Back to the trail for Wariboko

Scout 300 OL Josh Wariboko

Committed to OU for nearly 10 months, Scout 300 OL Josh Wariboko is back on the open market and ready to explore all options.

With one tweet Wednesday night, the life of Oklahoma City Casady offensive guard Josh Wariboko changed in the blink of an eye.

Wariboko, a four-star prospect ranked No. 2 in the state by SoonersIllustrated.com, announced he was decommitting from Oklahoma and opening himself back up to the recruiting process.

Wariboko had been committed to OU since June 2013 and was actually the Sooners first commitment for the Class of 2015.

It was news to the public, but OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and the rest of the staff already knew it was coming.

"I had called Coach Bedenbaugh and told him about a week and a half ago," Wariboko said. "It was a difficult thing to do because I know him pretty well, and he knows me pretty well. I didn't want it to come off the wrong way. It's something I believe is best for me and my family."

Wariboko said he could sense Bedenbaugh was a little bummed about the situation, but he also said Bedenbaugh respected Wariboko's decision and said the OU staff was complete classy about the situation.

"It really speaks a lot to the type of people they have up there," Wariboko said. "I'm happy with the way they handled it."

Bedenbaugh first started talking to Wariboko last spring, and he was invited to OU's summer camp. Wariboko impressed so much at OU's camp that he was offered the night the camp ended. Less than a month later, he was with the Sooners.

It all happened so fast. At the time, Wariboko had received a limited number of offers. Oregon State was one major program that had made the offer, but he was still relatively new to the process.

"My feeling was that it was the right place then," Wariboko said. "That was such a long time ago. The commitment, when it was made, I don't know if I was doing it for the exact reasons. But I did fall in love with the school. Everything was right about OU. Nothing was wrong with OU."

And nothing is still wrong with the Sooners. But a lot has happened for Wariboko. One huge offer after another has come in. Nobody in the state has more offers than the No. 9-rated offensive guard in the nation.

A short list of those schools: Texas A&M, Florida State, LSU, USC and Texas, among others. He has more than 20 offers right now with the hope of more coming in the future.

And with more coming in the future for Max Wariboko. Even though Josh Wariboko had remained solid with the Sooners throughout the summer, fall and winter, there was always a desire to play with his younger brother.

Max Wariboko has added 10 pounds of muscle since last season and is set to be one of the top in-state prospects for the Class of 2016. That expectation was accelerated earlier this week when Louisville offered the younger Wariboko, having already offered Josh back in February.

"Max is officially a Division I prospect," Josh Wariboko said. "He got his first offer. That played a little bit of a role into it (decommitting), but I've been talking to my family about it for quite a while now.

"For Max getting that offer, an out of state program, and they want us both to come there, it means a lot. I just want to find the school that best fits the both of us."

But Josh knows recruiting is a different animal. He understands it's possible he might not play with Max in college. He said he's his own man the same as his younger brother is his own man.

The thought, however, of possibly playing with his brother, it's something he cannot ignore.

"That's our goal, our dream to play together," Josh Wariboko said. "It's starting to become a reality. I want to be able to try, to make sure that I at least put effort into making this happen."

Other visits have happened. Wariboko visited Texas A&M last year. The brothers made unofficial visits to USC and Texas this year. The whole time Josh was still pledged to OU and that wasn't exactly sitting right with him.

"That was the thing," Josh Wariboko said. "How am I going to be committed and take these visits? I don't want to undermine the trust and relationship I have with Coach Bedenbaugh and the rest of the staff."

So all doors are open once again for Wariboko. His first visit? He has no idea. He wants to evaluate all options to make sure he finds the right place. And with the spring evaluation period beginning this week, it has only started.

OU isn't out of the picture, either.

"It's OU," Wariboko said. "It's still a great program. I don't think anything has changed about them. It wasn't anything OU has done. I've talked with Coach Bedenbaugh last week and earlier this week, just checking in and things like that."

Other schools are coming. Texas A&M, USC, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Arkansas are among the schools that never slowed down their recruitment of Wariboko despite him being committed to OU.

Spring practice begins for Casady next month, which will help dictate more things with Wariboko. With no visits planned, he wants to see how things go in the spring and the relationships he develops with coaches.

Any sort of burden is gone. It's time to have some fun.

"I feel like I can enjoy the process," Wariboko said. "I can start going to these places that I've wanted to go, especially with my brother with me, too. I feel like I'm going to have more fun with it. It's going to be enjoyable."

Wariboko wants to go everywhere. Out west, to the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC – no school, no region is out of consideration.

"I'm going to make sure I experience it all," Wariboko said.

His college decision isn't the only one he has to make. Wariboko has been invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Under Armour All-America Game. He's not quite ready to make a decision on that one yet, either, but he's also having fun with that decision, too.

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