Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE It’s not that Collinsville (Okla.) High linebacker Levi Draper has forgotten about his commitment to Oklahoma or being a vital member of SoonerSquad17, but you’ll have to forgive him because he has unfinished business with the Cardinals.
Last year’s team made history in reaching the Class 5A state championship game, but the heartbreak is still fresh in Draper’s mind as Altus earned the gold ball with a field goal as time expired.
It’s not something Draper forgets, and it’s not something he plans to forget. A reminder every now and then always helps.
“It’s good motivation going forward,” Draper said. “You have to move on, but it pops up every now and then, which is a good thing.
“I was sick about it two months after. I’m still sick about it. The way we lost – to be so close. It was rough, but we have to try to put it behind us.”
Leading that charge is going to be Draper. At this time last year he was starting to become a nationally known name in recruiting circles. He knows what to expect heading into his senior season.
He is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state. He is ranked No. 74 overall in the Scout 100. He is OU’s top-ranked pledge of a loaded class ranked No. 2 in the Scout rankings.
But none of that matters to Draper, who is simply focused on maturing as a player on and off the field and trying to finish his high school career in style.
“I think we’re clicking pretty good right now,” Draper said. “We lost some seniors so some young guys will definitely have to step up.”
Ever since changing his commitment from Oklahoma State to OU back in December, everything has been as smooth as possible for Draper.
Draper was dominant at The Opening regional in Dallas two months ago and earned the invitation to the prestigious all-star event at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon the first week of July.
“It was huge,” Draper said. “It was something I had for in a major way for the majority of my life. I’ve had a lot of things happen to me here lately that have been a reflection of the way I’ve worked so that’s meant a lot to me.”
The Draper flip to the Sooners was sort of the catalyst for the SoonerSquad17 group. All throughout the spring, where you saw one at a major camp, you were likely to see at least two or three others.
The group flocks together, and it has been one major reason why the class has developed as strong as it has in terms of rankings but also in terms of relationships.
And if you ask Draper, they’re not even close to being done yet.
“We’re all in this as a team,” Draper said. “We all get in on certain guys regarding our position. There’s definitely still more to come.”
Draper’s relationship with OU continues to grow as he said he keeps regular contact with OU coaches Mike Stoops and Tim Kish as much as possible.
Despite being the top-ranked prospect in the state, Draper said if he can make it to Norman for OU’s camp, he’s now just showing up. He’s going to participate.
“It would be another chance to be coached by Mike Stoops and Tim Kish so it would be a great opportunity,” he said.