Wednesday, February 20, 2013
OKPreps 14 for '14: TE Trenton Ball
By Bob Przybylo
Is the Class of 2014 crop of in-state talent the best Oklahoma has seen since 2006? With six recruits in the ESPN Watch List, it’s shaping up to be a busy recruiting year in the Sooner State. For the next three weeks, SoonerNation is going to profile the OKPreps’ 14 for ’14: a look at some of the top names and where they stand with OU.
TE Trenton Ball (Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert, 6-6, 210) 2012 stats: 6 catches for 80 yards, 1 touchdown.
In-state tight end Trenton Ball grew up a Sooners fan.
For some recruits, you have to look beyond the stats. That is certainly the case with Ball. Playing for one of the most run-first teams in the state, it’s tough to quantify what his six catches for 80 yards in 14 games really means.
As a team, Midwest City Carl Albert averaged less than seven completions per game. But what can’t be taught is being 6-foot-6. And take one look at Ball, and you know that’s not a mistake or coach blowing up somebody’s size out of proportion.
Ball first came on to OU’s radar during the summer, taking part in the three-day camp in early June. He received a lot of one-on-one time with then-OU tight ends coach Bruce Kittle.
That attention never evaporated, as Ball kept in touch with Kittle throughout most of the 2012 season and made several unofficial visits for home games.
Ball had a great understanding about where he stands at OU’s first junior day earlier this month.
“He told me he has three guys ahead of me at this point, and I just have to keep working hard,” Ball said last week. “He wants a tall tight end. It was great to hear because now I know what I need to do.”
It was great to hear at the time, but the circumstances couldn’t be more different at this point. Less than 24 hours after that interview, Kittle was relieved of his duties at OU.
It appeared that Kittle was trying to keep Ball a secret to the rest of the world, but other schools are starting to get into the mix.
“Nebraska and Missouri have started sending letters and talking with me,” Ball said. “Tulsa has been sending some stuff, but OU is definitely the school showing the most interest.”
Ball grew up an OU fan, but he does not rule out Bedlam rival Oklahoma State. He was at OSU’s junior day last month.
He said OSU throws the ball more than OU, but he likes the Sooners' style of offense as it is more similar to what he is experiencing at the high school level.
Last season was one of the more bizarre for the tradition-rich Carl Albert program. After starting out 1-5, the Titans won the final eight games to win the Oklahoma Class 5A state championship.
“We just came together,” Ball said. “We started playing for each other. We made some adjustments. It was an incredible ride.”
The Sooners didn’t land one tight end for their 2013 class, making it a major priority for this crop coming up. OU has its eyes set on a few elite recruits. Ball is hoping he will play his way up to that level and get a chance to realize his dream.