Four years ago, the Sooners unearthed quite the gem in lightly recruited cornerback Aaron Colvin. The Sooners hope they have unearthed a gem in another lightly recruited corner. The weekend before signing day, OU snagged a commitment from Dakota Austin, who went largely under the radar with both major college coaches and recruiting services. Like Colvin, Austin turned heads at the OU camp going into his senior year, which ultimately led to his OU offer.
As he prepared to arrive in Norman, Austin checked in with SoonerNation to talk about the OU defense, his frustrations through the recruiting process and what he's been doing to get ready for the season:
SoonerNation: Who are you going to room with?
SN: What have the coaches told you about a potential role?
Austin: They told me the defense will be a little bit different. But they told me I’ll be playing the nickel or cornerback. I’ve played both in high school.
SN: What is going to be different about the defense?
Austin: They said they’re going to run some more 4-2-5.
SN: What personal goals do you have?
Austin: I just want to play a significant role on the team this year. That’s all I want to do.
SN: What are your thoughts on your chances to do that?
Austin: To me, the spot is open. (Aaron) Colvin is going to be on corner. The other one is for the taking. I think I’m the guy to do it. I’ve been putting in the work with some D-1 athletes, so I’m going to be ready.
SN: Sounds like preparation has made you more confident?
Austin: That’s the key. I feel more confident when I’m working every day versus taking time off. I’ve been working and I feel confident.
SN: Who are some of the guys you’ve been working with?
Austin: Jalen Mills, a cornerback at LSU. Some juco guys. A corner from Texas, a guy from K-State. Receiver from Baylor. Guy from Abilene Christian. We’ve been getting in some good work.
SN: When did you know OU was the place for you?
Austin: I’ve been liking OU since my sophomore year. I thought I could get the offer long time ago if Brent Venables had stayed. He really loved me. But it picked back up after I went to camp over the summer. I connected with the new coaches.
SN: So the OU camp, it picked back up?
Austin: I had a pretty good camp. Coach Mike (Stoops) and Coach (Josh) Heupel started talking to me.
SN: You really didn’t get recruited hard until late. What was that like to go through?
Austin: Real frustrating. Real frustrating throughout the whole recruiting process. I started my high school career with a really good high school recruiting coordinator. Then the whole staff, and he left, too. The next dude didn’t have as many connections. So my recruiting slowed down. Then my going into my junior year I broke my wrist. They had to take bone from hip and put it in my wrist. I was stitched up the whole summer, so couldn’t go to any camps. But going into my senior year, I was healthy. I was able to work out, and get well conditioned.
SN: Sounds like you’ve traveled a road similar to Colvin, who because of an injury went under the radar during recruiting for awhile.
Austin: I think it’s kinda like Demontre (Hurst) too. He went to my high school, got the (OU) offer late.