Deer Creek receiver Hunter Dinkines, who will sign with Southwestern Oklahoma State on Wednesday, discovered his interest in SWOSU in an unusual way.
Dinkines was on an unofficial visit to Henderson State in Arkansas on Sept. 17, when the Reddies were hosting Southwestern.
The Deer Creek receiver watched the Bulldogs pull the upset and came away impressed with Southwestern’s intensity.
“I just saw how bad they wanted to win the game,” Dinkines said. “It just kinda kicked in; I thought maybe I should look into Southwestern.”
So Dinkines came back home and e-mailed Bulldogs coach Dan Cocannouer, who quickly replied and invited him to visit Weatherford the next weekend, when SWOSU beat Central Oklahoma.
He went back to see Southwestern play a third time — a 23-20 home win over Arkansas Tech on Nov. 5.
Two weeks ago, Dinkines went on an official visit, came home and decided to commit.
“I think the future is gonna be bright with SWOSU,” Dinkines said. “I just knew it was the place for me.”
Dinkines’ relationship with Cocannouer goes back further than his recruitment this season, though.
Dinkines went to Cheyenne Middle School in Edmond, and went through Edmond Santa Fe’s offseason program during the summer leading to his freshman season while Cocannouer was still the Wolves’ coach. Dinkines and his family moved to the Deer Creek school district just before his freshman season started.
“I wasn’t able to be coached by him, but I knew who he was,” Dinkines said. “I got a good feel for how he was as a coach.”
Dinkines is impressed with Cocannouer’s success at Southwestern so far. The Bulldogs went 5-6 this season, and the former Edmond Santa Fe coach seems to have his alma mater moving in the right direction.
Cocannouer was 70-26 in eight seasons as the Wolves’ coach.
“You can really tell where he wants the football program to be,” Dinkines said. “I have a good feeling about it.”
As a senior, Dinkines had 711 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns for the Antlers, who finished the season 7-4 with a playoff berth.
Dinkines father, Bill, was a standout player for Putnam City West when it finished 14-0 and won the Class 4A state championship in 1981.Jason Kersey
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