EDMOND — One of the most important things recruiting experts tell top prospects is to make sure you commit/sign with the university — not the coach.
The coach that put all the time and effort to get you to a certain destination might be long gone by the time you would ever step foot on the campus.
But with so many offensive and defensive systems tailored a certain way, it's become a system game. If a recruit fits that system, they're more likely to go to that school.
However, if ever there was a reminder about committing to the university, it's been this year. Not only were there the numerous coaching changes all around college football, there was also one major switch in this state's backyard at Tulsa.
Edmond Memorial star Kameron Doolittle knows all too well about the recruiting process now. The Bulldogs quarterback, who has been recruited as an athlete, had offers from Colorado and Tulsa as well as Colorado State and Wyoming. He had even taken an official visit to Colorado in October.
Then former coach Dan Hawkins was shown the door for the Buffaloes, and former Tulsa coach Todd Graham left for Pittsburgh.
It made Doolittle a man without a country — or more appropriate, a top recruit without a university.
“I cannot tell you a clear reason why (more schools haven't pursued Doolittle),” Edmond Memorial coach Justin Merideth said. “It's definitely frustrating because he's one of the best players I've ever coached and one of the best players I've ever seen. In person and on film — he stands out.”
Doolittle did what was best for the Bulldogs. His future is not at quarterback in college, but he played the position well. An ankle injury bothered him midway through the season also could have impacted things.
But when it mattered most, Doolittle and Memorial came up big, winning on the road at Yukon in the final week to make the playoffs. The Bulldogs also gave Lawton a good run on the road in the first round.
Any question about Doolittle's health should have been answered.
“It's been stressful trying to figure out exactly what's going on with the coaches and other stuff like that,” Doolittle said.
With National Signing Day on Wednesday, Doolittle won't be inking with a major university. Instead, he's opting with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami.
“The coaching staff was really down to earth, and my mom really liked it,” Doolittle said. “There are not too many times when Mom is wrong about anything.”
Doolittle has academically qualified, and he's excited about going to NEO. He knows if he can do well there, the doors can once again be opened.
“Kameron has a great head on his shoulders,” Merideth said. “He's going to make the best out of any situation because that's the kind of kid he is.”