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Tales from the trail: Barry Switzer's last-minute trip nabs Steve Sewell

Switzer made a late-night flight to meet with the family of Sewell, who went on to play for the Denver Broncos. Once there he discovered Sewell was a more impressive prospect than he realized. And the reason for Sewell's interest in the Sooners was even more of a surprise to coaches.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Modified: January 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm •  Published: January 29, 2011

After returning to campus, Switzer confessed Sewell was a more ballyhooed prospect than he realized.

"Coach Switzer told me, ‘You should have seen all the coaches at his house. This kid must be really good,'" Hill said. "He was holding out for us. Obviously, Coach Switzer was glad he made the trip. He started for us as a freshman and later was a first-round pick with the Denver Broncos."

Hill said Sewell is an example that you never know what sways a recruit.

Sewell didn't grow up watching the Sooners. An old military base on the north side of OU's campus played a key role.

"On his visit, as we were riding around, he told me he wanted to go out to the old Air Force base," Hill said. "I asked him, 'Why?' He said, 'Because my father was stationed here in the '50s. That's why I like Oklahoma.' That's how he got interested in OU in the first place."