Delance not closing door on Sooners

OU lost the commitment of Jean Delance last week. But after talking to the coaches, clear the Sooners aren't 100 percent out of the hunt.

North Mesquite (Texas) High offensive tackle Jean Delance didn’t know how to react. Coming off a great junior day visit to Oklahoma on March 7, Delance was riding a wave of positive Sooners emotion.

But a mere 24 hours after returning from Norman, a racial chant video went viral from an OU fraternity that changed things in a hurry.

Delance couldn’t believe it was real and said he was conflicted throughout that night about what to do going forward. Delance made his statement that next morning, tweeting he was decommitting from the Sooners.

It had nothing to do with Bob Stoops, Bill Bedenbaugh, Cale Gundy or any of the coaches, the video struck a chord with Delance. It just wasn’t something he could condone, not the way he was raised and not because of his family’s heritage.

“I went ahead and made the decision and did what was best for me,” Delance said. “I didn’t talk to the coaches. I did what I felt in my heart.”

The media frenzy was intense for Delance, who is ranked in the Scout 150. After he had made it known he was only decommitting because of the video, his phone was ringing off the hook and his name was very popular in social media circles.

OU took its action by disbanding the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and expelling the two students who were featured prominently in the video that talked about lynching and included the lyric “there will never be a n----r SAE.”

Coaches from across the nation have been reaching out to Delance since the video to try to find out what exactly is going on, what his plans are going forward. Count the OU coaches in that group.

“I’ve heard from Stoops, Bedenbaugh, Gundy, pretty much everybody,” Delance said. “They all told me how they won’t tolerate racism and how they’re a united family.”

It had already been a crazy couple of months for Delance even before the video went viral. Delance started to pick up steam in October, nabbing his first few offers from schools like Baylor and Ohio State.

But it was clear he was waiting for OU and that offer came on an unofficial visit for OU’s win against Kansas in November. Less than 72 hours later, he was committed and was OU’s first pledge for the Class of 2016.

A number of offers came to Delance after that. In the last month alone, LSU, Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M, among numerous others, have thrown their hat into the ring.

There was a lot of speculation Delance was looking to back off his OU commitment because of those offers. Delance would repeatedly contend he was 100 percent with the Sooners. During the junior day visit, Delance was openly recruiting for other kids to join him at OU.

That all changed, obviously, after the video. The social media reaction was actually quite alarming to Delance. Some supported him, but he said there were a lot of OU fans upset with his decision. It felt like he had moved on from the Sooners.

Delance said Sunday, however, that’s not the case.

“No, I won’t say that,” he said. “Those coaches are great people, it has nothing to do with them. It’s just what happened at the school. It does mean a lot (what OU’s actions have been since the video). It’s a pretty positive aspect to the situation.”

Maybe the door isn’t closed on Delance returning to Norman, but OU is now just one of more than 20 schools vying for his services. Delance said he’s still trying to figure things out and where he wants to visit going forward.

“This has been pretty crazy, but I’m looking to get a list together soon to see the schools I want to see.”

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