Most of Spencer Rattler’s suitors had finally moved on to other prospects by the time he was set to sign with Oklahoma last year. Rattler said at the time that Georgia was lingering.
But for the most part, everyone was gone. For a long time, OU had to ward off competitors hoping to flip the five-star quarterback, whom many expect will be the Sooners’ starter next season.
Lincoln Riley kept the quarterback’s commitment, in part, because he built a relationship early by offering Rattler a scholarship at age 14.
OU’s taking a similar approach with a handful of players in 2023, among them Rueben Owens II, a 2023 running back who recently finished his high school freshman year at El Campo High School.
He is the ninth 2023 prospect to receive a scholarship offer from OU.
“Thank you to [OU] for recognizing my talents early & the offer, Owens tweeted Monday.
The Sooners joined a large group of schools who have offered Owens: among them Auburn, Nebraska, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and LSU.
Owens is the first 2023 running back to receive an offer from OU, one of new OU running backs coach DeMarco Murray’s first recruiting projects in his first year back at his alma mater.
Why go after Owens and other freshmen so early? Sometimes coaches just know, Riley said, in explaining why he went after Rattler his freshman year.
At the time Rattler was the youngest player Riley had ever offered. Former OU linebackers coach, Tim Kish, told Riley he needed to see the young QB’s highlights.
“I’m like, ‘you want me to watch a freshman.’ I’m like, really? Riley said in December 2018. “Then I turned on the tape, I was like, OK. So I got out that spring and saw him. I could see right away, you could see there was something special there. Got to know him and his family, made offering him not a tough decision.