MIDWEST CITY — Carl Albert running back David Oku has cut several teams, including Oklahoma, from the list of schools he is considering. The junior lists USC, Ohio State, Florida State, Illinois, Tennessee and Michigan as his favorites. West Virginia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and LSU were among the teams cut from the list. "God and my mom helped me to this decision,” Oku said. "I feel like cutting them (OU) is what is best for me right now.” It's been an up-and-down relationship between Oku and the Sooners after the 5-foot-10, 174-pounder felt he should have received an offer from OU earlier in the process. He received an offer shortly after one of the Sooners' main 2009 recruiting targets, Wichita, Kan., running back Bryce Brown, committed to Miami. Asked if things might have been different had the Sooners approached him in another way, Oku said: "Yeah, I used to see the love (former Carl Albert and OU standout) J.D. (Runnels) got when he came back, and that made me kind of like OU, but they were kind of lax, like ‘we're going to hold out'... things might have been different if they had a different approach.” That rocky beginning, combined with the desire to get out of the state, led Oku to officially remove Oklahoma from his list of suitors. "I don't have anything negative to say about them, we worked everything out in the end,” Oku said. "I decided to do it now to make things less stressful on myself and my mom (Denise).” Oku's reason for the announcement was so schools no longer in contention could focus on other recruits. Another factor was a conversation with Tennessee receiver and former Millwood quarterback Gerald Jones. He told Oku "not to worry about what everyone else thinks.” Oku met Jones when both were students at Millwood in 2003. Oklahoma State remains in the running because Oku likes Cowboy coaches Mike Gundy and Curtis Luper. Oku said he would like to learn more about the school, particularly its sports broadcasting program. The Cowboys already have received an oral commitment from Tulsa Union running back Jeremy Smith. Oku is ranked No. 40 overall on the Rivals Top 100, the No. 3 prospect in the Midlands Region on Scout.com and is on the ESPN Top 150 watch list. He rushed 182 times for 1,628 yards (8.9 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns last year, earning Oklahoman All-State honors. He has 3,897 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns during his career at Carl Albert. Oku has expressed his desire to go out of state multiple times. Mother Denise, who was a truck driver for two years and has seen the majority of the U.S., has encouraged him to do so. "She's seen more than I have, and she knows what's best for me,” Oku said.
Oku's Super 7 Florida State — "It's my dream school, childhood favorite.” Illinois — "They're an up-and-coming team.” USC — "(It's) running back U.” Tennessee — "Gerald Jones goes there, and I like their West Coast offense.” Michigan — "Rich Rodriguez with what he did at West Virginia and what they are doing now.” Ohio State — "My friend Michael Brewster goes there, and they have great tradition.” Oklahoma State — "Coach Mike Gundy and Coach (Curtis) Luper. And everything they are doing up there.”