Two on OSU: Gordon could’ve gone to Texas. He’s from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and had an offer from UT. Here’s why he stuck with OSU.
When former Euless Trinity High School football coach Chris Jensen got a phone call from Texas coach Steve Sarkisian, he thought he was going to have to repeat the same answer he’d been giving other college coaches:
Ollie Gordon remains committed to Oklahoma State.
Jensen was waiting for it, but on that call in 2021, Sarkisian never mentioned Gordon by name. It was Sarkisian’s first year at Texas and he said he was making connections with high school coaches across Dallas-Fort Worth.
When Texas offered Gordon 15 days before national early signing day, Mike Gundy didn’t try to convince Gordon to stay committed to OSU.
“There’s nothing I can do,” Gundy said. “I’m not going to get on the phone and talk (Gordon) out of it. If he’s going to go, he’s going to go, for the most part. Is it a little uncomfortable? Sure, it is.”
In December 2021, Gordon signed with the Cowboys.
“Honestly, I felt disrespected by Texas because they had me, like, sixth on the depth chart behind other people that I knew that wasn’t supposed to be. …,” Gordon said. “They came like a day before signing day. Obviously, they weren’t paying attention to my film before.”
Texas was flush with running back. Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson are both now in the NFL. Keilan Robinson was the 2021 Big 12 newcomer of the year and Jonathan Brooks is the team’s leading rusher this season. It also signed four-star running back Jaydon Blue the same day Gordon signed with OSU.
Ela Smith, Gordon’s aunt, said the Texas coach who came to Gordon’s home for a visit was a defensive coach. Smith said the coach was in the area recruiting defensive players, who all asked him if he had visited with Gordon.
Smith asked the coach what he knew about Ollie.
“He was very honest…he said ‘I really don’t know anything about Ollie, this was a last-minute thing to come by here because the kids were saying come check on Ollie,’” Smith said. “So at that point, Ollie was like ‘Really? you don’t know anything about me and you’re trying to recruit me? But it’s OK because I’m already committed.’”
247 Sports lists Texas as the last team to offer Gordon, who leads the nation in rushing and is a big reason why OSU is now preparing to face Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game (Saturday, 11 a.m. ABC). It will be a homecoming for Gordon, who could see AT&T Stadium from his high school. Gordon will have 200 friends, coaches, teammates and family members in attendance.
Gordon’s recruiting profile rose in his junior season after he rushed 49 times for 456 yards and six touchdowns in an upset win against Allen High School to reach the quarterfinals of the 6A Division I playoffs. He got offers from TCU and Missouri the next day. Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Michigan soon followed suit.
“When we beat Allen and Ollie ran for a million yards, he had been on a lot of people’s radar, but that’s when the big dogs just really everybody came out of the woodwork,” Jensen said.
Gordon’s life got busy.
“Once our season was over and we went back to school it was chaotic,” Jensen said. “It really was for him and it started being chaotic for everybody. I think it started being a distraction for Ollie.”
Gordon recognized recruitment pulled him in many different directions. He could have traveled the country for visits to Washington State or Michigan but decided against it. Gordon told Jensen he wanted to decide so he could be at his best his senior year and so it wouldn’t hurt his team.
“It was a very mature decision,” Jensen said. “His decision was twofold, he wanted to stop the chaos and focus on being a great Trinity football player. And then the other reason was he felt a good relationship with the adults that were going to be in his life.”