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April 25, 2005
Sooner state show
FT. WORTH, Texas - One of the most interesting storylines that unfolded at the NIKE Training Camp at Texas Christian University this Saturday was not one about in-state prospects, but rather several distant travelers who crossed the Red River to compete.
Being hailed as one of the best in years for talent, the state of Oklahoma showed up in a big way starting with highly touted defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma City (Okla.) Southeast and he didn't disappoint dominating the one-on-one drills all day.
If you ask McCoy, he wasn't expecting anything like this during his football career.
"When I started out playing football, I would see people doing stuff like this and wishing that one day I could too," McCoy said. "Then I started working harder in the off season, working harder in the weight room, going to camps, practicing my techniques and watching tapes all the time."
"I guess it all worked out and I made it here."
All signs point to him making it, but McCoy continues to pursue his goals with that hard working mentality. That seems to be the mindset for all the Oklahoma prospects that attended the NIKE camp Saturday including Midwest City (Okla.) running back Jamad Williams.
It was about making a statement.
"So many people out here thought that if we were from Oklahoma we weren't good enough to play with them," Williams said about the Oklahoma performances. "We showed them and we showed for Oklahoma real well."
Williams, a speedy running back, performed well in one-on-one drills like McCoy and turned some heads. Defensive back Laron Moore says it felt like a team effort out there.
"We're representing Oklahoma, and I only wish we could all play on the same team," Moore said. "When you come out here to stuff like this, you have to represent your home and that's what we did."
Running back George West of Oklahoma City Northeast, who holds offers from Notre Dame and Iowa State, is excited as he watches his stock rise.
"Yeah, I used to see all of my friends like Laron, Jarrell, and Dominique Franks pick up offers and I felt like I was behind," West said. "Then the offers started coming a couple of weeks ago and it felt like I was part of the group."
"We're all there for each other and have been watching how everything goes with this recruiting stuff. I think today was a good example of why we have those offers."
West turned heads on both sides of the ball showing blinding speed in running back drills and great match-up ability on defensive one-on-ones. He almost ran out of his shoes losing a cleat during his speed drills.
Other Oklahoma prospects that shined on Saturday included Bradley Dedeaux who says no matter where you may be from, the NIKE experience was hard to forget.
"We did well but most importantly it's a great experience for each of us," Dedeaux said. "We had a lot of fun out there together and we learned a lot."
Considering the many other Oklahoma prospects this year that did not even make a trip to camp this weekend, it is truly easy to see why the Sooner state is having a sensational year.