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January 19, 2014

Learning and Recruiting, at the Same Time

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Though Oklahoma had seven commitments on campus this weekend only two of them were getting their first look at Norman, Okla.

One of those two was Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta three-star linebacker Curtis Bolton who spent his first weekend in Norman acclimating one of the key differences between his home in Southern California and the midlands.

"It's a little bit of change, with the weather and stuff. I'm freezing and I'm in sweats and two jackets, and there are guys that are here in shorts and a shirt. I'll get used to it though," Bolton explained. "It's cool, Joe (Mixon) and Dallis (Todd) have already taken their visits. It was cool seeing all the guys that are coming here and potentially coming here and trying to get Stevie (Steven Parker) on board, and it was good clicking with my future teammate.

However, that didn't slow down the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker's enjoyment.

"It was a good weekend, I heard nothing but good things about this place. I had a good high standard and this weekend was pretty fun," he said. "I liked how great the coaching staff is and how I was clicking with the players. The team is real cool, I'm excited to get back out here and click more with them."

Bolton knew that there were some who doubted his commitment from the moment he made his decision in late August. That being said, following his trip he's more sure than ever about his decision.

"I've been pretty solid for the most part all year, I didn't really talk to other schools except for here and there. At this point I'm 100-percent Oklahoma. Signing day comes around here I'll have an Oklahoma hat on my head," he stated.

Though Bolton was taking all that the campus had to offer in for the first time he was in the interesting position of putting a sales pitch toward players who, largely, were more familiar with the region, and in most cases, the campus than himself.

"(On Twitter) I'll say a few things here and there. For me, it's cool, me getting recruited by other players but if someone is messaging me every day that can be too much. If (a recruit) is talking and I've got a little input I might shoot him a little mention. It's easier when you aren't on Twitter and are hanging with them though," he said.

In spite of his work Bolton says it's the coaches who did a lot of the heavy lifting from the weekend.

"A lot of guys that aren't on board the coaches pretty much solidified them this weekend because they did a good job, the recruits had a real good time," he said. "It was a cool experience, we went to (Kevin Durant)'s restaurant. They've got soul food and that was a nice little spot.

"The stadium is beautiful, and it's second to none. Not too many stadiums I've seen that are that nice, even the ones in Cali, the OU stadium tops them."

Many assumed that for Bolton - more accustomed to the big cities than college towns - the chance to get up to Oklahoma City might make the culture shock seem a bit less severe. However the pass-rushing linebacker enjoyed his time in Norman more than one might expect.

"I feel like, this school is in the perfect spot. Norman is really a college town, it's pretty much - the community backs OU so much, it's good to know that your fans are die hard and they ride for their team. I feel like that's a lot better than most places," Bolton explained. "It's cool, you're not all flashed up in the city but at the same time the city is only 20 minutes away."

With his trip now completed Bolton says he'll simply sign with the Sooners on Feb. 5 and will continue his work to get prepared for his already planned arrival date.

"I'm just training for football and getting ready for the season," he said. "I'm all set, I just need to finish out this year. I'll be there on June 12."



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