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Oklahoma football: Jamarkus McFarland wants to leave his mark on Red River Rivalry

Jamarkus McFarland was the subject of an intense recruiting battle between OU and Texas. When he visited Oklahoma, a visit with school President David L. Boren made a big impression on him.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 12, 2012

“I've heard it all,” he said. “I've been called a traitor, to a this-and-that, but it's part of the game. I've learned how to take it not so much personal. They're having fun, too.

“I feel like I made the right decision.”

McFarland joined Oklahoma's prestigious President's Leadership Class — along with now-starting center Gabe Ikard, who also met with Boren during his recruitment — during his freshman year.

“I'm usually brought in when players express a desire to go more into detail about academics,” Boren said. “It's always gratifying to me.

“I've always enjoyed doing that, and I enjoy following their careers, just like I have with Jamarkus, Gabe and others.”

Boren said he still visits with both Ikard and McFarland when he goes to practices or is on the sideline at games.

Though McFarland hasn't quite achieved the level of on-field success some predicted he would — he's started just 14 of his 40 career games so far, although he's started all four as a senior — his academics have gone without a hitch.

McFarland is on schedule to graduate in December, remarkable because the senior never redshirted; the 12 college credit hours he earned in high school didn't hurt.

He's pleased with his three Red River performances so far, but wants to really leave a mark on the rivalry — beyond the recruitment and ensuing publicity — as a senior.

“It's a big week around here,” McFarland said. “Trying to live up to the name on the jersey, which has nothing to do with us. It's the whole state.

“But me personally, I'd like to stand out more and make plays (against Texas). It's every person's dream, in this game, to leave a history on those highlight tapes and stuff they have for the future.”