Thursday, January 31, 2013
The One Who Got Away: Jeremy Maclin
By Bob Przybylo
When Missouri made a strong run at ESPN 150 wide receiver Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) last year, all Oklahoma fans could do was hold their breath.
Would it happen again? Not this time. Neal stuck with the Sooners, easing some of the pain caused years ago by another Missouri high school product who initially committed to OU before ending up with the Tigers.
Former Sooners commit Jeremy Maclin went on to a stellar career at Missouri.
In summer 2005, three-star wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (St. Louis/Kirkwood) committed to the Sooners. But as time passed, the 38th-ranked receiver had second thoughts and eventually signed with Missouri. His decommitment is clearly one big-time recruit who got away from OU under coach Bob Stoops.
Maclin liked Norman, Okla., but he never said he loved it. He never seemed to have that passion for the Sooners. Following an incredible senior season, when Maclin had 41 catches for 1,042 yards and 17 touchdowns, he put himself back on the market.
Schools coast to coast poured in trying to lure Maclin. Notre Dame and Ohio State tried at the last minute. Texas Tech and Nebraska both were there until the end. But he opted to stay home and play for Missouri.
Oklahoma couldn’t promise Maclin immediate playing time, but the Tigers utilized Maclin’s abilities while he was in Columbia.
Following a great collegiate career, Maclin was the 19th overall selection of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2009 NFL draft. He had 69 catches for 857 yards with seven touchdowns this season. For his career, he has 258 receptions for 3,453 yards and 26 touchdowns.
The Sooners only took one receiver in the 2006 class, ESPN 150 prospect Adron Tennell, who was ranked the No. 5 receiver in the class.
Tennell never turned into a star, but OU certainly wasn’t hurting for long at that position.
After an intense battle with Bedlam rival Oklahoma State, OU secured the signing of another three-star receiver named Ryan Broyles for its 2007 group. From right down the road in Norman, Broyles went on to become one of the most prolific receivers in NCAA history and just finished his rookie season in the NFL with the Detroit Lions.