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December 28, 2011
How Did Sooners Reel in Elite TE?
Bruce Kittle was forced to hit the ground running to try and find an immediate solution to the team's new urgent need at the position. On Wednesday night, his efforts were rewarded when Rivals.com's No. 2 tight end in the country, Taylor McNamara, announced his commitment via Twitter.For quite some time, Oklahoma looked to be set at the tight end position heading into 2012. But due to some roster shuffling in recent months, Sooner tight ends coach
"It's official, Boomer, I'm a Sooner," McNamara tweeted.
Though landing a Rivals100 prospect is always a major win for a coach, it must be noted that not only did Kittle overcome an expansive offer list for McNamara, he did so in a considerably shortened time frame.
After nearly committing to Ohio State last October, McNamara took a step back from his recruitment and accumulated offers from the likes of Arizona, California, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Stanford, USC and many others. However, in early June of this year McNamara surprised some by committing to Arizona and head coach Mike Stoops. When the former Sooner assistant was let go by the Wildcats on Oct. 11, McNamara's thoughts on taking official visits went from hypothetical to a certainty.
Oklahoma quickly got involved and McNamara announced, again via Twitter, he would be taking five official visits to Colorado, Washington, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and California.
At the time, the Sooners seemed a long shot and some mused if even McNamara was somewhat skeptical about how much Oklahoma could become a part of his decision.
"That's why I'm taking the visits to find out and I have some big-name schools in there like Oklahoma and Notre Dame," he said on Nov. 2.
Concern continued to fest when McNamara chose to push back the date of his originally set visit from Nov. 25 to Dec. 16.
While many knew that it would mean McNamara would not get to see a Sooner game before his decision, the trip also set him to visit during Oklahoma's football banquet weekend where he spent time with Sooner commits like his class' quarterback, Trevor Knight, as well as fellow U.S. Army All-American West team member John Michael McGee.
After his trip to Norman, McNamara said little publicly but tweeted through the weekend about the football-charged atmosphere of the campus. Then earlier this week, roughly 10 days after his trip to Norman, he announced he would be making his decision by Dec. 30.
And on Wednesday night, he made it official pledging to the Sooners and becoming commitment No. 19 and the third tight end commitment in the class following Laith Harlow and fellow mid-term enrollee Brannon Green.
Rivals.com's Adam Gorney has a full update coming on Oklahoma's latest commitment.