The No. 1 reason offensive tackle Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) and his family took a trip to Minnesota last week wasn’t so Beyer could clear his head of all the distractions in recruiting. Beyer, originally from Minnesota, was there to see family and friends. In the process, though, the recruiting scene became crystal clear to him.
When his family returned to San Antonio, Beyer knew it was time to make a decision. Monday morning he called Oklahoma offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle and let him know he wanted to verbally commit to the Sooners.
Kittle couldn’t have been happier, Beyer said, and the amazing outpour of OU fan support Beyer has seen in the 24 hours since his commitment has given him confirmation that OU is the school for him.
“This has been incredible,” he said. “I cannot believe these Sooner fans. They’re crazy. I don’t think any school has fans as passionate as them.”
Beyer, who is 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, will have to get accustomed to the support. His journey will be made easier because he won’t be alone.
Two of Beyer’s former teammates are already on campus in quarterback Trevor Knight and his twin brother, tight end Connor Knight. Any questions Beyer had about OU or the coaching staff were answered by Trevor Knight.
All Beyer, who is a four-star prospect, was waiting for was the offer. When Trevor committed to OU last July, he was already trying to recruit Beyer to join him in Norman.
But Beyer didn’t want to get tunnel vision. He didn’t want to have all his eggs in one basket and miss out on some of the other schools that were looking in his direction.
A back injury suffered last summer limited Beyer's performance during his junior season. And initially it limited the amount of looks he was getting from top schools on the recruiting trail.
“I was in a back brace for eight weeks last fall," he said. "I definitely had a lot to prove not only to myself but to all the coaches out there."
Things started to change in the spring and the Sooners began showing more and more interest. Kittle visited Beyer at a spring practice, and a solid performance at OU’s satellite camp in San Antonio in early June sealed the deal.
“I thought it helped a lot. I showed I was still flexible and still strong, and it gave me a chance to show Coach Kittle and Coach [James] Patton and the rest of the OU coaches what I can do.”
Beyer was offered two weeks ago but said deep down he sort of knew OU was going to be his school of choice for almost the last month.
He has several offers, but the schools he was talking to the most besides OU were Oregon, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Because of the holiday week, Beyer wasn’t able to talk with OU head coach Bob Stoops on Monday. But he was able to talk to Stoops on Tuesday night.
“He said he was excited to have me as a Sooner and explained that some schools are still going to be coming after me. He hopes I will stay with OU,” Beyer said. “I told him ‘Don’t worry, coach, OU is where I want to be.’”
The winning tradition helped the Sooners' chances but what set OU apart from other schools was its education offerings. Beyer said he wants to study petroleum engineering, and he knows OU has a quality engineering program.
This decision wasn’t an easy one for Beyer, but he is glad to have it wrapped up so he can focus on his senior season.
“I didn’t take this decision lightly,” Beyer said. “I’m grateful to all the schools that offered me, and they all taught me something different. In the end, though, I want to go to OU.”
Beyer is OU’s 12th commitment in the 2013 class and second at offensive tackle.