Thursday, March 14, 2013
OT Pruitt planning spring game visits
By Max Olson
Jovan Pruitt still regrets the fact that he didn’t make it to Texas’ second junior day on Feb. 23 as planned, and he’s hoping to make amends later this month.
The Dallas Bishop Dunne offensive tackle said he’ll “most definitely” be in attendance at the Orange-White spring game on March 30. Pruitt hasn’t heard much from the Texas coaching staff in the past few weeks, but he hopes this visit changes that.
“I don’t want coach Stacy Searels, coach Bruce Chambers and Mack Brown to think I’m not really interested in their school,” Pruitt said. “I’m not going to blow them off. I made a bad decision that day and I’m going to try to fix it.”
There wasn’t much Pruitt could have done about his decision on the morning of that junior day. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive tackle had traveled to College Station, Texas, to see Bishop Dunne’s girls basketball team play a playoff game. He thought the team was coming back to Dallas that night. By the time he found out the plan was to stay town overnight and travel back the next day, Pruitt knew he’d made a mistake.
He tried calling teammate Nick Watkins, an ESPN Watch List cornerback, to get a ride to Austin, but it was too late. Pruitt had to cancel his junior day plans.
“I had like six reporters calling and texting my phone to see how the junior day was, and I didn’t even go,” he said. “I was disappointed in myself because I missed out on an opportunity like that. But it’s going to come around again, and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Pruitt has assumed all along that he has an offer from the Longhorns, but he’s hoping his trip for the spring game will clear that up. More importantly, he wants to make sure the coaching staff will keep recruiting him.
“I just want to show them that I have a pretty big interest in Texas and they’re one of my top schools,” Pruitt said.
In addition to Texas, Pruitt said he’s currently planning to attend spring games at Oklahoma and Arkansas, and he’s been hearing quite a bit from Oregon and Georgia Tech lately.
Because Pruitt missed that Texas junior day, Oklahoma has made a strong push and might be considered his leader now, though the tackle prospect still says he has no favorites right now.
Pruitt attended the Sooners’ March 9 junior day and came away thoroughly impressed.
“It went well. It seemed like everything is pretty well-structured at OU with their facilities and everything,” Pruitt said. “They seem like they treat their players well. If you produce, the coaches will get you to where you need to be. I’m still taking them into consideration.”
The visit gave Pruitt a chance to meet new Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, and he said Bedenbaugh and running backs coach Cale Gundy are talking with Pruitt every other day now.
Bedenbaugh’s all-business attitude and his passion for building the nation’s best offensive line at OU made an impression. So did the potential opportunity for early playing time.
“They’re running low on tackles, and that’s another reason they want me to come in,” Pruitt said. “I could come in and do something big my freshman year and start if I have my priorities straight.”