time to make the decision. As the night wore on, it became a question of if McGinnis was going to decide instead of when.

“When I say it was a lot of thinking, it was a lot of thinking,” McGinnis said. “It came down to the wire with OU and Arizona. There was so much thinking toward it.”

Before any call to the OU coaching staff, McGinnis said he did what he felt needed to do. Because of the respect he had for the Tech and Arizona coaches, he called them first to let them know.

Then the call came to Kish after the 11 p.m. CST hour Monday.

“He picked up the phone, and I told him ‘I’m just trying to figure out what my classes are going to be this summer,’ “ McGinnis said. “I said that, and then he got all excited and started celebrating.”

McGinnis tried to call Bob Stoops, but as he is recovering from surgery, he was already asleep. Stoops admitted Wednesday afternoon that he found out about McGinnis’ commitment on Tuesday morning from his wife.

McGinnis did talk to Stoops for around an hour Tuesday and said there was never a second thought in his head about his choice.

McGinnis ended up being OU’s only middle linebacker for the class, but you can live with one if it’s just McGinnis. A true middle linebacker, OU fans are salivating at what he’ll become once he’s in OU’s strength and conditioning program.

OU fans are ready to see The Hulk.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories