Lancaster (Texas) High defensive back Jordon Austin had a plan for how he wanted to commit to Oklahoma. Ranked No. 187 in the Scout 300 for the 2018 class, Austin thought he would be in a car or something and call defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks.
Austin, committed to OU last Thursday, but the process was a lot more stressful than that. He said he was actually trying to commit a couple of weeks before that. He would call Cooks every single day and get no answer.
He started to wonder if this was a sign that maybe OU wasn’t as interested in the defensive back as it first appeared.
No, turns out Cooks was on vacation out of the country. Once Cooks was back, there were some more slight struggles before Austin made the call and Cooks picked up.
“He was excited, way excited,” Austin said. “I think he had a feeling like he knew what I was calling him about, but he was really pumped up.”
It didn’t hurt that Austin’s older brother, Dakota Austin, is entering his senior season with the Sooners. But it’s clear OU didn’t offer Jordon just because Dakota is on the roster.
Jordon Austin made an unofficial visit to OU for the spring game, and Cooks surprised the heck out of him with an offer. It was his initial offer.
Other schools had shown interest and some had offered. Jordon Austin said Baylor had really caught his eye until all the events of the last couple of months involving sexual assaults and a cleaning of the house of the whole program and administration.
Austin said he thought when Cooks didn’t answer for three weeks, it was a sign from the universe. But after what happened at Baylor, he knew that was a sign. His future home was going to be in Norman.
“It has always felt like a second home,” Austin said. “So why waste any more time? I mean I’m in Norman right now (Thursday). I’m already familiar with the town and the coaches. I talked with my mom and we decided this would be best.”
Another trip to Norman last month helped the cause as well. Austin camped at OU two years ago as he was entering his freshman season. Last month he wasn’t the young pup, but he was the prospect expected to dominate.
Maybe feeling a bit of that pressure, Austin fully admits he didn’t have a very good first session in Norman. Going through the drills, he wasn’t on top of everything. It was some tough love from Cooks and assistant defensive backs coach Chip Viney, but it was an honest approach Austin appreciated.
He turned things around during the second session of the camp. He made a one-handed interception, he deflected balls, he ran receivers off their routes. That was the Austin everybody was expecting to see, that was the Austin who OU had offered in April.
“There was nothing on there (his sophomore film) to say I deserved a Division I offer,” Austin said. “There was potential, but this is my season to prove this wasn’t a fluke.”
Austin’s recruitment was almost the polar opposite of Dakota Austin. Back in 2012, Dakota tore up OU’s camp and his battles vs. K.D. Cannon were easily the highlight of the event. But an OU offer didn’t come then.
Instead, it wasn’t until the weekend before signing day when Austin made an official visit and was offered and committed right then and there.
Jordon hasn’t even played his junior season and already had the Sooners keeping tabs on him. And Jordon had already gotten the input from his older brother about what to do.
“I asked him about a month before I called Coach Cooks and asked him if I should commit,” Jordon Austin said. “He said of course I should commit and asked if I had called Coach Cooks. He’s excited for me.”
Lancaster is no stranger to the Sooners, and when it comes the 2017 class, there is one standout from Lancaster that OU is certainly coveting.
Wide receiver Omar Manning, ranked No. 69 in the Scout 100, is believed to have OU in his top set of schools. Nobody really knows because of how tight-lipped Manning has been throughout the process.
But with Jordon Austin in the fold for OU’s class, he’s hard to work at trying to make sure Manning joins him in Norman.
“I’ll definitely try to push him,” Jordon Austin said. “If I’m good enough to be at OU and I know you are, too, then I am going to try. I try all the time. He doesn’t listen to me. He won’t say anything when you ask him. But I’ll keep trying.”
Austin is OU’s second commit of the 2018 class, joining Moore (Okla.) Southmoore five-star offensive tackle Brey Walker as part of Savage Team 2018 or #ST2K18 as it’s known on social media.