Mustang (Okla.) High quarterback Chandler Garrett wasn’t going to get caught in the hype, wasn’t going to start believing something that didn’t seem possible.
His mindset was clear when he went to Oklahoma’s junior day Sunday. He wasn’t going to get caught up in the offer game and was just going to enjoy the trip.
After the trip, though, things are different. And any doubt he might have had if he was “OU worthy” has been wiped away from an incredible visit at OU and with quarterbacks coach Lincoln Riley.
Garrett has been a name to watch within the state since he was in junior high and his name became even more high profile during his sophomore season. Schools were and are showing interest, but nothing noteworthy from the in-state power.
When Josh Heupel was running the OU offensive show, Garrett didn’t get a lot of looks. He was invited to OU’s summer camp but that was about the extent of everything.
With Riley, though, the door is open.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Garrett said. “I had my doubts, didn’t know how many quarterbacks were going to be there. I wasn’t sure. But now I know I’m on OU’s radar, and it has given me something to work harder for going forward.”
Garrett was one of four quarterbacks for the Class of 2016 in attendance and got to know Riley for the first time.
“He’s down-to-earth and humble and knows what he’s talking about,” Garrett said. “He has a really good football mind. He said he liked my film and called me a gamer.”
Gamer has definitely been the word to describe Garrett. In a camp setting, Garrett hasn’t always turned heads. But put the film on, and it’s another story.
The only thing better than film is face-to-face evaluation and that is going to be the next step for Garrett and the Sooners. Garrett said Riley intends to come to Mustang during the spring evaluation period and watch Garrett and make a decision from there.
Riley didn’t come out and directly say it, but the prevailing thought right now is OU could be looking at taking two quarterbacks for the 2016 class, especially since the Sooners didn’t take any scholarship quarterbacks for 2015.
Garrett said he realizes it’s OU, and the Sooners are going to go after big-time four-star recruits like Dwayne Haskins and Woody Barrett. But that second option, it could definitely be Garrett. And after the spring period, it just might be Garrett.
Sunday was Garrett’s first real trip to OU, but it most likely won’t be his last. He said he has been invited to return to OU as much as he wants here in the future. Spring practice, spring game, whatever, constant communication was what was stressed.
“I asked him where I stood, and if I was on their radar, and he said I’m clearly on their radar,” Garrett said. “He said I wouldn’t have been invited if they didn’t feel that was the case.”
The knock on Garrett has been his throwing motion. He hasn’t gotten defensive about it. Instead, he has tackled the problem. He said he believes he has fixed his throwing motion, and he can’t wait to get out onto the camp circuit and certainly can’t wait until his senior season.
He said during games, he sometimes would lose sight of mechanics and focus squarely on reading defenses and doing whatever it takes to win.
Garrett is a product of quarterback guru Joe Dickinson, who has both a history with OU and with Lincoln Riley. Dickinson was a graduate assistant at OU from 1983-85 and coached at OU from 1996-98. He is now a quarterback instructor at DeBartolo Sports University and has a great relationship with Riley.
It wasn’t a coincidence that all four 2016 quarterbacks at OU on Sunday are all pupils of DeBartol Sports and/or Dickinson.
Garrett is still searching for that first offer, but it’s only a matter of time. And after the positive vibes from Sunday’s trip to Norman, that offer could come from the Sooners.