Cornerback continues to be a major spot for Oklahoma’s recruiting of the 2016 class. And just when you think you’ve figured out the top targets, another wrench gets thrown into things.
It happened again this last weekend as Washington D.C., Woodson High cornerback Parnell Motley came back into focus for the Sooners. OU offered back in the spring, but there has been zero communication for months after his pledge to Maryland.
Now on the final weekend before the dead period in recruiting, Motley was there in Norman checking things out.
“It was totally different than what I thought it would be,” Motley said. “I didn’t think it would be like this at all. There were huge crowds everywhere. Everybody was so excited. It was a great time.”
Motley is being recruited as a cornerback but his host was actually offensive lineman Orlando Brown. Brown’s father attended the same school as Motley and Brown is from that area before moving to Georgia during his high school years.
It was crucial for somebody like Brown to be the host to Motley. When people are moving halfway across the country, recruits have to know they’ll be at home in their next destination.
“It was very important,” Motley said. “They know how I feel and where I’m from. It was fun having Orlando guide me around, showing me everything. He was telling me I’m a good player and can really fit in down there.”
Motley was in for banquet weekend, which is always a good time in Norman. But with the Sooners making the college football playoff, he still got to see football on a December visit.
OU went back to practice Saturday in preparation for the Capital One Orange Bowl against No. 1-ranked Clemson on Dec. 31.
“They were looking really good out there,” Motley said. “It was a cool experience to be able to see it all like that. I was thinking the whole time I can ball with them. I wanted to right then and there.”
There are a lot of things to like on visits and a number of different things get mentioned by recruits when they visit OU. For Motley, though, it wasn’t the championships or putting on the jersey. It truly was the simple things.
“Going outside and looking around at the beautiful campus – it was so nice,” Motley said. “Headington Hall was great and the communications (Gaylord Hall) building. It was a lot different than what I know.”
Motley made it a point to go on the visit by himself. He said he’s going to have to learn to make big-time decisions on his own so he was going to start now. He said the thought of committing entered his mind because he could envision himself being there.
The trigger wasn’t pulled as Motley said he wanted to go home and discuss things with his family before making any impulsive decisions.
What’s true, though, is OU definitely has made the type of impression it needed to with the three-star prospect.
“I think things have changed a little bit,” Motley said. “It was just totally different to what I thought Norman would be. I know I love Oklahoma now.”
Motley said he enjoyed getting to know Bob Stoops and was surprised at how down-to-earth Stoops was and how much time he took in getting to know all of his players.
OU has two cornerback commits for this class but still feels like there is one more spot there for the taking going forward. It’s a waiting game to see how it all shakes out.