As it stands right now, the Oklahoma football program has nine verbal commitments for the Class of 2010. To date the counts stands with three offensive lineman, two wide receivers, two defensive backs, a quarterback, and a defensive tackle.
One of the Sooners' early commitments came from safety Eddrick Loften of Irving (TX) Nimitz. Here recently, some rumors had surfaced stating that Loften was not solid with his commitment to Oklahoma.
So SI went directly to the source to squash all of that and reinforce what Loften himself had been saying all along.
"I have coaches come by all the time and the first thing that they ask me is if he (Loften) is solid to Oklahoma," Nimitz coach Steven Hohenberger said. "I tell them what Eddrick tells me to tell them which is that he is solid and not looking around."
And while on the subject of his star safety, Hohenberger started explaining what it was that Loften brings to the table as a player. While there were several key points he made, a recent incident can sum up much of what Loften does in action.
"His hip explosion is like none other. I remember talking with him this spring during one of our scrimmages," Hohenberger said. "We are running plays against the first-team defense and we have a running back who has come back for his first day of spring practice. Our back comes through the hole and Eddrick levels him.
"I mean this is not as small back neither. In fact, this is more of a full back 200-pound kid. Now the kid has neck and back spasms after the hit. After that, I had to tell him to stop hitting out guys. I can't really let him loose in practice."
Loften, who stands 6-foot tall and weighs about 205 is said to have "natural ball skills" according to Hohenberger when it comes to his pass coverage skills. Of course, one of the things that helps Loften make some of the plays is how Hohenberger chooses to play him in the their scheme.
Basically, coach wants Loften to be able to roam and just play ball.
"With Eddrick in the game we like to use him in the middle third of the field," Hohenberger said. "He has a knack for finding the ball so I want him to be able to see the football."
And Hohenberger knows a good defensive back when he sees one. Before Loften came through the Nimitz football program, Hohenberger coached current Oakland Raider player Michael Huff, who played his college football at Texas.
Hohenberger referred to the to of them in a similar light saying the if Huff was the "lightning" then Loften is the "thunder." This is mainly because he said that Huff had more speed, but Loften brings a little more hat.
"I'll say this right now: There is a not a player in the US who brings it like Loften," Hohenberger said. "His aggressiveness, I have never seen anything like it before.
In Loften's junior season, he recorded 88 tackles and six sacks. As for his future place on the Sooner defense, Hohenberger shed some light as to why Loften likely chose Oklahoma despite having many options to choose from.
"I think when Eddrick got down there and met with coach (Brent) Venables, it reminded him of our coaches here at Nimitz," Hohenberger said. "We expect a lot from our players and coach Venables and I have somewhat a similar personalities. I think that was big for him because he needs that level of intensity and somebody to push those buttons to make him better.
"Overall, I think it just felt more natural for him at Oklahoma."
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