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WR Courtney Gardner signs with Sooners

2/1/2012

Add one more wide receiver to Oklahoma's incredible 2012 class. Junior college product Courtney Gardner (Reno, Nev./Sierra College) did as expected and switched his commitment from Arkansas to OU on Wednesday, signing with the Sooners around 10:30 a.m. CT.

Gardner had been committed to the Razorbacks since December, but OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell made a huge impression on Gardner in the last month. A great official visit to Norman, Okla., last weekend sealed the deal.

Gardner tried to keep it quiet, but fellow commit Zack Sanchez (Keller, Texas/Central) let the cat out of the bag Monday in a radio interview by saying Gardner had committed to OU, too.

Gardner and Sanchez talked to each other for more than 90 minutes Saturday night at the hotel where both decided the Sooners were going to be the team for them.

For Gardner, he never thought OU would be an option. And at the beginning of the 2011 season, he really wasn’t considered. However, it became apparent as the season progressed that wide receiver was going to have to be a position of emphasis for 2012.

But the impact of landing Gardner might not fully hit home until he takes the field as he is the most prepared receiver in the class to take the field in 2012.

Even though Gardner initially committed to Arkansas, he let the Razorbacks know he would be looking around. Except he never did until he went to OU. He had planned official visits at Florida State and at Florida in January but canceled both visits as it became a two-team race between OU and Arkansas.

Gardner said OU’s explosive style of offense really appealed to him, and as his relationship with Norvell got better in the last month, the more he considered the Sooners.

Gardner punctuates a five-wide receiver class that has fans drooling in anticipation. OU has three of the top 19 wide receivers in Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City/Heritage Hall) at No. 9, Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) at No. 10 and Derrick Woods (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood) at No. 19. OU also has Trey Metoyer, who was cleared by the NCAA last week. He was ranked No. 8 at the position in 2011.