In recruiting you’re going to hear what you want to hear a lot of the time. If you want to get the story straight, you need to go to different sources than the coaches.
That’s what Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly and his family did when it came to deciding between Oklahoma and Notre Dame.
Kelly, a five-star linebacker, knew there was someone who wasn’t going to be waving the pom-poms. He was going to tell him how it really is and that was Michiah Quick.
Quick was essentially in the same position as Kelly two years ago. A four-star prospect ranked in the top 50 for the 2014 class, Quick was also down to OU and Notre Dame before ultimately picking the Sooners.
It was déjà vu on signing day last month.
“I was like a kid in a candy store,” Quick said. “That’s my dude. From the same hometown. I’ve played against him. I’ve played with him. Just to have him out here is going to be a lot of fun. Let him know how the system works and the expectations around here and hopefully helping him get out on the field this season.”
Kelly did talk to Quick during the process, but they’ve been talking for a lot longer than that. The relationship is a lot deeper than football and Quick wasn’t about to put on his recruiting hat.
“It was his decision,” Quick said. “If he would have chosen them (Irish), I would have been just as happy for him.
“I’ve been talking to Caleb ever since I met him. Just because I’m in college doesn’t mean I’ve been distant with him. I’ve always been talking to him. Even when I was a freshman and barely on the field, we would talk and always wonder what’s next. Fortunately, he’s coming here.”
Quick didn’t just want Kelly because of his friendship, though. The junior wide receiver also knows what Kelly can do on the field.
“He’s going to be a good asset to the team,” Quick said. “I think he’s going to make a great impact. Hopefully right now he’s getting a hold of some film. I know he’s working out, and I’m just excited to see what he can do.”
Fresno has been an interesting connection for OU in the last five years. Four-star safety Hatari Byrd has had an up-and-down career and might be moved to linebacker as a senior.
Former four-star cornerback L.J. Moore spent one year in Norman before moving back home to California.
Courtney “Chip” Viney is now finding a permanent home at OU after his two years as a graduate assistant have come to a close. He’s a quality control coach and will play a bigger role in recruiting.
And then there’s Quick. It seems like it has been an uneven first two years in Norman although Quick gets a big smile on his face when talking about his time as a Sooner.
With Sterling Shepard moving on, Quick knows it’s now his time. He’s ready for the moment, eager for it to happen. And happy to have Kelly continue that Fresno connection.
“It does mean something to me,” Quick said. “It means that the Fresno guys that are here – we have some influence on the community.
“We didn’t just choose to come here to play football. We did, but it’s for a reason. I’m happy it has some impact on him. We’re just trying to show everybody that they can go out and get it and do what they want to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in football. You can find your own way.”