There are only so many different ways to try to describe what is happening at Oklahoma right now. Just a few months removed from making its first appearance in the four-team college football playoff, the university has something else to celebrate.
The basketball team, led by arguably the best player in the nation in Buddy Hield, clinched its first Final Four berth since 2002 and will take on Villanova for the second time this season Saturday evening.
A final four in football and at least a Final Four in basketball, yea, it’s a pretty good time to be a Sooner.
There are a lot of similarities among the two programs. Both are led by outstanding coaches in Bob Stoops and Lon Kruger and are as battle-tested as they come.
Both have been rejuvenated by an unlikely source. In football, it was an under the radar, constantly playing with a chip on his shoulder quarterback Baker Mayfield. Following a transfer from Texas Tech to OU, Mayfield has become a different player.
After finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2015, he’s one of the leading contenders heading into the 2016 season.
Even more improbable has been the run of Hield. Nowhere near regarded as one of the stars of the 2012 class, he personifies everything that is right about college sports.
The hard work, the dedication, the maturity, combine that with his personality and you have one of the most likable players on and off the court.
The momentum from the 2015 football playoff spilled over into recruiting where the Sooners have started off like never before with the 2017 class.
Sunday was another prime example of that as OU landed not one but two Scout 300 wide receiver commitments in a 15-minute span.
It started with Waxahachie (Texas) High’s Jalen Reagor and was immediately followed by Cedar Hill (Texas) High’s Charleston Rambo.
OU is now a perfect 10-for-10 in terms of high school commits ranked in the Scout 300. Impressive enough to stand on its own, it becomes an even bigger eye-popping stat when realizing OU only had five Scout 300 signees for the 2016 class.
The camaraderie is there, evidenced by the OU football team shooting a short video in support of the basketball team Saturday. The Sooners were concluding their first scrimmage of the spring, and Baker Mayfield led the charge of “beat the Ducks.”
After a 2014 football season that saw OU go 8-5 and lose its final two games and a basketball season that saw an end come in the Sweet 16 in 2014-15, there was no way of knowing exactly how everything would play out.
What’s happened has become one incredible year of football and basketball, maybe unmatched by anything that has come before it.
The question remains – is the best yet to come?