Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Oklahoma Sooners [Print without images]

Sunday, December 16, 2012
OU commit Bennett doubt-free after visit

By Bob Przybylo

Late in November, three-star Oklahoma wide receiver commit Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) was flirting with the idea of an official visit to Arkansas.

OU coaches Bob Stoops and Jay Norvell told Bennett that wasn’t a good idea. Bennett listened to his coaches. And after his official visit to OU for banquet weekend, he’s glad he did.

What did he like about the visit?

“Everything,” Bennett said. “It was a chance to a relationship with the players I’m going to play with. It was a chance to get to know some new recruits that I hadn’t talked with yet. It was a chance to get to know the coaches and their families more. It was great.”

Bennett was hosted by freshman receiver Sterling Shepard. Shepard and other receivers all had the same words of advice for Bennett: be ready to work and do whatever you can to stand out.

Originally an Arkansas commit, Bennett decommitted after the firing of Bobby Petrino. OU offered Bennett in June, and he committed a week later on an unofficial visit.

Things between Bennett and OU never went sour, as he had weekly conversations with Norvell, but the prospect was considering the idea of looking at Arkansas. He’s not looking to do that anymore.

“I fell in love with OU even more on this visit,” Bennett said. “I had a chance to do more things this weekend and have Sterling and others show me what college life is going to be like. I’m 100 percent with my commitment.”

Banquet weekend is always a big recruiting opportunity for OU, but it’s also a chance for recruits to see the coaches in a different light.

There is no stress with the banquet. It’s a nice relaxed atmosphere that Bennett said he really appreciated.

“Everybody was telling jokes, and it was great to meet the coaches’ families and seeing the coaches be with their families,” he said.

Saturday night was also special, as Bennett said he had dinner at Bob Stoops’ house.

“He told me OU is the best place to be,” Bennett said. “I agree. My decision is made. Now I’m just going to go home and get ready for track season.”