It’s safe to say Oklahoma is in good hands with senior punter Tress Way, who has averaged 43 yards per punt during his time with the Sooners. But what will OU do after Way leaves following this 2012 season?
The OU coaches hope they have found their answer in Jack Steed (Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch). Steed, 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds, is going to grayshirt for the Sooners in the fall -- he'll enroll at OU and pay his own way for the first semester and then join the team in 2013 where he'll be given a scholarship. This puts him in line to be Way's successor in 2013, where he'll be the only scholarship punter on the roster.
Steed was receiving looks from Rice, Wyoming and Clemson, but those programs were asking him to be a walk-on for 2012. And when OU gave him the option to be the guy starting in 2013, Steed jumped at the chance. He talked with SoonerNation recently about his decision to grayshirt at Oklahoma:
SoonerNation: You’re in a bit of a unique situation. How did everything come about?
Jack Steed: During the spring of my junior year, that was the first time I started to talk with Coach [Cale] Gundy. I talked to Coach Gundy about once a week or once every two weeks during this season. We were always in touch.
SN: How tough of a decision was this for you? Instead of maybe getting a chance to play somewhere in the fall, you’re going to have to wait until 2013.
Steed: It wasn’t a real tough decision for me at all. I wanted to play in the Big 12. When Coach Gundy gave me the news that something like this could be an option, it easily became my No. 1 option. And when Coach [Bob] Stoops mentioned it as a possibility in December, I knew it could be a reality. I have no regrets at all. I’m pumped up.
SN: Were there any other schools that were in the running?
Steed: Yeah, I had looks from schools like Rice, Wyoming and Clemson. My sister goes to Clemson so that would have been a good fit. But I didn’t really feel wanted at the other places. OU wants me as part of their team.
SN: What do you like so much about the Sooners?
Steed: I wasn’t necessarily a big OU fan growing up, but I’m all about the Sooners now. I know what a great tradition they have. I took a visit in December for the banquet and got to talk to some players, including Tress Way. He didn’t have anything bad to say about the program, and he told me how things are going to be.
SN: How different did it feel visiting OU for the spring game compared to how things were during the banquet weekend?
Steed: Things were a lot more laid back. I talked with a few more players and everybody sounds really excited about this upcoming season. I loved the atmosphere, and I’m just trying to stay sharp.
SN: The Sooners have another Katy, Texas, product coming in for the 2013 class in defensive end Matt Dimon. I know you guys go to different schools in Katy, but had you ever met him before?
Steed: No, I actually hadn’t. The first time was at the spring game. We do go to different schools, and I just never ran into him. He’s a big kid. I didn’t meet him until late in the spring game. I wish I could have met him earlier, but we’ll have plenty of time for that in the future.