Three-star athlete Dominique Alexander (Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington) knows coaches will tell recruits what they want to hear sometimes.
And what recruits hear on a visit is different from what they will hear when on campus. He wasn’t sure if Oklahoma coaches were like that. After several talks, he never got that impression.
But a couple of conversations during his unofficial visit to OU helped confirm that Norman, Okla., might be a good fit for the Arkansas commit.
Alexander said he was able to talk to former OU running back Renaldo Works and walk-on freshman punter Dylan Seibert before OU’s game against Notre Dame. Works and Seibert both graduated from Tulsa Booker T. Washington.
“Renaldo told me it was a good school and that I should go there,” Alexander said. “I was able to talk to him for a good 10 to 15 minutes, and he introduced me to Roy Williams and Darren Woodson.”
Williams is a familiar name for OU fans, but Woodson was on hand because his nephew, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke, was making an official visit to OU.
Alexander said he wasn’t able to speak to Luke, but Williams and Works had made a solid imprint on him. And then Seibert sealed the deal.
“I’ve known Dylan for a long time, and he’s not somebody who is going to tell me something just because he thinks I want to hear it,” Alexander said. “He’s not going to lie to me. He’s not even on scholarship, and he’s bragging about what a great place it is.
“He told me that if I can survive the strength and conditioning program, this is the place that is going to make me the best player I can possibly be.”
After camping at OU in June, Alexander thought he had become an afterthought with its coaches. He didn’t have any communication with the Sooners until two weeks ago when OU surprised him with an offer.
Alexander was thrilled , but he also wanted some clarification about what took so long on getting a look. He wasn’t afraid to ask first-year linebackers coach Tim Kish about what happened.
“I’m happy with where we stand,” Alexander said. “He said he was new to the program. He knew the elite, big-time recruits, but he didn’t really know me. Right now he knows all 2014 linebackers, all of them. But back then, he didn’t know everybody. It made sense.”
Alexander said he couldn’t have been more happy with the way his OU visit went, but he never once considered flipping his commitment.
He has been committed to the Razorbacks since June and said he is going to take an unofficial visit to Arkansas next weekend to see how it compares to OU.
It’s going to be tough to match as Alexander’s visit to OU was the first one he has ever taken and an atmosphere he has never seen before.
“The feeling there -- with so many fans -- it felt great,” Alexander said. “The pride, the tradition. That was the first time I’ve seen OU as a packed stadium. I couldn’t believe it.”
Alexander, ranked No. 12 in Oklahoma, has been recruited as a safety by the Razorbacks. At OU, it is still to be determined. He said he is being recruited as an athlete, but Kish told him to focus on nickelback Julian Wilson.
“They like my range. They say I can play all over the field,” Alexander said. “They told me if I played just safety, they would offer me as a safety. But right now it looks like nickelback or outside linebacker. Either one is OK with me.”
Another thing that helped was the timing of the visit. Alexander has known OU commit Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) for years and has become fast friends with OU commit Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). Both in-state stars were on official visits and spent a lot of time with Alexander.
“Renaldo told me that’s really important -- to know people when you get there,” Alexander said. “He said he was happy I do because if you can’t play football, you still want to have people you can hang with.”