You can try to find somebody, but it’s hard to say there was one person who was surprised by Tulsa (Okla.) Union defensive tackle committing to the Sooners on Sunday afternoon.
Kelley, a three-star prospect, felt destined to be the next Redskin to pick OU as soon as the offer was made last month. You know who else doesn’t disagree with that point? Kelley.
“It was pretty early in the recruiting process when I knew,” he said. “It was close to when they offered me. I grew up wanting to go to OU so it’s a dream come true.”
The one factor that comes up time and time again for recruits as to why they’re picking the Sooners is the family feel they get with the program.
There was a time when maybe OU wasn’t always the most united program around. Not anymore. Based on the coaching staff in place the last couple of years, it has been easier for them to put in the work to land guys like Kelley.
“You know I really like it is a family out there,” Kelley said. “I’m close with all the coaches, and I like that it’s closer to home.”
Leading the way has been defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux. Kelley said he likes Thibodeaux’s straight forward approach and believes Thibodeaux is going to bring the best out of him.
If Thibodeaux was a main reason, it’s hard to discredit the Patrick Fields factor. Fields, a high three-star prospect in his own right, committed to OU four weeks ago and is also at Tulsa Union.
Not just teammates, but best of friends, too.
“I didn’t go there because of him, but it’s a big bonus, for sure,” Kelley said. “We did talk about being a package deal going back to last summer and when he was getting recruited. It’s crazy that it’s happening at OU.”
Kelley, Fields and another top in-state prospect, Owasso’s Josh Proctor, were back at OU last weekend and Kelley said it was great to make that final visit before committing.
He’s not done at this point as Kelley and Fields will return to Norman next weekend for the spring game. With the two Redskins in the fold, well, it’s time to get to work.
Proctor is one of them, but the goal right now is to help Thibodeaux. To do that? All eyes turn toward Putnam City’s Ron Tatum and Midwest City’s Jalen Redmond.
Both have OU offers and both are in the Scout 300 and major targets for the Sooners to land for the 2018 class.
“It starts up front, and we need to build something special on that defensive line,” Kelley said.