Hendrickson High School is located in Pflugerville, Texas, a town that is 355 miles south of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium along the east side of the Interstate 35 corridor. It’s roughly a 5½-hour drive, depending on the one-lane construction zone just north of Ardmore.
The high school also is just 21 miles north of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. It can seem like a 5½-hour drive, depending on the snarling Austin traffic.
In last year’s recruiting class, right underneath the nose of the University of Texas, OU signed a humble, powerful, relentless running back who needed just 11 games to enter the NCAA record book.
Freshman Samaje Perine became an immediate All-American when he rushed for an FBS record 427 yards on Nov. 22 through the rain on Owen Field against Kansas, a game he didn’t even start.
Perine rushed for 1,713 yards, averaged 6.5 yards-per-carry and had 21 rushing touchdowns last season.
The entire Texas team rushed for 1,786 yards, averaged 3.8 yards-per-carry and had 18 rushing touchdowns last season.
Despite starting just eight games last season, Perine still did enough to be named National Freshman Offensive Player of the Year by Scout and the Touchdown Club of Columbus, a second-team All-American by the FWAA and Phil Steele and a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
The fact Perine roamed so close to UT during his high school days left the Longhorns longing for the local.
If we are to believe the early evaluation of OU coach Bob Stoops, evidently the Sooners have pfleeced Pflugerville of another budding star in freshman cornerback P.J. Mbanasor.
“We have maybe the best secondary class we have ever recruited,” Stoops said last week during Big 12 Media Days at the Omni Dallas Hotel. “Who of those young guys will be ready to challenge the guys that are there?”
Mbanasor (M-bana-sore) already has caught the eye of preseason All-American linebacker Eric Striker.
“Those freshman DBs are looking really good,” Striker said. “Prentice (McKinney) looks really good, P.J. looks good. Those guys are out there making plays in 7-on-7. They look like naturals. They can help this year. From what I see they are ready to go.”
Stoops added, “We will be another year older in the secondary. We will be more mature. We played a lot better and more consistently in the spring. We really played well in the spring game. We had four or five interceptions and just played with more discipline. As guys gain more experience, generally you get better play.”
Ranked as the No. 6 prep cornerback in the nation by ESPN, Mbanasor also received offers from Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame, Florida, Baylor and, yes, Texas. He arrived at OU as a higher-ranked recruit than Perine.
Departed offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson, a sixth-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in this year’s NFL Draft, also came to OU via Pflugerville, playing at Pflugerville High School.