November 5, 2009

Loften Tired of Talk, Ready for Norman

Some schools may still be trying to get in touch with Oklahoma commitment Eddrick Loften but as the Irving (Texas) Nimitz safety took his official visit to Oklahoma last weekend the only thing he was worried about was the chance to play early in Norman.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound prospect had a long talk with defensive backs coach Bobby Jack Wright about what it would take to have himself as prepared as possible for his arrival on campus next summer.

"Oh, they haven't really told me anything about playing early. I'm just going to try and get out there and play hard, learn the defense," Loften said. "Coach Wright told me that the freshmen that get up there some take it real serious in the video room are the guys who play. You've got to get locked and loaded.

"During the game, I was just watching the defensive backs. In pre-game meetings we were watching videos of the other team, seeing how we lined up, I know the summer thing, they are in the same situation, it really helps to listen to the coaches."

Loften was hosted during his visit by friend Marcus Trice who he has known since Trice was starring at Mesquite high. However he had a chance to make several new friends while on his visit including both players on the current roster and the other members of the 2010 class.

"A couple of them I played against in high school, I've known about them and heard about them and a couple of them I already know," he said.

"I talked to Blake Bell when I was up there, me, him and Joe Powell talked some. I also saw Adam Shead. We play them Friday for the district championship and we were jawing a little bit. I also kicked it with Julian Wilson one of the commitments.

"Adam said he was going to hit me one time, I told him he couldn't catch me, I told him I'd get to his knees before he got to mine."

The reality that Loften is playing for a district title with a team that had been an after thought in the Dallas Metroplex for the last few years is one of the area's most impressive stories.

Loften says both in his play and his team's it was simply every player putting in the work in the off-season and believing their coaches had the right plan for the program. And regardless of what happens against Texas' top-ranked program Loften says his team is bound and determined to continue to surprise their critics.

"We've had a pretty good year, everybody started believing this off-season. We knew we would be one of the best teams in the district in the area as long as we kept believing. We put ourselves in the playoffs already, that's a great feeling," he said.

"We are 37-point under dogs, it's been like that every week because of the past three years, still people are doubting us but hopefully we can prove them wrong again.

"I think that's it, previous years I played a little offense and didn't play that much defense or didn't play as much as I have this season. Now I'm just playing on one side of the ball and I'm starting to get noticed because my team is succeeding. We're just all playing as a team."

Obviously in Norman his focus will be completely on the defensive side of the ball and Loften says during his time in Norman both at the camp as well as on his official he has had a chance to learn what it will be like playing for Wright.

"I talked to coach Wright a little bit while I was there. When we were walking around the campus we were joking around, but I learned at camp sometimes he gets serious," he said. "Oh yeah, in the pre-game meeting he gets fired up and told them to get locked and loaded and the defensive backs are playing well.

"I like the way he coaches and everything, when you are inside the room, he is an intense coach."

While a couple of schools like Arkansas have continued to try and stay in touch with Loften he says that his focus is simply maintaining grades and after a talk with head coach Bob Stoops he has never been more confident about being a Sooner.

"Coach Stoops and I talked about the season, how much he can't wait for me to get up there and get started and everything. My family was there with me and was talking to them about the academics," he said. "I'm ready to go, I'm trying to maintain my grades and I'm doing pretty good with it.

"A couple schools call or whatever, I really don't talk that much. Arkansas wants me to come to a visit, but I'm staying with Oklahoma I'm just relaxing."

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