Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Is Quick the next Sooner from California?
By Bob Przybylo
July marks the third edition of The Opening, an all-star event featuring 150 of the best recruits in the country. And for the third year in a row, OU fans don't have a commit to keep tabs on.
Don’t worry, though. If history has proven anything, the Sooners are going to end up with two signees from The Opening. And they’re both coming from California.
In 2011, wide receiver Derrick Woods and tight end Taylor McNamara both went to Beaverton, Ore., and ended up in Norman. Woods is from Inglewood, Calif., while McNamara is from San Diego.
ESPN 300 athlete Michiah Quick will definitely visit Alabama and Oklahoma this year.
Last year it was the Fresno connection. Fresno Central East defensive backs Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore were at The Opening and both are Sooners.
So who could it be this year? ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) is a possibility. His love of former OU legend Adrian Peterson puts the Sooners in the running.
OU fans wouldn’t mind the addition of Mixon, and they sure wouldn’t mind if the Fresno Central East theme continued with ESPN 300 athlete Michiah Quick.
Quick, ranked No. 32 in the ESPN 300, was supposed to visit OU a month ago. The plan was for Fresno Central East defensive backs coach Tony Perry and Quick to make the trip for the Sooners' camp.
Less than 48 hours from the trip, Perry said it was postponed because Quick was taking the ACT. Quick has been able to make the rounds during the spring, but OU has been an elusive visit at this point. He said don’t read too much into it.
“I wasn’t really that disappointed,” Quick said. “It would have been great to see the campus then, but I know I will either during the summer or during the season.”
But OU is not the only school to not get a visit, as he said he still plans to see Alabama.
OU placed itself in good position with Quick a long time ago, offering him 14 months ago. Developing that bond early has been crucial as Quick said the relationship with the coaches is the biggest determining factor.
“I love how the coaches are at OU,” Quick said. “We’ve established a real strong relationship. Both of the Coach [Bob and Mike] Stoopses. Coach [Chip] Viney and Coach [Tim] Kish -- they’re all my guys.”
One factor that has felt like will play into OU’s favor is having two former teammates sign for the 2013 class with defensive backs Byrd and Moore.
And while Quick said in the fall he would like to play with Byrd, his stance has softened. He is, however, tight with both of his former teammates.
“There’s definitely a little bit of an influence,” Quick said. “For me, more than anything, it makes me happy to know these guys think that much of me that they want me to play with them at the next level.
“L.J chose OU for himself. Hatari chose OU for himself. I have to make the best decision for me. Right now I don’t have any idea about when I’m going to make a decision.”
Quick isn’t worried about making a decision. And Perry isn’t worried that his latest four-star recruit won’t make the best choice.
Perry has been coaching the secondary game for a long time now. And while OU was in hot pursuit of Moore and Byrd, the one recruit Perry kept bringing up in 2012 was Quick.
It turns out Perry might have been onto something.
“Wherever he goes, if he goes to OU or some other place, he’s so good,” Perry said. “He has a chance to be a great one at wide receiver or cornerback. This recruiting process is nothing to him. He takes care of his schoolwork first. That’s just the way he has always been.”
At the Rivals Challenge camp recently, there were rumors that Quick, Mixon and ESPN 150 offensive guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) all wanted to play together in college.
It’s too early for that, but Quick explains how that talk came about.
“At this camp, we had a lot more freedom, so we got to hang out with each other a lot more in a relaxed environment,” Quick said. “It’s just something we talked about. We haven’t talked about it since so I don’t know.”
Quick is being recruited as a wide receiver and a cornerback. He said the Sooners see him playing both positions, but his preference is wide receiver. The idea of playing defense, though, is not a deal-breaker for him.
Quick said his top schools remain the same, with USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Cal, Alabama and Washington right there along with the Sooners.
“I have no idea on a favorite right now,” Quick said. “I’m just trying to stay humble and be focused on my senior season.”
That focus is fully there this summer. Quick said he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash last week. To him, that's simply not good enough. It was back to work, back to running up and down hills. Back to running 10-yard sprints back and forth.
His last name serves him well, but he doesn’t just want to be quick -- he wants to be fast.
“That game speed at the next level is something different,” Quick said. “I got to get my speed up to contend with those guys. I won’t stop working until I do.”