Oklahoma is coming off its biggest visit weekend of the 2014 class recruiting cycle. The Sooners had 11 official visitors featuring seven commits and four top targets.
One of those commits was Mesquite (Texas) Horn offensive lineman Jonathan Alvarez. Committed to OU since September, Alvarez agreed to give SoonersIllustrated.com an in-depth review of what happened on the weekend.
** Alvarez said he arrived at the Oklahoma City airport and was picked up by OU graduate assistant Joey Halzle. Coincidentally, Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson Samaje Perine arrived at same time and was also picked up.
** They were taken to Embassy Suites in Norman before heading to OU coach Bob Stoops' house for dinner.
"Pulling up to it, I couldn't believe it," Alvarez said. "It was incredible."
** After that Alvarez met with host, sophomore offensive lineman Ty Darlington and was taken back to the dorms at Headington Hall.
"They're a lot nicer than any dorms I've seen," Alvarez said.
** They woke up and were taken to the suites and stadium where they were fed breakfast and met with all the other recruits. Now it was time for the visit agenda.
** Alvarez said they started by meeting the academic advisors at the learning center. It was split up into two groups – one for the offense and one for defense.
"My parents really enjoyed that, knowing I'll have all that support on the academic side of things," Alvarez said.
** From there, the recruits and parents took a tour of Headington Hall before heading back to the stadium and the locker room. When they arrived, there was a little surprise.
"All of the jerseys were set with our numbers," Alvarez said. "Mine was No. 71. I was surprised it actually fit me because of how tight it was."
Recruits enjoyed their time in the locker room and took a lot of pictures, Alvarez said. With the Sugar Bowl trophy there and all the bowl gifts on display, it was a taste of what is possible at OU.
** Up next was touring the championship room, a highlight for almost every OU visit in seeing the tradition of the program.
** Then it was one stop after another. They met with OU nutrition coach Tiffany Byrd and how to eat and stay healthy. Then the training room and meeting all the trainers. From there it was strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt.
"They showed us everything and said they're about to have like a $300 million renovation to everything," Alvarez said.
** After a short mid-afternoon break, all the recruits headed to KDs, Kevin Durant's new restaurant that opened last month in downtown Oklahoma City.
"That place was amazing," Alvarez said. "They had us sit in the back room and brought appetizer after appetizer, and we went to town."
Alvarez said the appetizers were chicken on a stick and shrimp and then it was a buffet style for things like steaks, catfish, mashed potatoes and macaroni.
** Then it was back to their hosts. And Darlington had his reasoning for everything he did, said Alvarez. When Darlington visited OU, his host was center Gabe Ikard. Everything Ikard showed Darlington, Alvarez was shown by Darlington during the weekend.
"He really wanted to show how everyone acted and what it was like living in the dorms," Alvarez said.
** "I got to sleep in," Alvarez said. He said he slept in until 10 a.m. before all the recruits had breakfast with the coaches. He said Stoops stayed for almost two hours just sitting there and eating.
** After that, they went back to pack and the visits were finished.
"The most important thing said was by Ty, and he told me to enjoy the rest of my senior year. When I get to OU, he said it might seem hard at first but then it gets much better."
"I didn't have any questions. My parents were very surprised because they had everything laid out. They felt like they knew everything they needed to know and were very comfortable."
"All the coaches were right by our side the whole visit. Coach Stoops wasn't just there for one thing. He was there the whole time, and it just showed how much they care."
"This visit was so needed. It's a great place and reassured me this is the right choice. This is our new home. All of us who are about to come, we're ready."***Click here to discuss all things OU recruiting***