In most classes for Oklahoma when the Sooners would lose a four-star prospect, it would take a while to bounce back.
OU was faced with that situation last Friday when Richmond (Texas) Foster Scout 300 receiver CeeDee Lamb announced he was exploring other options.
But when it comes to SoonerSquad17, the OU train keeps rolling on. The Sooners did just that when a mere five hours later, Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry running back Trey Sermon became the latest Scout 300 prospect to join the Sooners’ second-ranked class.
Sermon had released a top six earlier in the month with the Sooners making the cut, and Sprayberry coach Antwan Toomer spoke with Sooners Illustrated about Sermon and why OU fans should be so excited.
Toomer actually explained how OU running backs coach Jay Boulware visited the school last spring and that’s when the ball got rolling. Everything, though, became a lot more serious following Sermon’s visit for a spring practice.
“It was very important,” Toomer said. “When we left, I could tell he had a good vibe with the team. The team and the vibe reminded him of our high school team from two years ago.”
The plan all along was for Sermon to commit in September. So although it was clear to Toomer that OU had made a nice mark, it still caught him a bit off guard when Sermon said he was ready to shut it down last week.
The plan remains for Sermon to graduate in December and be a mid-year enrollee, which is one of the reasons it was so important to him to figuring things out with recruiting.
And since Toomer was also on that trip to Norman with Sermon, he could understand why Sermon wanted to be a Sooner even if he wasn’t going to prod him in that direction.
“The staff there is amazing,” Toomer said. “It starts with Coach (Bob) Stoops, but it’s everybody. Coach Riley, Coach B (Bill Bedenbaugh), Coach Boulware. He runs a great program, and it’s very easy to see why the coaches want to coach there.”
Sermon is a bigger running back at 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds. And as much as Toomer praised Sermon for his on the field efforts, he said OU is getting an even better person off the gridiron.
“He is very determined,” Toomer said. “He’s someone who does good in the classroom and is a leader in everything he does on and off the field.
“What makes him special as a player is how diverse of a player he is. Even though he’s so big, he’s actually a really good receiver.”
Toomer, who has known Sermon since Sermon’s freshman year, said the decision had been in the works for about a week. It was last Sunday when Sermon told his mother and his sister he was picking OU. Then Toomer knew Sermon meant business with a text Monday morning saying they needed to talk.
It was there when Sermon said he was thinking about shutting it down. Toomer wasn’t about to influence Sermon’s decision but said he would support it 100 percent.
Then Sermon said later he was ready to make the move at 3 p.m. EST on Friday, and that’s exactly what he did.
So has he really shut it down? If you ask Toomer, yes, OU can rest easy on this one.
“I seriously doubt it,” said Toomer on if Sermon will look around. “With the way his mother has raised him, he’s a man of his word. He’s shutting it down.”
Sermon is OU’s 10th Scout 300 prospect for the 2017 class and the first pure running back for the group.