National Signing Day is a big day for hundreds of high school football players.
To them, it’s a day of relief.
I went to Jenks and Booker T. Washington High Schools in Tulsa yesterday where I spoke with Jenks’ Jordan Smallwood and Booker T.’s Dominique Alexander.
Here’s what they, their families and coaches had to say:
Jordan Smallwood on how things have changed since the start of the recruitment process: ”A lot of things have changed. A lot of people have noticed you more. A lot of people try to jump up, but I’ve got to stay with the people I love and really care about me. It’s been really fun. (There’s been) a lot of new people I got to meet and understand. It’s been a fun ride.”
Shannon and Ryan Smallwood, Jordan’s parents, on who their son is: “If we are having a tough time, he won’t think about himself. He’ll come motivate us and say ‘It’s going to be okay’ or ‘We’ll make it through this situation.’ He’s not selfish. He’s not selfish at all. He’ll sacrifice anything he has to for the family.”
Jenks coach Allan Trimble on Smallwood: “A little old school. He’s very respectful. He’s very quiet, attentive. He’s a people pleaser. He wants to do well. It’s important that he pleases his coaches. He’s just a great child. … I think he can be even more bold and more assertive. I think we’ll see that blossom as he gets older and gets around higher-level athletes at OU.”
Smallwood on the story of switching his commitment from Arkansas to Oklahoma: ”Basically I went to Arkansas and we had a camp. Coach Maddox, one of our offensive coordinators said, ‘We’re goin’ to have a good day with you Jordan.’ I was just excited to play. He said, ‘Today’s going to be a great day for you.’ I just kept playing. At the end of the camp, they told me what happened. I never thought OU would even have contact. I didn’t believe it so I called him later. It was a great opportunity. The fact that I got to hear from him and I got to talk to Bob (Stoops) later that night. Just to know that I’ll be playing there is awesome.”
Dominique Alexander on his phone conversation with Bob Stoops: I said, “Hello.” And then he said, “Hello?” and so I went “Hello?” and he goes, “Hello. Have you heard my commercial?” and we started to laugh.
Booker T. coach Marvin Dantzler on Alexander: “When you look at Dominique Alexander first of all, you look at a kid with size and you see him run and you realize how athletic he is. A lot of coaches have really been impressed with Dominique the person. He comes from a great family. … I think Oklahoma is getting a really good product on the field, as well as a great person.”
Derrick Alexander Sr., Dominique’s dad, on the emotions of National Signing Day is for a parent: ”Relief. The pressure is off us and them. We just look forward to moving onto the next level.”