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February 7, 2007

Richetti: The Cornerstone

Oklahoma State's 2007 signing class ended up with what has been a rare feat for the Cowboys - two players from the national top 100.

In the final rankings, wide receiver Dez Bryant wound up as the highest-rated player in the class in both the Rivals100 and Texas Top 100. While Bryant is certainly one of the top OSU signees in recent memory, it was fellow Rivals100 member Richetti Jones who stands out as the class cornerstone.

It is not a stretch to think that Oklahoma State's strong finish might not have been possible without Jones in the class.

The four-star defensive end prospect vowed to recruit other top players on the night of his commitment in early September.

"Oh yeah, the person I'll probably recruit the hardest is Christian Scott," he said. "He lives in Dallas and he is at Skyline with my old high school coach anyways. I'm also going to try and get Lennon Creer, Gerald Jones, and I think that's about it right now. Oh yeah, and Terrance Toliver too."

Though OSU ended up with none of the prospects he mentioned at that time, Jones absolutely followed through on his promise, staying in Scott's ear until the day he committed to Texas earlier this week (truth be told, it didn't stop then either).

The most critical of Jones' efforts came on the official visit weekend of January 26th. Jones was not a part of that official visit group, having spent his official to OSU on December 8th, but took it upon himself to travel to Stillwater unofficially to help round up a few future teammates.

That group of visitors featured seven prospects who entered the visit undecided on their college destination. Six of the seven signed letters-of-intent with OSU today.

During that weekend, Jones made Cedar Hill athlete William Cole his pet project. Though it was believed that Arkansas led strongly, Cole ended up calling himself a Cowboy when he announced his intentions Sunday night on live TV in Dallas. His friendship with Jones was one of the first things Cole mentioned among his reasons for selecting OSU. Bryant also mentioned Jones as being an influence on his decision.

Jones' status as a "magnet" to whom other top Texans were drawn to was not lost on OSU head coach Mike Gundy.

"Richetti was big because there were players in this regional area that called him and wanted to know why he committed to Oklahoma State," Gundy said. "He has a good personality and is a sharp kid - he's not a kid, but he's a sharp young man - and he helped us."

OSU assistant Curtis Luper built his relationship with Jones over a two-year period. That's a long haul, but it not only landed the Cowboys a very highly-regarded prospect. It also laid the foundation for an outstanding class that finished with flair.


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