Maybe it was love at first sight.
Throughout the past couple of months, the recruitment of La Costa Canyon (CA), wide receiver Kenny Stills has grabbed several headlines. The Scout.com 5-star athlete had numerous offers across the country, but knew that before the end of 2009, a decision had to be made.
So on Friday, December 18, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Stills made his choice.
"I just wanted to tell you that I have decided that I am going to play for Oklahoma. After all of this time, in my gut, that is where I want to be," Stills said. "I think that this is the best move for me as a football player. I should have the opportunity to catch a lot of balls."
In the end, it came down to the Sooners and Florida for his services. Now that this is behind him, he looks to get things started here quickly as he is an early graduate and a spring enrollee.
So what was it that separated the Sooners from the Gators?
"I am a people person and the relationships I built with all of the people associated with the Oklahoma program was big in this decision. Overall, I was just more comfortable," Stills said. "From Day 1, the Oklahoma coaches have been on their game in recruiting me. And from the time I stepped off that plane for a visit, I got a good feel for all of the people."
Speaking of people, several played a key role in the eventual commitment from Stills. Obviously his family, his sister and mother were a couple mentioned, but a number of others may have played a small role in this as well.
"You know my friend Brennan Clay has been talking to me about Oklahoma for some time and he said that I needed to check it out and experience it," Stills said. "When I got on the visit, it was everything I expected, plus much more."
Once on the visit, Stills said he was elated to finally meet all of the coaches he had conversed with for months before, but even one of the players played an influential role in the final decision.
"Ryan Broyles is a guy who really helped me to make this decision. I was with him on the visit and he answered a lot of my questions," Stills said. "He (Broyles) gave it to me straight and kept it real. Obviously, he loves his program and may be a little biased, but he really somewhat mentored me through the process. It's almost like he is the guy I can model myself after a few years there and could do the same when guys come to visit.
"I think with him being there will help out a lot."
And while Broyles being there is a plus in the eyes of Stills, the La Costa Canyon alumnus is also ready to contribute if called upon. In the 2009 season, Oklahoma finished 7-5, earning a bowl bid for the Sun Bowl against Stanford.
In the eyes of many, and possibly, those involved closely in Sooner athletics, this season did not go as well as planned. This was something that Stills noticed as well. But instead of focusing on what did not happen, Stills saw things from a different perspective.
"It's not always about if you win the big games or lose them. I want to see how the team reacts," Stills said. "I felt like Oklahoma has done well this year. I mean, you lose a Heisman trophy quarterback (Sam Bradford) an All-American tight end (Jermaine Gresham) and quite a few offensive linemen.
"They (Sooner football team) could have easily thrown in the towel. But when I got to Oklahoma, it was so positive. The games still sold out and everyone was excited and happy. So despite all of the things that have happened, this program was still positive."
Simultaneously, Eastlake (CA) defensive back Tony Jefferson went public as well giving the nod to the Sooners as he plans to join his in-state friend Stills in Norman next month.
"My comfort level was amazing and my relationships there are strong. So I called coach Bob Stoops and told him that I wanted to come to Oklahoma," Stills said. "With the positive vibes going on at Oklahoma and playing under coach Stoops, I felt like I wanted to be somewhere I would be a great athlete as well as becoming a better person.
"Oklahoma was that place for me."
People, Positive Vibes Pulled Stills to OU
Maybe it was love at first sight.