Quarterback Hayden Rettig (Los Angeles/Cathedral) was getting tired of hearing questions about his health.
Rettig, who tore his right ACL and meniscus during his team's second game of last season, wanted to prove to everybody that he was 100 percent healthy. And at a quarterback academy event in California last month, he did just that, showing his mobility, arm strength and confidence. In other words, he showed he was back.
And the race to be Oklahoma’s 2013 quarterback has now added one more participant.
Spurred by that outing, the spring evaluation period has seen one top coach after another visit Rettig. And in the next couple of weeks, OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel is expected to be one of those visitors.
“You think of OU, and you think of all their good quarterbacks that have come from there lately,” Rettig said. “I remember watching Sam Bradford. You see what he was able to do, and you know you can succeed.”
Rettig is believed to be the fourth quarterback on Heupel and Oklahoma's radar for the class of 2013. Heupel has already had an in-person visit with Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah) and is expected to visit with Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) before the spring evaluation period ends on May 31.
It is likely Heupel will visit Rettig when he visits the other quarterback the Sooners are targeting, Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), because the two schools are in close proximity of each other.
Rettig said Heupel first contacted his high school coach nearly three months ago. Since that time, Rettig has been in communication with Heupel, talking to the OU assistant as recently as last week. With no more health concerns, Rettig and the Sooners seem to be on the same page.
At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Rettig is a four-star prospect and ranked the No. 12 pocket-passing quarterback in the nation.
If anybody thinks Rettig will have a problem going that far away home, just look at Chase, his older brother. Chase Rettig is the starting quarterback for Boston College and threw for 1,960 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
“[California] is nice, but you can always go back in the summer or on spring break and things like that,” Hayden Rettig said. “I want to go where I can play and compete for the spot.”
Rettig has offers from Auburn, Boston College, Vanderbilt and UCLA, among others. He said it has been a crazy process, but he has enjoyed it because he didn’t know how much attention he was going to receive after his injury. He threw for nearly 1,000 yards in the two games he played and was on his way to a stellar junior season, he said.
Rettig said it probably would have been one of his last plays of the game. Instead of getting out of bounds on a scramble, he tried to get a few more extra yards and that’s when the injury occurred.
“I thought I broke my leg,” he said.
Rettig went right back to work, though. He worked diligently in his therapy and still did upper body workouts. His doctors assumed it would take him around eight months to make a full recovery. Rettig did it in four.
It was tough for him to sit out and not help the team. But what he learned from being on the sideline he said he can carry with him into this season.
“I had to watch more film, and I got to see a lot more things,” Rettig said. “I kind of became a quarterbacks coach. I learned a lot from standing on the sidelines.”
Rettig said he has a lot of interest in Auburn, Vanderbilt and Boston College, but he is definitely looking forward his visit with Heupel.
“I don’t know when he’s coming yet, but I’m ready,” Rettig said. “He knows the game really well, and he’s a great coach. I know he was a great player at OU and that helps because he really can identify with what’s happening.”
Rettig said he would like to make a decision within the next couple of months. Provided things go well when Heupel visits, he said he would like to take a visit to OU as soon as he can.
“Why wait? If things work out, I want to try see everything so I know if it’s a place I want to be,” Rettig said.