- Bob Przybylo, Reporter, RecruitingNation
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Wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) didn't want to think about his lack of top offers. He put it in the back of his mind and just kept working, knowing good things were going to come.
After Thursday, he doesn't have to think about recruiting anymore. Smallwood was offered by Oklahoma, and he didn't waste any time in letting OU coach Bob Stoops know that he wanted to be a Sooner, verbally committing to the school that he said he has always wanted to attend.
Smallwood, who is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, received his first Division I offer last week from Wyoming. Smaller schools such as Eastern Illinois and Illinois State had shown interest, but the big boys had been left out of the picture.
Smallwood has impressed in camps all spring and his final impression was the one that mattered most Sunday at OU.
"I didn't know at all that something like this was going to happen," Smallwood said. "I've always had the hope that it could happen, but you never know. I was grinning from ear-to-ear when I heard I was being offered."
Smallwood heard about the offer during the day, but Jenks is at a team camp in Bentonville, Ark., so he didn't get a chance to talk with Stoops until around 6 p.m. Thursday.
During that stretch, he had a chance to talk to his parents and make sure they were onboard with his decision.
"My mom was telling the story about how much I've always wanted to go to OU," he said. "Ever since I was a little kid, that's what I've talked about. Now is my chance."
Smallwood was thinking about going to Oklahoma State this weekend. He had considered hitting up Arkansas later in the summer. But he let Stoops know those plans are out the window. He doesn't have to go to another camp again.
Smallwood only participated in the afternoon session Sunday, but it was enough to open the lines of communication between himself and OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell.
He said he waited until Tuesday and called Norvell and things got even better. Norvell said he was excited to hear from Smallwood. On Thursday, it was Jenks coach Allan Trimble who called Stoops and asked if he wanted to speak to Smallwood.
"My jaw dropped when I heard what was going on," Smallwood said. "He said they're only going to take two receivers. I thought about that. They're going to take two, and they want me to be one of them? Wow."
It looked like Smallwood might be in a forgotten class. The knock on Smallwood has been his lack of speed. He knows it and has done everything he can to try to work on it. And as mentally tough as Smallwood has tried to be through the process, he admitted it was starting to wear on him.
"I didn't want to get frustrated about everything, but it was kind of getting to me a bit," Smallwood said. "It made me work harder, for sure.
"Coach Stoops said he believed in me. They like the way I play. They like my attitude. OSU came by in the spring and that was nice. In the back of my mind I was thinking, though, I wish OU would come around."
Smallwood's physicality is a big selling point, but what brought the offer to the table are his hands. Smallwood didn't drop a pass at OU's camp and it's debatable if he has dropped a pass at any camp.
"That's my job. They throw it my way, I will catch it," Smallwood said.
Smallwood is OU's ninth commit of the class and the first at receiver. It has been a busy week with receivers as 2014 prospects K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and Nick Alexander (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) were both offered after stellar one-session performances of their own at Sunday's OU camp.
But Smallwood is the first commit to emerge from the camp.
"Coach Stoops said a lot of people are going to be coming my way because of how good I've been doing," Smallwood said. "He asked if I'm a man of my word. I am. I'm a Sooner. You have nothing to worry about."