Strong proud to be a Sooner

Austin High School wide receiver talks about his commitment to Oklahoma, not being offered a scholarship by Texas and his "sensitive side" in an exclusive interview.

After football practice, English homework and in between repeated telephone calls from his "females," Fred Strong raved about his Sooner future during a recent telephone interview.

In June, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder chose OU over Baylor, Colorado, Louisiana State, Oklahoma State and Texas Christian. Last season, he caught 34 passes for 770 yards and eight touchdowns.

On Friday, Strong, who runs a 4.4, opens his senior campaign vs. Georgetown at 7:30 p.m., a game in which he "guarantees" a victory. Why did you choose Oklahoma?

Strong: "They really made me feel like I was at home. I liked everything, especially the coaching staff and the atmosphere. I wanted to go somewhere that not only provides me with a good education, but where I can win as well. To be honest, my comfort level at OU is the most important thing to me, because I'm a big momma's boy, so I need some family. When I was there, they opened their arms and treated me like I was one of them, which made me feel real special. I just needed a college to make me feel like I was a son to them and when I met the coaches, that's how I felt." What are your thoughts on Coach Stoops?

Strong: "He's a real nice guy. I like him a lot. He's a great coach and definitely one of the best in college football. I always enjoy talking to him." Despite being born and raised in Austin, Texas never offered you a scholarship. Does that bother you?

Strong: "At first, yes, it disappointed me. Texas wasn't offering, but the 2000 national champions were. After looking at my situation that way, I realized that if the champs are offering me, I shouldn't even worry about Texas." Did the opportunity to seek revenge against Texas factor into your decision to attend Oklahoma?

Strong: "Not really. A lot of my friends and family ask me that, but I just wanted to go to a major college, get my degree and play football. My decision was never about getting back at Texas. They just didn't offer and Oklahoma did. I visited OU, liked it and committed." Are you a better wide receiver than those who will sign with Texas this year?

Strong: "I'm not going to say I'm better than Nathan Jones or George Shipley, because I've seen them all play and they're great players, but I can definitely play with them." Because you live in Austin, have people been negative about your commitment to Oklahoma?

Strong: "Not at all. People sometimes joke about it on the field, but they know what time it is. I thought some people would turn against me, but instead they've been congratulating me. I've even had some Texas fans tell me Oklahoma is a good choice, because they think it'll be good for me to get out of Austin." Who is your favorite current Sooner football player?

Strong: "I love Derrick Strait. When I visited Oklahoma, he was a real cool guy. After talking to him, I thought, if he can do it, I can, because he's from Austin too." Because of Derrick Strait and your commitment, will Oklahoma have better success recruiting players in Austin?

Strong: "Not if Texas is recruiting them. If most kids in Austin had to choose between Oklahoma and Texas, they'd choose Texas in a heartbeat. Most of them have never been to Oklahoma and they only dislike them, because they're Texas fans. If they ever went to Norman and actually got to meet the coaches and players, they'd have a totally different opinion of OU." What was your reaction to Rhett Bomar's commitment to Oklahoma?

Strong: "When I heard that, I was like, ‘Damn, Bomar's coming.' That's real nice and I'm really excited. Everyone kept telling me, he was leaning towards Texas, so I never really cared until he chose OU. Now that he's a Sooner, he's like my brother." Have you made calls to any recruits about attending Oklahoma?

Strong: "No, I haven't, but we do play Leander High School this year. When we do, I can't wait to meet Randy McAdams (an OU offensive line commit) and get his telephone number, so we hangout and go to a few OU games together." What player do you try to pattern your game after?

Strong: "I'd like to say T.O. (Terrell Owens), but I'm not as big as him. A lot of colleges have told me I'm a tall, physical type of receiver, which I like. I don't mind being hit or putting my head down and running someone over." What's your greatest strength on the football field?

Strong: "My size and speed. That's such a great combination. With my size and being able to run a 4.4, that's great." In what areas do you need the most improvement?

Strong: "Blocking. I'm a pretty good blocker, but I want to perfect it. If it's fourth-and-one with one second left in the national championship game and we need to run the ball, I want them coming to my side, because I'll make sure my cornerback is on his back. I want to be so good at blocking that the defensive backs are more worried about me cutting them rather than my pass routes." What expectations do you have for your freshman season?

Strong: "I don't know yet. When I get there, I'll probably know (if I'm going to redshirt or not), but either way I just want to help my team. I'll give them the best of me." What do you plan to major in at Oklahoma?

Strong: "I really haven't decided yet. I'll probably get into business, but I haven't actually sat down and thought about it, because right now I'm more worried about high school football and making my grades." Besides playing football, what are your other interests?

Strong: "I like to watch movies. My girlfriend and I go the movies almost every weekend to watch the new ones. I also like playing basketball and PlayStation2." What's the best movie you've seen lately and why?

Strong: "Bad Boys II, because it's got so much action and it had me cracking up a little." Be honest, how good are you at NCAA Football 2004?

Strong: "Unlike most people, when I first get a game, I always put it on the hardest level, so I take it real serious. I put my guys in motion, read the coverage and even study the playbook." What's your opinion of the coeds at Oklahoma?

Strong: "(Laughing)…They were all right. There's some pretty girls there, but I didn't really pay attention. I think I'll see more of them on my official visit." How would you describe yourself away from the field?

Strong: "I make people laugh a lot. I really don't me to, but people just laugh anyway. I'm that type of character. A lot of people look at me as a clown, but I'm just a real cool guy." What's something most people don't know about Fred Strong?

Strong: "I can be real sensitive at times, but not like a little punk. Sometimes, I get in this phase where I listen to soft music. Most of the girls at my school see me and are like ‘That's Fred Strong and he plays football.' But when I talk to them on the phone and I've got some music playing in the background, they're like, ‘What you know about that, playing that slow music?' I guess they all think I just listen to 50 Cent." Are you a ladies' man?

Strong: "(Laughing)…Not at all…(More Laughing)…That's crazy." Any words for's members?

Strong: "I'm very happy to be a Sooner. I can't wait for them to see me play and for the opportunity to meet them all. That's going to be big. I take a lot of pride in being a Sooner. When I'm around, you don't talk about Texas, you talk about me going to Oklahoma and that's it."

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