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March 13, 2013
Opportunity was Too Good for Perine to Turn Down
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Oklahoma Running backs coach, Cale Gundy year in and year out signs top ranked, highly sought after running backs. For the 2014 class, that will be no different it looks as Wednesday afternoon the Sooners received a commitment from Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson ball carrier, Samaje Perine.
Having left Norman yesterday after taking an unofficial visit, the four-star running backs returned home uncommitted. Just a day later the chance he would have at Oklahoma to play early was just too much to pass up.
"Just opportunities, when I went up there yesterday, I don't see myself playing anywhere else having more opportunities than at OU," Perine explained.
When the 5-foot-11 and 233-pound back decided to let the Sooners know about his decision he called coach Gundy and then was passed to head coach Bob Stoops. Both coaches as well as Perine were excited about the news.
"They were both very excited, along with me," he said. "I know that colleges aren't going to leave me alone but it feels good to be committed to one college and have your mind set on what you want to do."
Yesterday while in Norman with his mom, dad and girlfriend, the Nation's No. 188 overall ranked prospect got his first chance to see the Sooners in action up close.
"Practice was great. It was a good environment down there. Coach Gundy is a great guy and a great coach and I can see myself playing with him for the next four years," he answered.
The Sooners staying patient with Perine and not pushing for a commit, which is their philosophy on the recruiting scene was something he Rivals250 prospect appreciated.
"Oh no," he began when asked if the Sooners pushed him at all for a commitment yesterday. "Oklahoma, their coaching staff is very respectable and they respect my time. They know the recruiting process can be stressful, so they told me to take my time and hope for the best, that I would commit there. I thought that was a very big plus on my side because that told me they respects their recruits and that's awesome."
With the Sooners losing three running backs after this upcoming season to graduation, the plan is to bring in two running backs with this year's class. Does that have an effect on Perine's commitment at all?
"Me and coach Gundy talked about that yesterday. We talked about the process of them needing to sign two backs and only two backs. I asked him if I were to commit would you take only the top two or would you only take one more if three were to commit and only take the top two or just one more. I took that as an opportunity to save my spot so that I have a chance at competing and being the number one guy," he explained.
So, beyond the chance he has as a freshman, what else was it about the Sooner program that cause the childhood Alabama fan to want to play his college football just north of the Red River.
"Oklahoma is all around a great school," replied Perine. "Their campus is relatively small and I love that about them. With them being a state school it is still smaller than some of the other state schools that are out there. That was a great thing for me and all the academic facilities. Just the people around, they are always happy people. You go around the campus and you see all smiles, so that's really good.
This Saturday, Perine will be in Houston for the Rivals Camp and says he is excited to compete with some of the best prospects in the country and see where he stands.