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March 10, 2013TweetFollow @JLMcCuistion
Though Rivals100 wide receiver Mark Andrews of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain admits to growing up an Oklahoma fan he'd not been to Norman since the Sooners offered him last summer in spite of numerous attempts to do so. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound prospect arrived in Norman on Friday not only to take part in Oklahoma's junior day/start of spring practice but to also see his brother.
The nation's No. 87 player traveled to Oklahoma with his parents and spent some time around Andrews' brother, a freshman in Oklahoma's medical school. The elder Andrews brother gave positive reviews to the product from the Grand Canyon State.
"When we talk about it, he says that OU is a very good school academically, he likes where he lives and from the academic side they treat you well and it means a lot for him to see that," Andrews said. "I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to major in though."
So as a lifelong Oklahoma fan from a family of Sooners, how did the visit stack up to his expectations?
"This was my first time, I had very high expectations because I was an Oklahoma fan growing up and I think they exceeded my expectations. I couldn't ask for anything more. I loved my visit, the campus, the academic side it was an overall great experience," he said.
"At first I had a meeting with coach (Bob) Stoops, then I kind of followed coach (Jay) Norvell around and got to see how he coached. I talked to all of the coaches, and they were all very nice guys and very open. Coming up to players and talking to them. It was good to see that."
Not surprisingly the chance to spend time around Norvell, his would-be future position coach, was a key element of his visit and Andrews said it was Norvell's interaction with his player that will stick with him.
"I talked to him a lot, we talked about where he has coached and what he has done, and I talked about my things and we're just getting to know each other," he said. "I got to sit in on their position meetings and listen to how he coaches players and how he goes about things. It was good to see that and see how your position coach coaches."
Though Norvell isn't one of the new staff members Andrews said that even with all the changes the way practice worked was perhaps the most impressive aspect of his trip.
"It was their first spring practice and they were very efficient, everyone knew what they were doing and that was very impressive to have that in their first spring practice. All the coaches being open and going around and talking to the players," he said. "It was all impressive."
While some thought that Andrews' visit could result in a commitment he says that no matter how much he likes any trip he isn't expecting a commitment to any program in the foreseeable future.
"I don't know where I want to go, it's going to take me a while. When I decide where I want to go I want to make sure it's 100-percent. I want to take some visits so it's going to take a while, I'm not sure where I want to go but it's going to be a slow process," he said. "I have three visits set up in three days, I'm not too sure about trips beyond those but I'm going to Michigan on March 18, Ohio State on March 19, and Notre Dame on March 20.
"I don't think it's even possible for me to decide before my senior season. It's definitely going to be after my senior season before I can make a choice. Like I said, I want to be sure."
And like their trip to Norman, his parents will be with him every step of the way.
"I don't think that I could just go to these schools and see what I'm looking for, my parents are a big part of my decision. I think that would be huge to have them a part of things - they are helping me look for things and know what I'm looking for."