Waco (Texas) Midway quarterback Tanner Mordecai understands it. He’s the local kid. He’s supposed to go to Baylor.
But Mordecai was looking for something. It’s the one thing recruits say time and time again. When you know, you’ll know.
And even though Mordecai didn’t publicize his trip to OU through any social media channels, he did indeed make a trip to Norman just days after being offered. Following the trip, he knew.
“I visited quite a few schools, but all the ones I visited the feeling wasn’t the same as the feelings I felt at OU,” Mordecai said.
OU wasn’t in the race long for Mordecai, but Lincoln Riley struck at the right time and did all the right things to land his quarterback for OU’s #ST2K18 class.
All it took was one practice. Riley showed up, watched Mordecai work and offered after practice. From that day on, Riley was relentless. Mordecai said Riley was in touch with him every single day from that point forward.
Mordecai had quality offers, though. OU, Baylor, Georgia, North Carolina and Kansas State, among several others, so it became time for a pros and cons list.
Mordecai and his father, Micah, thought about the list for OU, and the only one they came up with was whether Bob Stoops would still be around.
Little did they know that they were hitting the nail on the head. Mordecai got OU started on its terrific June in recruiting by committing June 1. Stoops would retire six days later.
“I think that everyone was surprised a little about Stoops retirement,” Micah Mordecai said. “Tanner, the week before, wrote down pros and cons about his top six or seven schools. OU had no negatives with one possible negative. That possible negative just happened and the guy that has been talking to Tanner the whole time is going to be the head coach. We think Lincoln Riley is going to be a great head coach.”
Tanner Mordecai knew OU was his initial choice, but he wanted to wait to make sure. After a week or two, he made the call June 1. But now, less than a week later, he had no clue what was going on with the program.
For a mere few hours, Mordecai was stunned. When he heard Riley was going to be the head coach, everything was back to normal.
“I saw that he (Stoops) was retiring but didn’t really believe it,” Tanner Mordecai said. “The same day he retired, I got on the phone with Coach Riley. He assured me everything would be the same.
“He would still be the quarterback coach, and he didn’t plan on making any coaching changes. I was shaken for a few hours, but that was big for me to talk to him. That made me feel really good and pumped to be a Sooner again.”
Mordecai worked hard this spring on his accuracy, and he said he felt he had a pretty quality spring in that regard. The offers started to come, changing his perspective on things. He said outside of his first offer, the OU offer was the most pumped Mordecai had been through the process.
A lot of that stems from Riley. Following the hush-hush trip to OU, Mordecai knew he wanted to play for Riley.
“Coach Riley is a special guy,” Mordecai said. “I spent the whole day with him and left completely impressed. With those new facilities, they’ve set the bar – to be the best.
“He’s extremely intelligent. One of the smartest football minds out there. You can just tell when he talks about ball. He’s the most intelligent guy in the game of football over everybody else I’ve talked to in the game. That stood out to me.
“He’s a competitor. That’s what I pride myself in – being the biggest competitor on the field. Sitting down and talking to him and going through tape, you just know.”
Quarterbacks are supposed to be the face of the class. In today’s age, that means social media and that means Twitter.
Not Mordecai. He knows his presence isn’t there, and he’s not about to change it. Just because he’s not tweeting doesn’t mean he’s not working.
“I’m on a lot of kids,” Mordecai said. “I’m not a big Twitter guy. I don’t like it. I only have it because I was told I need to get one. But I’m texting all the recruits I can. I’m definitely working.”