OU commit in focus: Zack McKinney

Breaking down what the commitment of Zack McKinney means for Sooners.

It’s incredibly rare for recruits to say exactly what they mean when describing their thought process into their selection.

Weatherford (Texas) High defensive lineman Zack McKinney didn’t mince his words when talking about his commitment to Oklahoma.

The Sooners and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux needed a splash at defensive tackle and now have at least one in the three-star recruit who was ultimately down to OU and Texas.

Instead of summarizing what McKinney said about why OU instead of Texas, the full transcript on why it was Boomer Sooner instead of Hook ‘Em Horns.

“The Houston staff is now at Texas,” McKinney said. “If you would have talked to me a week ago, that was the school I wanted to go to. I was going to Texas. Me and coach Thibs – we have talked off and on for a couple of months, but a few days ago, we started back talking and everything. It was serious. I had to come to a decision. I had to be ready.

“I got my Texas offer last night. They were going to offer me on my official next month but somehow they knew that Oklahoma was coming so they offered me before the visit. Coach Thibs and I were talking, and he said ‘Zack if you want to be a Sooner, you tell me right here and now and I’ll offer you’.

“So, you know me, just being a 17-year old kid, I was thinking these are two good schools. University of Texas and University of Oklahoma. I sit down with my father. Then I let coach Thibs know ‘I’m ready to be a part of this’ and he offered me right there on the spot.

“I was talking with my father, who was like ‘look one school is established and the other is not.' Going to Texas, the staff there now is from a smaller conference. It’s a new staff. If they don’t come in and if they don’t win, they are going to get fired just like Charlie Strong did.

“On OU’s side? Bob Stoops has been there for 17 years, just won his 10th Big 12 championship. It’s established. It’s The University of Oklahoma. You can’t go wrong.”

Did McKinney just became an instant favorite with OU fans? There’s no faulty logic in his words, but most recruits won’t go as far to be that blunt about things.

Instead of a trip to Austin in January, McKinney’s trip next month will be to Norman for an official visit. It won’t be his trek north, though, as McKinney was on an unofficial visit for OU’s game against Kansas back in October.

The timing of McKinney’s commitment was a much-needed boost for OU, less than 24 hours removed from the Joe Mixon surveillance video being released.

McKinney knew about it. Simply put, it wasn’t going to change his mind.

“In today’s age with social media, it’s everywhere,” McKinney said. “It had absolutely no effect on me at all. I’m committed to OU.”

McKinney was once committed to Kansas, but as he continued to make plays as a senior, it became clear to most that Lawrence was going to be his final destination.

“I’m a big guy, but I think I move extremely well,” McKinney said. “I’m fast off the ball. I learned to use my hands a lot better as a senior.”

No doubt the Sooners want one more piece to this defensive tackle puzzle for SoonerSquad17, but it is finally on the board and able to avoid hitting the panic button.

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