He wasn’t the first major addition Oklahoma has received in the last few weeks, but you ask a lot of OU fans, he might end up being the biggest.
Collinsville (Okla.) High linebacker Levi Draper, ranked No. 80 in the Scout 100 for the 2017 class, flipped his commitment from Oklahoma State to OU two weeks ago in the latest edition of the Bedlam wars on the trail.
Draper grew up a major OU fan, but it was OSU who reached out first and made the offer. The Sooners offer didn’t come until much later in the process as schools like Alabama, Florida State and Clemson, among others, were already in the picture.
Draper knew he wanted to commit early, but maybe the summer was just a bit too early when he pledged to the Cowboys back in July.
He’s not going to OSU anymore, but he hasn’t forgotten what the program did for him.
“I love the OSU coaching staff,” Draper said. “In the end, I just didn’t know if Stillwater where I wanted to spend my years in college. I had been thinking about it the last month, month-and-a-half.
“A week before I decided, I let Coach (Glenn) Spencer know how I was feeling. He made it a lot easier for me. He was really supportive and made it a lot less stressful.”
After letting down OSU, it was time to celebrate for OU as Draper let OU defensive coaches Mike Stoops and Tim Kish know he was ready to be a Sooner.
When major out of region schools offer somebody in OU’s backyard when the Sooners haven’t, the uproar can be overwhelming. Draper, though, tried to keep it all in perspective. Is an offer really late when it’s still coming before your junior year?
“It was never bad,” said Draper about the relationship with the OU coaches. “It was always good. The offer seemed late, but it was that late at all. We always maintained a good relationship.”
Draper was getting ready for the state championship game, but he knew deep down he wanted to get the recruiting process over with. The plan was to win the state title game and then commit to OU following the game.
Of course we all know about plans. Altus kicked the championship-winning field goal as time expired in 31-28 heartbreaker for Collinsville so Draper waited until the bus ride and getting back home before letting the world know he would be a Sooner.
His junior season showed exactly why so many people are high on what Draper brings to the table. He has the knack for big-time plays in the big moments.
“I can’t really pinpoint one part of my game,” said Draper about this year’s improvement. “Over the offseason I just worked on getting better as a whole.”
Draper made visits to OU, OSU and Alabama during the season and picked up an offer from Texas A&M. He’s already decommitted once so the natural question is will this be it? Is he going to remain a Sooner for the next 14 months until signing day?
“It feels great,” Draper said. “I’m locked in with OU. This will be my last and final decision. I committed early both times, but it helps me because now I don’t have to focus on it and can help the team win the state championship next year.”
Draper is one of four OU commits for the 2017 class right now, and he’s one of three in the Scout 300, joining quarterback Chris Robison (No. 79) and safety Robert Barnes (No. 170).