It just took some time for Mansfield (Texas) High running back Kennedy Brooks to know Oklahoma was 100 percent the spot for him.
He had an inkling following a visit in March, but he wasn’t going to rush to make a choice without feeling confident he was locked in.
That moment came in October when Brooks was the latest Texas high school recruit to commit to OU’s 2017 class known as SoonerSquad17.
He had to wait a bit before making it back to Norman, but he was able to do just that two weeks ago for OU’s 38-20 win against Oklahoma State to clinch the Big 12 championship.
“It was for a game and experiencing a game environment was really different,” Brooks said. “I got to hang out with a lot of other commits. It was a great experience. People come to OU for this experience. It was a dominant performance.”
Brooks’ host was fellow Texas high school star in running back Rodney Anderson. There were no surprising words from Anderson, simply telling Brooks that if he puts in the work and stays focused, he will be rewarded.
It’s hard to top what Brooks did as a senior for Mansfield. He rushed for 2,853 yards on 285 carries, averaging 10 yards per attempt with 40 touchdowns. His efforts were honored Monday evening when he was named the Landry Award winner. The Landry Award is given annually to the top high school player in North Texas who demonstrates positive character and leadership attributes.
“It was always the goal to do good,” Brooks said. “Looking back and seeing how hard I worked and seeing my dreams come true, it is a blessing.”
Brooks said things really heated up with the Sooners last spring, especially following the visit to Norman and getting to know running backs coach Jay Boulware.
Once the excited feeling from the visit subsided, Brooks knew OU was the spot. As days turned to weeks and months, Brooks said OU was always on his mind.
Brooks will have to wait until Feb. 1 to make it official, but he got a taste of what his future is going to be like during the visit with so many top targets and commits in attendance to watch the championship celebration on Owen Field.
“We’re all pretty close,” Brooks said. “A lot of the commits are from Texas, and we knew each other before we committed. It helps a lot already having that relationship because we know what we bring to the table and know how successful we can be.”