Phillip Sumpter can't wait for Wednesday to get here.
The Edmond Santa Fe running back has been committed to Memphis since the first week of December and will finally get to sign as the signing period begins Wednesday.
“I'm really excited for it,” Sumpter said. “I've been wearing my Memphis hat around the house just for no reason lately. I'm ready for it to get here.”
No out-of-state Division I program has been as successful as the Tigers in recruiting the state this season.
Three Oklahomans have committed to Memphis, with Ringling's Jackson Dillon and Sequoyah-Tahlequah's Brayden Scott.
Memphis' success in the state can largely be attributed to its Oklahoma-centric coaching staff.
Head coach Justin Fuente is a Tulsa native who played for Union and then OU.
Defensive coordinator Barry Odom is from Ada. Offensive line coach Vance Vice is from Grove and played for Oklahoma State. Defensive line coach Tim Billings is from Lawton, graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State and served as an assistant at Norman and Duncan high schools before beginning his college coaching career.
Quarterbacks coach Brad Cornelsen is from Texhoma and has coached at Oklahoma State, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northeastern State.
Others on the staff have state ties as well. Special teams/tight ends coach James Shibest started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State. Linebackers coach Galen Scott and wide receivers coach Holman Wiggins coached at Tulsa.
The familiarity with the area helped Memphis send a wave of recruiters into the state.
While Vice and Billings were the primary recruiters of Dillon, no fewer than five Memphis assistant coaches have stopped by the school during his recruitment.
“They were very persistent early on in their recruiting,” Richard Dillon, Jackson's father, said. “There were other teams that showed interest but didn't put forth the worth. They have been very impressive in the time and effort they've put into recruiting Jackson and making a good impression with his other and I. We know that they have his best interests in mind.”
The Tigers haven't had quite that many coaches at Santa Fe but at least three have come by during Sumpter's recruitment.
Odom and Vice have been his primary recruiters, but Fuente has also stopped by.
“There was just a family atmosphere around them,” Sumpter said. “It seemed like a good fit for me from the start.”
Sumpter also said it was a help that he'd be joined by players from the state, even though he also has family in Memphis.
“It definitely made me more comfortable with it,” Sumpter said.