Even after Oklahoma started to show interest in the spring, it became apparent Lubbock, Texas, was going to be the future home of three-star cornerback Maurice Chandler (Lawton, Okla./Lawton).
Chandler, who is 6-foot and 185 pounds and is ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma, committed to Texas Tech in July following an impressive showing at Tech’s camp.
But the interest OU defensive backs coach Mike Stoops showed before Chandler’s commitment hasn’t slowed down since Chandler has made his pledge.
“Things are still going pretty good there,” Chandler said. “I was able to talk to him again a few weeks ago at the FAMU [Florida A&M] game.
“I would love that in-state offer. If it comes, it comes. A school I’m obviously really interested in.”
Chandler is the only Oklahoma player to commit to Tech at this point, which is leading to an intense week coming up with the Sooners playing the Red Raiders at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday on ABC.
He said it has already started with classmates telling him to leave Tech and join OU, and he knows it’s only going to get worse as the week keeps progressing.
“Everybody keeps talking to me and saying how much better I’d do at OU than Tech," Chandler said. "I’m prepared for it."
There have been some academic concerns regarding Chandler, but he said he has been working hard to make sure he qualifies. He is learning there are consequences for his actions, too. He was suspended earlier this season for a violation of team rules and missed the first three games. It didn’t hurt the team and Lawton is 5-0, but he learned once again how fast things can be taken away.
“Don’t take things for granted,” Chandler said. “I have to keep working hard and playing my game. I can’t get distracted.”
Since returning to the lineup, Chandler has been dynamic both at cornerback and in a new role as a slot receiver. He had an interception in his season debut and has three catches for 89 yards. Lawton hasn’t needed Chandler that much, although its schedule gets much more difficult in the next two weeks.
“Mo is such a special athlete,” said Lawton coach Randy Breeze. “He is one of the most outgoing kids I’ve ever coached and his speed is incredible. He has track runner’s speed, but he’s able to translate it and bring it to the football field, too.”
The weekend would seem like the perfect opportunity to visit Tech, but he said he will bypass this week because of high school homecoming. Chandler did say he plans to visit Tech next week for its showdown against West Virginia.
And though OU is still lurking in the distance, right now the Red Raiders are doing all the right things with Chandler.
“Our relationship is great,” Chandler said. “The way they have made me feel – it’s like I’m right at home. I’m real comfortable with Tech.”