RECRUITING: Schuler discusses verbal

Sioux Falls, South Dakota OL talks about his commitment to OU over Nebraska and Colorado

All-American offensive lineman Ryan Schuler committed to Oklahoma recently after visiting the Sooners on unofficial visit.

Schuler, a 6'7" 275-pounder from Sioux Falls (Washington HS), South Dakota, is regarded as one of the top 15 offensive lineman in the country and gives the Sooners their second offensive line commitment.

The Sooners are hoping to sign four offensive linemen in this class. They already have a verbal from a solid guard prospect in Brian Zimple of Broken Arrow, and now they have found a tremendous tackle prospect in Schuler. I had a chance to sit down and talk with the Sooners latest verbal commitment this morning.

JH: We have heard that you committed to Oklahoma, is that true?

RS: Yes, that is correct. My thing is that I had it narrowed it down to a couple of schools and OU was the only school that I haven't seen yet. I wanted to see if OU was a school that I would be interested in or if I needed to back off from OU and get serious about the other two schools.

JH: Who were the other two schools?

RS: Nebraska and Colorado.

JH: The first time I interviewed you I felt you were a heavy lean to Nebraska, were you at that time?

RS: I think I had just got back from their camp, so I might have been a little more fired up about them then. However, Nebraska really didn't appeal to me because I didn't get to know any of their players or coaches, and it seemed too much like a business to me.

When I went to OU I had a chance to meet several players and coaches that impressed me. Many times, coaches just want to throw you a line and that was not what I wanted to hear. I needed to talk to the players and find out how they felt about their program. I needed to find out what life was like off the field when they were a member of the program. I found that out at OU and that basically sold me on the program.

JH: Did you actually commit to OU on your unofficial visit?

RS: I actually verbally committed right before I left, but I asked them to hold onto it for a while because I needed to get ahold of my local media and my coach to let them know about my decision.

JH: Was you intention to get recruiting over early?

RS: Definitely, I really wanted to get it over with early because I knew that with recruiters calling all the time in the fall that I would get distracted from my high school season. I didn't want that to happen. This is best for my high school teammates, so that I can give them 100 percent.

JH: You must have left OU with a great feeling about their program?

RS: I got a feel what it was like to play there because I had a chance to sit in on some meetings. I just really like how they, as a coaches, approach to their jobs. They are laid back, but when it came time to get after business they were outstanding. It was kind of a casual atmosphere, but I am not playing either. I understand when I get there things will be more intense.

JH: How soon do you think you'll be able to contribute at OU?

RS: I think I will be able to come in and contribute after a year or as that I put on some muscle. I have heard some great things about their strength and conditioning program and the coach running it. I am looking forward to that. I like the fact that they had a few upper classman in their offensive line, but it was appealing to me that they had so many young guys in the offense line. The most important thing to me was that there are other good players around me, because I want to compete for the Big 12 Championship and the National Championship. I believe that if you continue to give Coach (Bob) Stoops an opportunity to run the program that OU will continue to be a national contender type of program.

JH: You're also a pretty good basketball player. Was it tough deciding to play football over basketball in college?

RS: I never really looked at playing college football until last summer when my AAU basketball coach (Paul Seville) told me that I should look at playing football. I played on the Dakota Schoolers, the same team that Mike Miller and Josh Heupel played on, and I always felt that I would be a college basketball player. I was heading into my junior year and I had some interest from Oregon and some Division-2 programs. When he mentioned that to me I started thinking more about college football. I only weighted 255 at time and I wasn't sure I was big enough, if you can believe that. I then told my football coaches that my goal was to play Division-1 college football. I had no idea things would turn out like this. I thought I would get one or two offers and that is it, but this has been quite a shock.

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