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College football recruiting: SEC schools starting to make inroads with Oklahoma's top high school talent

SEC RECRUITING — It used to just be Arkansas that was coming into Oklahoma and snatching up some of the state's most talented high school football players. But now, programs like Alabama, LSU, Auburn and others are starting to pluck athletes from the state.
by Ryan Aber Modified: August 27, 2013 at 9:00 am •  Published: August 25, 2013

For years, especially when Tulsa product Garrick McGee was an assistant coach there, Arkansas hit Oklahoma hard on the recruiting trail.

From 2009-2012, 14 state high school players signed with the SEC school.

During that span, only one player — Broken Arrow's Levi Copelin — signed with an SEC school other than Arkansas.

Copelin signed with Missouri in 2012.

In the last two years, though, other SEC programs have been making inroads into the state.

Earlier this year, Edmond Santa Fe's Khari Harding signed with Auburn. Two more state players from the 2014 class, Norman North's David Cornwell and LSU's Deondre Clark, are committed to SEC schools.

“Obviously they've got the talent,” Cornwell said. “It's kind of like 6A and 5A here — you want to be with the best talent. You feel like that's where you get to compete. It's close to the NFL.”

A quarterback, Cornwell is committed to Alabama.

Douglass defensive end Deondre Clark is committed to LSU.

For Clark, the draw of the SEC was in how the conference plays defense.

“The SEC has more of a defensive presence for the conference,” Clark said, comparing the SEC to the Big 12. “For me, the SEC is the best conference because of their defense.”

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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