Austin Box, OLB, 6'3, 220, 4.6, ENID, OKLAHOMA: Austin Box is one of those athletes that you've known about for some time, but have never really seemed to hear a lot about him. I know, just like everybody else that has watched him play, that he is one of the best pure athletes in the state and just might be the very best football player in the state of Oklahoma.
But the fact that he has received an offer from Oklahoma in a year where OU is being very selective who they offer early, tells you a lot about just how good Box really is.
"I have started since my freshman year," said Box. "I have played everything, but in the down-line. I have played wide receiver, quarterback and running back on offense. On defense I played free safety, but I have moved around and played linebacker as well. I played quarterback for the majority of last year and played pretty well."
Box threw for 1,400 yards, rushed for and 28 total touchdowns, while also making 70 tackles and three interceptions on defense.
If Box just worked on one aspect of his game, those stats would really improve on that side of the ball. In college, he will play on the defensive side of the ball, but for now he enjoys the role of all-around player.
"It is fun to move around and do different stuff," said Box. "I like it because I can be a big part of the team and I can do whatever the team feels is important. My freshman year I played cornerback and wide receiver. My sophomore year I was moved to quarterback and running back, and I split time at those two positions on offense and played free safety on defense. I played the same positions as a junior. Next season I will play quarterback and either free safety or outside linebacker on defense."
Box can bench 300 pounds and he has posted a 30-inch vertical jump. He also plays baseball starting in centerfield, where he hit .348 with five homers last season.
The OU camp is the only camp that Box has attended thus far, because of his summer baseball schedule. This summer, Box hopes to go back to OU. He is not sure what other camps he might visit but he hopes to attend a few more.
Box has six offers at this point from OU, OSU, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Kansas State and Kansas.
"I am really enjoying it so far," said Box on recruiting. "I have been open to all the schools and I am trying to talk to as many of the schools as possible. All the schools are recruiting me as a linebacker and strong safety, and that is where I think I will play in college."
Box is one of the top three players in the state and quite possibly the top player in the state, so what does he think of the Oklahoma?
"They are kind of the front-runner," said Box. "I grew up a big OU fan so they are definitely at the top of my list. I have watched OU all my life. I went to the OU/Texas men's basketball game and that was especially fun, because OU came away with the victory. That was fun because I got to hang out with Coach Venables."
Coach Venables is main recruiter on Box, and that looks to be a good thing for the Sooners.
"I like him a lot," said Box. "I can't say enough about him. I really enjoy talking to him and hanging around him."
So what is Box looking for in recruiting?
"The most important things to me is how well I like the coaching staff and how well I react to them," said Box. "Then I think facilities are going to be very important, and then academics because I need to be ready to succeed at life after football. The NFL would be great down the road, but I can't count on that. I can count on that education and that degree."
Recruiting: Enid junior has six Big 12 offers
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
OU's 'must-get' recruit for 2018 classIf there's one recruit OU needs to get for the 2018 class, Jalen Redmond is that guy.
Sooners Illustrated8:07 AM
Sooners Illustrated road trip: OwassoA collection of images from Sooners Illustrated's spring tour of Owasso.
Sooners Illustrated6:30 AM
Sooners Illustrated road trip: Norman NorthPhoto gallery of Sooners Illustrated's trip to Norman North.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 6:46 AM
OU recruiting weekend wrapupWrapping up another eventful weekend in recruiting for OU.
Sooners IllustratedMonday at 9:00 AM