Driving home from Oklahoma’s junior day last February, Southlake (Texas) Carroll wide receiver Zach Farrar doesn’t remember much about what the Sooners coaching staff had told him.
Farrar does remember them saying he was a physical specimen, but what he remembered more than anything was the initial disappointment of the event.
“I wasn’t too happy because I wanted an offer,” Farrar said. “I felt in my heart I had exactly what was needed.”
The offer, of course, didn’t come in the spring, summer, fall, or the first part of winter. It finally arrived Jan. 24, just a mere 10 days before signing day.
No rhyme or reason to it, but OU had always been the dream school of Farrar. Didn’t grow up liking Texas. Didn’t grow up liking TCU so he sort of just became an OU fan.
He knew he would take an official visit to Norman even though he was committed to Mississippi State at the time. To guarantee a flip would happen, though, would be a bit presumptuous. Last February was still in his mind. He had gotten over the non-offer, but an explanation would be nice.
“They explained exactly what they were thinking about then and now,” Farrar said. “They said they were looking for me to play a full season. I was fairly new at the position so they wanted to see what I could do.
“Honestly, I’m not sure I would have been able to be comfortable with my decision if they didn’t explain what had happened.”
His senior season happened is what changed everything. His first year at receiver was his junior season and that was limited by a broken jaw. Nothing slowed down Farrar as a senior.
He became a name to watch with 56 catches for 1,114 yards and 19 touchdowns playing against some of the best team in the Dallas Metroplex area.
Schools started to notice. OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was one of those guys.
“We knew about Zach very early on in the process,” Riley said. “He was one of the first guys that I remember Coach Gundy taking me by to see when I got hired here. And he was a guy that we’d had our eye on here for a long time.
“When you go back and watch his junior film, to us, we saw a really talented guy that if he really dedicated himself to it and continued to work hard at the things that he needed to work on could be a great player. And you saw him as a senior become a great player. And we love seeing the guys trending up.”
Trending up but no offer. Sporadic communication couldn’t be enough at this stage of the game and Farrar admitted he sort of gave up on the OU dream.
He had his own recruiting process he had to worry about, couldn’t spend time wishing on an offer that wasn’t going to come around.
It wasn’t until two weeks ago when Cale Gundy was wondering whether or not Farrar still had interest. Just days after pledging to the Bulldogs, Farrar said he would still show the interest in the Sooners.
An in-home visit by Bob Stoops and Riley squared some things up and it was all about the official visit last weekend.
That’s where OU hit the home run.
“I liked everything,” Farrar said. “Just like at Mississippi State, I liked everything about the visit. Both schools offered me the chance to play both sports (football and baseball). But I had to take into consideration my family and how much they want to see me play.”
Baseball was a cog in the wheel here. It wasn’t an add-on, it was half of the puzzle. On his OU visit, Farrar was able to see a baseball scrimmage and saw former OU quarterback Cody Thomas hit a home run and a triple.
Splitting time in two sports at quarterback is one thing. That’s perhaps a little too crazy. But Farrar believes a receiver can do it so he’ll be the first since Brandon Jones to give it a try.
Farrar’s host was Dahu Green, which made perfect sense. Green was in the same spot as Farrar almost to the same weekend. Recruited by OU for the longest before finally getting an offer. Visiting OU and then flipping from a Power 5 school after visiting Norman.
Green did it two days before signing day. Farrar did it three days before everything was official. After the OU visit, Farrar spent a lot of time with his family and straightened everything out. After spending the majority of the time with Riley and Dennis Simmons on the visit, he felt at ease.
“There’s a lot of these guys that start getting these offers or they start getting that attention or they have some success early on in their career and you see them flatline,” Riley said. “And Zach made a huge, huge jump. So we were impressed with that. To be able to get him up here and flip him was important.”
Farrar asked all of his questions to the OU staff and got his answers. Went home Sunday and called the Mississippi State coaches to decommit before calling Dennis Simmons to commit. Simmons hooked up a three-way call with Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley, and the celebration was on in Norman and in Southlake.
“It feels great,” Farrar said. “I can relax now. I know my future is set.”