Even in this day and age of early recruiting it's safe to say that John Michael McGee was one of Oklahoma's first real focuses in the class of 2012. Following his sophomore year the Texarkana (Texas) Texas high offensive lineman showed up in Norman for the 2010 Sooner Summer camp , he was barely off the practice field before the Sooners let their intentions for him be known.
It seems that from that early verbal offer McGee may have been counting the days before he would make a decision.
"I had been wanting to commit for a while, I don't know what took me so long, but I made the decision and decided to go ahead and get it out of the way (Wednesday). I just wanted to get recruiting over with and I knew what I wanted to do," McGee said. "I'm glad I made my decision and really I knew it was Oklahoma since when they first offered, I was going to go there.
"With Oklahoma, it was just kind of a feeling of home. After my sophomore year when I was up there it felt like a home away from home. I went to other campuses and camps and kept thinking it didn't feel the same way, I kept thinking 'this isn't Oklahoma'. I couldn't see myself going to any of those schools."
While many might assume that McGee's commitment was given to either of Oklahoma's two offensive line coaches it was a relationship he developed early on with East Texas recruiting coordinator Josh Heupel that led him to call Oklahoma's current offensive coordinator.
"He was saying he was very excited about it. We joked a little bit about it and he just kind of welcomed me to the Boomer Sooner nation I guess," he laughed.
Interestingly, Texas high has always been a program that has produced a lot of talent that headed to Austin rather than Norman. But according to McGee he'll get a lot more flack about not crossing another border.
"No, I don't think so, everybody pretty much knew that I liked Oklahoma. People at Texas high they actually like Arkansas a lot, and a lot of people thought I should go there too," he said.
While the full Sooner commitment process hasn't yet taken place -McGee awaits Bob Stoops return to Norman to hook up with the head Sooner- he says that there is no doubt about his position and for now he'll simply try and get to know other future Sooners.
"I played against Aaron Franklin back in the day and I actually talk to Kyle Marrs and Devante Harris on Facebook all the time. I talk to those guys but I don't know them personally yet. I'm glad we'll be teammates though."
The five-hour distance between Texarkana and Norman is something that would weigh heavily on the mind of any recruit, but as with many recruits, it weighed even more heavily on the minds of his parents. With that in mind his February trip to Oklahoma's junior day was a prime opportunity to alleviate any of their concerns about their son's distance from home.
"My parents, they've been there, they know how far it is, it's not too far from home, they liked the campus when they went up there, they liked everything about it," he said. "They didn't have anything negative to say when I let them know I was making my decision."
So how does it feel now that recruiting is over for the nation's No. 2 guard?
"I don't know, I'll have to see what it changes, I pretty much played my whole junior year thinking I was going to go Oklahoma so I guess it's just more of the same, except now I know," he said.
During the conversation with McGee, he was notifying a few other schools of his decision to further his football career in Norman and while he'll continue to do so he did admit that most were a little down about losing one of the nation's elite offensive linemen.
"Of course they aren't pleased with it but I just want to let them know what I'm doing," he said.
As Sooner fans and future teammates get to know McGee through the years they'll realize as talented as he is on the field, he matches it with comedy off the field. When asked what he might have to say to Sooner fans about his future in Norman, McGee could only joke about his obvious talents.
"I'm probably the most athletic linemen they'll ever see," he said before breaking out into laughter. "I don't know Josh, make up something that makes me sound good."
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