Signing Day notebook: Del City coach says Oregon State gets a steal in wide receiver/running back Corey Lawrence

Lawrence said he is excited about becoming a Beaver and playing in Corvalis, Ore., even though it's a long way from home.
by Ed Godfrey and Jenni Carlson and Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh and Trent Shadid Published: February 6, 2013

“There's just such a close-knit relationship between their staff and our staff,” Deer Creek coach Grant Gower said. “That's what I told our guys that going out there is going to be almost an extension of what we have here at Deer Creek as far as philosophies, the expectations and the demands put on them.”

DOUGLASS' HIGH SIGNS WITH NAVY

For Douglass running back Christopher High, the decision to play football at Navy was about more than just football.

“He understands the challenges before him,” Douglass coach Willis Alexander said. “During the recruiting process, he understood everything that is going to be expected of him. Anyone that goes to any of the service academies, that says a lot about you as a person. Chris is a good football player and an even better person. Navy is getting a first class young man.”

Navy also is getting a first-class running back. High was the District 4A-2 Player of the Year and the All-City Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

High said Navy coaches told him that he was the Midshipmen's top prospect. At Navy, High will be playing in an option offense that is considered one of the most unorthodox and innovative in the country.

“It's going to be tricky (to learn), but I will get used to it,” he said.

THOMAS FLIPS TO TULSA

There wasn't much suspense with in-state players going into signing day.

But Wagoner's Kerwin Thomas switched Wednesday, signing with Tulsa after being committed to Wyoming.

The cornerback had wanted to sign with the Golden Hurricane all along, but it wasn't until Tuesday that it started coming into focus.

Bulldogs coach Dale Condict called Thomas into his office after Thomas finished his basketball practice.

“He told me something might've opened up at TU for me,” Thomas said. “I couldn't believe it, and I didn't want to get my hopes up too much in case it didn't work out.”

But Wednesday morning, the offer officially came through and Thomas wasted no time in signing.

“I never thought it would happen,” Thomas said. “I've been through a lot this year and to be able to sign with Tulsa is a blessing. Somehow God made it happen.”

TUTTLE PAIR SIGN WITH OBU

Oklahoma Baptist signed a couple of Tuttle football standouts in Cooper Koons and Jon-Michael Hollarn.

Koons also had an offer from Central Oklahoma, but felt more comfortable with his future at OBU. Koons' brothers, Sterling (tight end) and Tanner (linebacker), play at UCO.

“UCO had offered me to play safety, and OBU at quarterback,” Koons said. “I knew I wanted to play quarterback so that made OBU the best choice for me.”

Hollarn signed to play safety, but still has plans to attend the Air Force Academy.

“I'm going through the process of getting cleared for the Air Force Academy, but I decided to sign with OBU as a backup plan if that doesn't work out,” Hollarn said.

If accepted to Air Force, Hollarn is unsure if he'll continue to play football.

“I'd like to play football at Air Force, but my main goal is to be best Cadet I can be,” Hollarn said.

THREE SPORTS AWAIT BURNETT AT ST. MARY

Kellie Burnett is a three-sport star at Mount St. Mary, and she'll try to continue on that path at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kan.

A three-year starter on the Rockets volleyball team, Burnett also competes in cross country and track, holding the school record in the 1,600 meters and high jump.

She helped the Mount St. Mary cross country team to a Class 4A state championship, while earning all-star honors.

Burnett has singed with the University of St. Mary to participate in all three sports at the next level.

BREWER SIGNS TO PLAY FOR COACH WHO RECRUITED FATHER

Midwest City linebacker Meli Brewer had a simple reason for choosing Friends University in Wichita, Kan.

Head coach Monty Lewis recruited Brewer's father, Meli Brewer Sr., at Northeastern State in Tahlequah in the late '80s.

“I decided it just fit me more with the coaching knowing my daddy and with a bunch of players from my school,” said Brewer, who finished with 71 tackles this season. “I felt better going there than anywhere else.”

Brewer and lineman Raymond Hernandez both signed their letters of intent Wednesday, and will join former teammates Brannon Braxton and Deon McKay with the Falcons.

SUMPTER STICKS WITH MEMPHIS

Several schools made a late push for Phillip Sumpter.

Instead, the Edmond Santa Fe safety stuck with Memphis. He signed with the Tigers on Wednesday.

“The thing about Memphis is they appreciated how good a player and student he was from the get-go,” Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said. “They're excited about Phillip.”

Manning was proud that Sumpter (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) didn't back out on his verbal commitment.

“He stuck with his word,” the coach said.

BY ED GODFREY, JACOB UNRUH, RYAN ABER, TRENT SHADID, SCOTT WRIGHT AND JENNI CARLSON


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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