STILLWATER — Until last week, it looked like no Signing Day ceremony at a high school in Oklahoma would feature a football player whipping out an Oklahoma State hat and faxing his letter of intent to Stillwater.
That changed Wednesday when Tuttle's Dawson Bassett, the younger brother of former Cowboy Cooper Bassett, got a late offer from OSU and committed to the school.
Still, there is a severe lack of in-state commitments for the Cowboys in the 2013 class heading into Wednesday's National Signing Day.
Is that surprising to some state high school coaches? Yes. But it's not alarming.
“Sometimes, they catch a little heat for (not having more in-state offers and commitments),” Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said, “but I think OSU has a good relationship with high school coaches in Oklahoma.
“I don't think anybody's really that concerned with it. Yeah, it surprises me, but I'm not necessarily concerned about that they don't think much of Oklahoma football players or anything like that.”
Added Carl Johnson, Jenks' assistant coach and recruiting coordinator: “I know it's not lack of want-to on Oklahoma State's part. Maybe they're just looking for something else that fits their system.”
Last year, on the heels of OSU's first Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl win, the Cowboys signed five in-state players.
Calvin Barnett, who developed into the Big 12's Defensive Newcomer of the Year this past season, played his high school football at Tulsa Washington before moving on to Navarro Junior College. Wagoner's Kevin Peterson flipped from Oklahoma to OSU late in the recruiting season and made an immediate impact at cornerback as a true freshman for the Cowboys. Broken Arrow's Zac Veatch also signed. Madill's Caleb Muncrief and Stillwater's Jesse Vester — who double signed with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M — got late offers.
But this year, Southmoore's D.J. Ward, who was regarded as the state's top prospect before an eligibility issue wiped out his senior season, picked OU.
Tulsa East Central defensive back Stanvon Taylor (OU), the No. 1 prospect on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list, did not get an offer from OSU. Neither did Santa Fe's Khari Harding, whose uncle is a former Cowboy player.
“I've always tried to do a good job of not jumping on there and just saying they're foolish for not offering this kid or what, because they're more qualified (to evaluate) what they need,” Manning said. “I know there's kids and coaches that get disappointed because they don't understand why this school didn't offer them, but every school's got different motives and different reasons for who they recruit and why they do.