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Oklahoma football: Players expecting big-game atmosphere in South Bend

Oklahoma has played in plenty of high-stakes games since Ikard arrived on campus, but that win over the No. 5 Seminoles on the road in 2011 particularly stands out.
by Ryan Aber Modified: September 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm •  Published: September 26, 2013

/articleid/3887074/1/pictures/2222896">Photo - Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel scores a touchdown against Michigan State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 17-13. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: INMC114
Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel scores a touchdown against Michigan State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 17-13. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: INMC114

“We tell our kids all the time, ‘You're going to play on GameDay. You're going to play in prime time on Saturday night a lot of times if you're at Oklahoma.' That's big in recruiting,” Sooners co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said.

Bronson Irwin remembers the pitch.

“It was in the videos,” Irwin said. “I didn't know exactly what years it would be but it ended up being my junior and senior years.

“This is why you come here. You come here to play in big games. You play Oklahoma State and Texas every year and those are obviously big games. But you throw in a nonconference game like Notre Dame or we played against Florida State twice and it was big. It's very enticing to a young recruit that wants to come in and play against the best.”

Jalen Saunders didn't make his college decisions — first Fresno State and then Oklahoma — based on where they would play in the future, but it didn't hurt.

In 2011, Saunders was on the Fresno State team that traveled to Hawaii in mid-November.

“We got to hang out for a little bit and walk around on the beach,” Saunders said. “That was my first time being in Hawaii so I was real excited.

“We got out there in the morning time so we had a few hours just to walk around.”

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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