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Oklahoma State Signing Day: First scholarship offer boosted Dylan Hardin's confidence

by Ryan Aber and John Helsley and Jason Kersey Published: February 5, 2014
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The 6-foot-2, 191-pound wide receiver committed to Oklahoma State in early August, choosing the Cowboys over offers from Arizona State, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Northwestern, among others.

“I love it,” said Lacy's mother Karen. “He loves it. We like Stillwater, a small, college town and a family atmosphere. And of course, they like to throw the ball, so that's really important. They offer engineering, and that's what he wants to do.”

Lacy and his DeSoto High School teammate, safety Vontre McQuinnie, will now be on opposite sides of the Bedlam rivalry; McQuinnie signed with the Sooners on Wednesday.

“We talk noise to each other every day, leading up to the Bedlam game next year,” Lacy said.

McQuinnie transferred from nearby Lancaster midway through his senior year; Lacy said the first time they squared off in practice, McQuinnie beat him, but that the second time, Lacy won.

Asked if he's excited about potentially matching up one-on-one in future Bedlam games, Lacy said, “Yes sir. If they're dumb enough to put him against me.”

GUNDY ON THE CLASS: “TERRIFIC”

OSU coach Mike Gundy did not hold a signing day press conference, deciding instead to meet with the media on Thursday.

But he did issue a statement on the class via the school's website:

“I think that this is a terrific recruiting class … It takes a group effort, and it gets better and better at Oklahoma State. We have a tremendous product to sell. We have beautiful facilities. We're a winning program. We've won 50 games in five years. Our players believe in themselves. We have a great team concept. The excitement here is more than it ever has been before, but it takes everybody.”

TABER SACRIFICES TO WALK ON

Each Jenks player who signed Wednesday had a table in the lobby of the Frank Herald Gymnasium.

Most were decorated with the school colors of the college the athlete selected. Many had decorated cakes honoring the players for their decision.

Trent Taber didn't sign, at least officially, after deciding to forego scholarship opportunities elsewhere to walk on, but he still had his table decorated with the orange and black of Oklahoma State.

On one corner, behind the cake, was a black Oklahoma State helmet similar to the ones the Cowboys currently wear.

On the edge of the other side, hung a small orange OSU jersey with “Taber” written in marker above the numbers on the back.

When he was about 2 years old, Taber wore the jersey nearly every day.

“I can't tell you how many times I put it through the wash,” Taber's mom, Shea Taber, said.

The fullback/linebacker had opportunities to play elsewhere. His academics and athletics could have landed him at an Ivy League school, Trimble said.

But there was no doubt that Taber would wind up in Stillwater, where he's dreamed of going to school and playing football since he had his dad write his last name in marker on the back of that tiny jersey.

“That's my lifelong dream,” Taber said. “It's a dream come true. I was going to OSU, I just wasn't sure if I was going to play or not. I went up there a couple weekends ago and talked to coaches and I'm so excited.”

Trimble said Taber won't be a player who will go to Stillwater and be forgotten.

In introducing Taber at the ceremony, Trimble compared Taber to Rocky Calmus.

“I think Coach Gundy understands the value of bringing in a leader and a guy that's real blue collar,” Trimble said. “I think football is kind of heading back to where a lot of offenses are going to utilize a fullback and a lead blocker — not all the time but some. I think Trent will be great.”

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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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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