The Oklahoma Sooners landed a big-time running back commitment on Wednesday with the news that Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson's Samaje Perine gave his verbal pledge to head coach Bob Stoops and his staff.
The sturdy 5-10, 230-pound Perine had visited Oklahoma on Tuesday, along with several other high-profile visitors and Sooners recruiting analyst Bob Przyzbylo was a bit surprised that it happened as quickly as it did, although the commitment was relatively expected:
Could tell in afternoon talk w/ Perine the #Sooners pledge was coming. Thought it would be a lil later tonight or Thurs.— Bob Przybylo (@BPrzybylo) March 13, 2013
So which schools were the finalists for Perine? Scout's Annabel Stephan has the scoop:
Perine said this week he was down to TCU and OU. Also held an offer from Alabama, but saw more of an opportunity to make early impact at OU.— Annabel Stephan (@AnnabelStephan) March 13, 2013
The Crimson Tide do indeed have an incredible stable of running backs with 2013 star signees Derrick Henry, Altee Tenpenny, and Alvin Kamara, among others.
A consensus three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings and by 247Sports, Rivals has Perine has a four-star prospect, while 247Sports has him narrowly missing that grade with a ranking of 89, just below the four-star cut-off of 90.
Perine also held offers from Alabama, Baylor, Houston, Purdue, and Tennessee in addition to Oklahoma and was likely to see his recruitment take off during the spring evaluation period when college coaches could judge the return of his explosiveness after the ACL and MCL tears that ended his sophomore season.
Less than a year removed, Perine did not appear to have completely have his explosiveness, but should end up in contention for the title of the top back in the state of Texas once he completely regains his top-end speed. When that happens, he should find himself as a consensus four-star running back.
And as Oklahoma fans get to know their new pledge better, they may want to be able to say his name correctly, seeing as how there are numerous possible permutations. ESPN's Damon Sayles has your back:
Besides how to correctly pronounce his rather difficult name, one question that might come to mind for Sooner fans is whether Stoops and company are done at the running back position with Perine's commitment. Crimson and Cream Machine recruiting analyst Jordan Esco believes that is not the case:
Just a preemptive note, #Sooners are almost assuredly going to take two RBs in this 2014 class. So Nathan Starks is still very much in play.— Jordan Esco (@Jordan_Esco) March 13, 2013
The Sooners may be the leader for Starks, who is from Bishop Gorman High Schools in Las Vegas, Nevada, the same school that produced former Sooner star Demarco Murray, a fact that plays well with Starks, who grew up a fan of the dynamic back. Starks is a borderline top-25 player nationally.
If Oklahoma could land Starks to go along with 2013 signee Keith Ford, the top back from Texas in his class, the Sooners would have a fantastic running back corps moving forward.
Perine is the third commitment in the 2014 class for the Sooners, though Texas City (Texas) wide receiver Armanti Foreman is considered a soft commit at this point after taking several visits in the last several weeks and may be on the verge of officially opening up his recruitment.
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