Part of a talented Dallas (TX) Jesuit 2013 class that includes Texas commit Jake Oliver, a wide receiver, and Texas A&M commit JJ Gustafson, an offensive tackle, linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni made his collegiate decision on Thursday by committing to the Oklahoma Sooners following a weekend visit to Norman.
The 6-3, 225-pound Mastrogiovanni is the 10th commitment of the Sooner class and the first linebacker. He told SoonerScoop that he strongly considered ending his recruitment while in Oklahoma:
Really, the majority of the time (on the trip) I felt like (committing to Oklahoma) was what I wanted to do. My dad and uncle were with me and felt the same way.
I wanted to commit but I promised myself, my coaches, my friends, and my family that I wouldn't make a rash decision. I needed to sleep on it and pray about it, at the end of the day I felt like Oklahoma was the best fit for me.
It didn't take long for Mastrogiovanni to decide that his initial instincts were correct, mulling his decision for less than week.
A three-star recruit by each of the three major services, Mastrogiovanni is one of the top inside linebackers in the state of Texas for the 2013 class and held 22 offers from around the country, including Arkansas, LSU, and Notre Dame. He had named Texas A&M as his leader in late April prior to receiving the game-changing offer from Oklahoma in the middle of May.
Crimson and Cream Machine recruiting analyst Jordan Esco shared his thoughts on the big, athletic linebacker:
One of the things that really stands out on his film is his ability to avoid getting caught up in traffic. He uses his hands to fend off blockers very well and even more impressive is how nimble his feet appear to be, which allows him to keep his feet avoiding cut blocks. Typically, players who excel against the run as well as he does tend to struggle when asked to drop back into coverage. While Mastrogiovanni could still use work on this part of his game, he already displays an above average ability in coverage quickly recognizing plays and closing on the ball.
The Oklahoma coaches had a similar take, according to the player himself:
They've told me that they really like my range, my athletic ability and quickness. They mentioned Tom Wort but I think I'm a little bigger than him. They'll try me at inside and outside, and see what works. I think it'll start at inside because that's where I'm most comfortable right now.
With his ability to shed blockers, Mastrogiovanni does project as an athletic middle linebacker and still has plenty of room on his frame to grow -- it's likely that he'll eventually play around 240 pounds without losing his speed. And if he does become a bigger version of the tough and highly productive Tom Wort, that will make the Oklahoma coaching staff extremely happy.
For more on OU football, visit Oklahoma blog Crimson And Cream Machine.
Jordan Mastrogiovanni - #7 LB - Dallas Jesuit - Class of 2013 (via JesuitHighlights)