June 14, 2003

Kicker just wanted to be a Sooner

When it comes to the top kickers in the Lone Star State and in the entire Midlands Region, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than Southlake (Texas) Carroll kicker Garrett Hartley.

As first reported in Saturday's Dallas Morning News, Hartley, who is 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, committed to the Sooners on Friday after earning a scholarship offer shorting after wowing the crowd at the final session of the Sooners' summer camp.

"This is a life-long dream for me," Hartley said. "I grew up an Oklahoma fan, and I wanted to go up to camp and show them that I was the type of kicker they needed to recruit."

Guess he impressed huh?

Hartley, a full qualifier that was an all-state selection as a junior, got a chance to work one-on-one with camp kicking instructor Uwe Von Schamann during the final session of the camp. And apparently the Sooner staff liked what they saw.

"I was the only kicker there," Hartley said. "So it was just me out there kicking in the indoor complex. I was kicking about 100 to 200 balls a day and working on my kickoffs. The coaches said they were going to take my highlight tape that I brought with me to coach Stoops and see if I was good enough to offer."

He was.

And it was an easy decision.

Kansas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State were some of the local teams that were very interested in Hartley and he had written offers from many teams, but the decision to become a Sooner was an easy one.

""It's Oklahoma," Hartley said. "This is the perfect situation for me. I can come in and compete for a spot on field goals and kickoffs. But I'll do whatever coach Stoops and the rest of the coaches want. I just wanted to be a Sooner."

Hartley was 15 of 17 this past season on field goals, had a long of 46 yards and he connected on all but one of his extra points. He also played a key role in helping the Carroll Dragons earn a perfect 16-0 record.

Editor's Note: Hartley said that he can consistently nail field goals from more than 70 yards. Don't be surprised if Hartley is one of the top ranked kickers in the entire nation when Rivals.com releases its player rankings later this fall.



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