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January 29, 2012

Latu Couldn't Keep it Quiet

Even if Tony Jefferson hadn't gone to Twitter with recruiting news, it sounds like there is very little possibility that the nation's No. 1 junior college offensive lineman, Will Latu, of Santa Clarita (Calif.) College of the Canyons could have kept his decision to commit to Oklahoma quiet.

The plan for Latu had been to announce his choice on Wednesday's National Signing Day but on Saturday afternoon he simply could wait no longer.

"I committed to Oklahoma," Latu said moments ago. "I don't know, I just had that feeling like I knew that this is it, this is the place.

"It was after we ate lunch yesterday, me and the coaches, we went back to the offices, we went over some things, we got to watch the senior bowl and all of that. We felt comfortable around each other and talked about this, and I told them that I like everything and I'm committing here right now.

"(For the coaches) it was like winning the national championship, everyone was jumping off the walls. Everything went well, I like it."

Latu says he couldn't put his finger on any one thing that sold him on committing to Oklahoma but seeing the place live up to his expectations was a huge aspect.

"I just wanted to see the place, I had never been here before, the traditions and everything I knew about that but I just wanted to see the place," he said.

One thing that has surprised him, is the feeling that comes from the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive tackle committing to Oklahoma.

"It really hasn't set in to reality yet, that I'm coming here. Early in the process, like I told you, I felt like I could sleep at night knowing that I was going to be ok after Oklahoma offered me. Now I know I just have to finish up strong," he said.

That finishing relates to the academic question that many have said is the issue with Latu, however according to him he and the Sooner staff again went over his academic standing and just what will be necessary to happen.

"They gave me a good plan, and told me that if I follow this, everything is going to go (Oklahoma and Latu's) way. I felt comfortable with their ideas, and I feel like we're ready to go," he explained.

On the lighter note of the weekend Latu had a chance to hang out with current Sooners like Tony Jefferson, Nila Kasitati, and Lane Johnson as well as fellow official visitors Courtney Gardner, Michael Onuoha, and Zack Sanchez.

"Everything was fun, you know, I was kicking it with the guys, we got to know each other, you know everything was a blast," he said. "I was mainly assigned to Nila, and the first night, I had two hosts, Nila and Lane and we had a good time."

The interesting part of Johnson hosting Latu is that the nation's No. 7 junior college prospect, regardless of position, is that the two are very likely to be competing for a starting spot at either offensive tackle position next fall. According to Latu, Johnson's handling of the situation was a major victory for the Sooners.

"The first thing was that when I first got there, I asked coach if we could watch some film, and we saw the things that they ran and I felt comfortable with them," Latu recalled. "And when I met Lane, it made it even more real that I was considering coming here because he thinks we can take the offensive line and take it to the next level. He is a big, big team player.

"I know that if I do come in and take a job, he is ok with it as long as it makes the team better. He is that kind of guy. I can tell that he is a real competitor and I look forward to playing with him."

And as for the other recruits visiting with Latu?

"When we went in for dinner, I walked in with my Oklahoma hat and people were like 'what?' and I told them that I was committed. The guys they were congratulating me as time went on I started doing some recruiting. I think I got those guys feeling really good about what they're going to do."


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