Last summer it seemed pretty evident Oklahoma was going to end up with an in-state defensive back for the 2017 class. There was too much talent to not head in that direction.
But as time went by, it sure didn’t feel like it would be OKC John Marshall’s Justin Broiles. Although he did grow up an OU fan, the mutual interest didn’t seem to be there in the fall.
There were times when it didn’t look like OU cared too much for Broiles. And then there were times when it looked like Broiles didn’t have any real interest in heading to Norman.
So when the four-star defensive back announced to the world Monday he was going to be a Sooner, yea, it was a bit of a surprise.
“I just kind of knew, you know?” Broiles said. “I had all the offers I had desired. And after talking it over with my coaches and my parents, I was ready.”
OU was offer No. 11 for Broiles although it’s a little bit different because the Sooners did try to make the moment that much more special by doing it in person.
When Broiles made the call Monday, he was at 33 offers. And not just your run of the mill, middle of the road offers. Michigan, Texas, Ole Miss, Miami were just some of the multitude of choices.
They were all legit choices, too, since Broiles has already put in the work in the classroom to get a chance to put in the work on the gridiron.
Things between Broiles and OU certainly changed in the last month. He was offered in person when OU brought a bunch of top in-state talent for the OU-Kansas basketball game.
And from that point on, things started trending more toward the crimson and cream. A trip to Norman last weekend for the first spring practice essentially sealed the deal.
“It really wasn’t that tough,” Broiles said. “I kind of knew I wanted to play there. It was just a whole different feeling last week. All the coaches were showing the love, and you could see they really mean what they say.”
And what they’re saying is how much they like Broiles’ versatility. Ranked No. 240 in the Scout 300 and as a cornerback, OU sees Broiles in a lot of different ways.
Broiles has always seen himself as a cornerback. That has been his priority from the start, and he admitted it initially rubbed him the wrong way OU didn’t view him in that manner.
When he got to thinking about it more, the light bulb went off.
“They said I have the skill set to play all of them,” Broiles said. “I could be nickelback. I could be safety. I thought about it and the versatility would give me a better chance of getting on the field at OU and the next level. I would know a lot more.”
The general feeling was Broiles might be leaning toward Oklahoma State. He had made multiple trips to Stillwater and with teammate Tramonda Moore signed with the Cowboys, it was the natural assumption.
The more Broiles thought about it, though, the more he realized OU was the spot. The call was made Monday to Kerry Cooks and Bob Stoops, and Broiles had no problem telling them he’s done. No more visits. He’s locked in with OU.
“It was really down to OU, Texas and Miami,” Broiles said. “I wanted to see Texas, but when I thought about it more, I just didn’t care. I know I want to be a Sooner.”
Broiles knows about OU’s fan base and said he has been one of them for a long time. He grew up with a lot of OU’s defensive backs, and it meant something for guys like Steven Parker (Jenks) and Will Sunderland (Midwest City) to tweet congratulations.
“It’s a big deal, but then again it’s not a big deal,” Broiles said. “It’s nice for them to tweet me, but what I like about it is it opens up a whole different fan base to know about me.
“You tweet something like ‘Boomer Sooner’ and get like 20 retweets and 100 likes. OU has some of the best fans.”