Kendal Thompson still hasn't decided where he'll play next season, but his friends on the Oklahoma roster have said they'll miss him.
“Wherever he ends up, I'll cheer for him,” said OU nickelback Julian Wilson, who was a teammate of Thompson's at Southmoore. “I grew up with him. That's my family, so I'm cheering for him wherever he goes.”
Thompson competed with Trevor Knight and Blake Bell to become Oklahoma's starting quarterback last spring, but broke his foot on the first day of fall camp.
“He handled adversity way better than I think I would've been able to,” Wilson said. “He held his head high all season through all his struggles, and he's fought it out hard and I respect that.”
Thompson announced on Twitter last month that he will graduate from OU in May and transfer to another school. If he enrolls in a graduate program that OU doesn't offer, he would be immediately eligible for another Division I program.
“I loved spending time with Kendal,” Knight said. “I feel like he made me a better player, but I wish him the best of luck in the future, wherever he ends up.”
OU COACHES LIKED HANSEN'S ATHLETICISM
Despite Oklahoma's shift toward an offense centered around a more mobile quarterback in 2013, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said his staff still looks first and foremost for great passers when recruiting signal callers.
“Justice (Hansen) is that,” Stoops said. “But then you look at him, he can run. We watched his athleticism. He got hurt some this year, but when he's been out there you see it. We see it here just working out doing the things he's doing. He's an excellent athlete and a strong athlete to go with his arm.”
Hansen missed five games of his senior season at Edmond Santa Fe because of injuries, but enrolled at OU early and will go through spring practices with the team.
As a senior, Hansen threw for 966 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 434 yards and 12 scores.
BROWN WANTS MORE WINS OVER SEC TEAMS
Oklahoma offensive tackle signee Orlando Brown made a last-minute, signing day switch from Tennessee, where he'd been committed for months.
Brown said the Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama wasn't the only reason for his change of heart, but that it did play a role.
“The win over Alabama was great, but let's go beat another SEC team and keep it consistent,” Brown said.
PARKER GREW UP AN OU FAN
Four-star Jenks safety Steven Parker, who signed with OU over dozens of other scholarship offers from around the country, spoke on Signing Day about the impact growing up in Oklahoma had on his decision.
“It's my hometown,” Parker said. “I stayed probably about 15 minutes away from Norman, I was born in Oklahoma City. I grew up an OU fan even though my parents both are OSU.”
Parker recorded four interceptions and also caught 33 passes for 594 yards as a senior for Class 6A state champion Jenks.
Oklahoma defensive back signee Vontre McQuinnie, after signing his National Letter of Intent at DeSoto (Texas) High School:
“It's just the start of something beautiful. I feel like I'm gonna have a great four or five years.”