On Saturday afternoon, cornerback Derek Babiash (Poway, Calif./Poway) was still in play for Oklahoma. His three favorites were OU, Washington and Arizona State.
By Saturday night, the chase was over as Babiash committed to the Huskies following his unofficial visit for Washington’s spring game.
“I really like their coaches,” Babiash said. “They’re real young and coaches I feel like I can relate to. I had a different feeling than I had visiting anywhere else.”
Babiash, 6-foot and 165 pounds, was offered by OU on Thursday morning. After being heavily recruited by most of the Pac-12 schools, the Sooners offer was among the first non-regional teams to enter the race.
Babiash said that was the first time he had interacted with OU defensive backs coach Mike Stoops but that he liked what he had heard.
“He is a guy you respect,” Babiash said hours before his commitment. “He is someone who is real hardcore about his job, and I love OU’s winning tradition.”
But most recruits will tell you that you experience a different feeling when you know you have found your future home. And though Babiash said he had hoped to visit OU sometime in the summer, Washington won him over.
Babiash was one of several OU offers from California in the last week. Most of them have also been defensive backs. Though OU has been aggressive on the West Coast, so far OU has had nothing to show for its efforts for the 2013 class.
The Sooners are far from being out of the running with a number of recruits on the west coast. But as Babiash’s commitment shows, earning their interest is a much different thing than getting the prospects to see the campus.