ENID — For one more morning, Austin Box and Kody Cooke were the kings of Enid High. By Wednesday afternoon, the pair were back to being freshmen trying to find their place in college. Box and Cooke are both enrolled at Oklahoma and did not need to sign official letters of intent Wednesday, but it was important for each to return for a signing-day ceremony. "To come back and see all the people I have around here — friends, family and coaches — it's kind of a relief to know I have all these people behind me,” Box said. Cooke, an offensive lineman, made the decision last summer to leave Enid early to get a head start with the Sooners. For Box, the decision was a late one. The Plainsmen defensive back who will play linebacker with the Sooners waited until early January before deciding to head to Norman early. "When you get down there during the summer, the season's not too far away. It's only two or three months away,” Box said. "This time right now is definitely your chance to get the workouts in, get a lot of reps in during spring ball. I think it's really a huge advantage. "You can possibly work into a position, you never know, by the time the season starts.” Box is already reaping the benefits of working out with the Sooners. While he greeted friends and classmates and gave interviews following Wednesday's ceremony, several people walked up to Craig Box, Austin's father, and commented on the physical change he's already undergone since arriving in Norman. When Box called his dad after his first workout with the Sooners, Craig could hear the pain in his voice. "I just remember thinking afterwards, ‘What have I gotten myself into?” Box said Wednesday. "I could just be back home hanging out with friends and not worrying about a thing.” "Even after that first week, though, I could already tell that I'd gotten just a little bit stronger a little bit quicker. The collegiate strength and conditioning coaches, they know what they're doing. They work miracles almost.”
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