RECRUITING: Bennett still happy to be a Sooner

San Antonio, Texas defensive end Corey Bennett talks about his season and his commitment to Oklahoma.

San Antonio Roosevelt defensive end Corey Bennett is still waiting for that ever-elusive telephone call.

Yet the future Sooner isn't the slightest bit concerned that he's never spoken with Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops.

"I know he's really busy," said the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Bennett, who verbally committed to Oklahoma in May. "But that's a call I definitely wouldn't mind taking."

This season, Bennett, who was recruited to Oklahoma by Recruiting Coordinator Bobby Jack Wright, recorded 60 tackles and four sacks for Roosevelt, which last Friday dropped a stunning 14-10 decision to Buda Hayes Consolidated in the first round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs.

"Most teams ran away from my side," said Bennett, who also entertained scholarship offers from Colorado, North Carolina and Texas A&M. "It seemed like a lot of them already knew about me, but I guess that's (just the price) of being a Sooner in Texas."

Interestingly, Bennett has never actually set foot in Norman. His only recollection of Oklahoma's campus came during a family trip to Minnesota.

"We never even got out of the car," said Bennett, who plans to take his official visit to Oklahoma after Christmas, if not before then. "I had my nose pushed to the glass the whole time."

Despite that, Bennett said a number of factors, especially Oklahoma's early offer, prompted his decision to verbally pledge to the Sooners.

"They've got a great team and an unbelievable coaching staff," said Bennett, a 3.2 student, who is considering a major in history. "That combination really lured me in. I know I'm going to like it there."

Confident, yet realistic, Bennett is already busily preparing for Oklahoma's 2004 season. He hopes to improve upon his 300-pound bench press and 4.89 timing.

"Part of me wants to redshirt and part of me wants to play," said Bennett, who compares himself to Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse. "I'm not used to sitting on the sidelines, not playing and watching everybody else have all the fun."

For now, Bennett said he's simply enjoying Oklahoma's pursuit of the national championship and counting down the days until he officially becomes a Sooner.

"I never really thought that'd be me someday," said Bennett. "I really can't put that feeling into words."

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