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Raym: This is Home

For most of the month of July, recruiting is in a dead period. No face-to-face contact or visits, but there’s still some wiggle room. Well, as dead as can be when you’re still allowed to send text messages and recruits are still allowed to call head coaches whenever they feel like it.

A true dead period, though, can lead to a sense of clarity. That’s what Broken Arrow (Okla.) High offensive lineman Andrew Raym was able to get last week.

Raym, a four-star Rivals 250 prospect, was down to Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan. The prevailing theory was he would re-commit to the home state Sooners, but the Bulldogs and Wolverines had each given him quite a bit to think about.

And that he did. Out on the lake at his grandparents home, Raym was able to find that clarity, and the Sooners did indeed welcome him home once again.

“I knew 110-percent once again this last weekend out on the lake at my grandparents,” said Raym following his Wednesday evening announcement.

Anybody who follows OU recruiting knows the bat signal for any commitment is the eyeball emoji from head coach Lincoln Riley. Raym was one of those guys, but it was way back when May 25. The idea was Raym let the coaches know he was back with #20Deep, but he wanted to enjoy the process.

A gamble for Riley and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, but the trust was there. It almost backfired because of how well the Bulldogs were able to recruit Raym and his family.

“What stood out about Georgia was the people and their drive to make every player their best, and ultimately a first-rounder,” Raym said.

The trips to Ann Arbor and Athens went down, and all the Sooners could do was wait. However, if OU hadn’t lost its patience with Raym by that point, another week or two wasn’t going to affect anything.

Once upon a time, Raym was the initial in-state commitment for OU’s 2020 class. Making the call just hours after OU’s win vs. West Virginia on senior day 2017, it’s no secret what the OU coaches have thought about Raym’s ability.

The Sooners had put in the work early, but Raym went from a state name to a national name in almost no time as his sophomore film was released.

He opted to decommit in spring 2018 to pursue all options. He did, but what kept the Sooners in the hunt the whole way was the manner in which the staff handled the temporary blow.

“After the decommitment, to my surprise, it was nothing but love from the coaches and every OU fan out there,” Raym said. “Never once did I question the loyalty of Oklahoma.”

This wasn’t a case where Raym decommitted and then realized his only home was Norman. No, it was an all-out assault from some national powers and Raym had all the options from a who’s who in college football, but the Sooners have always that ace up their sleeve in Bedenbaugh.

The offensive line has been borderline incredible under Bedenbaugh, culminating in last season in earning the Joe Moore Award and having four linemen selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft.

So who says you can’t go back home? Raym has, and it’s for good this time. He’ll return to Norman for the #ChampUBBQ in two weeks, and it’s time to start building the rest of the championship class.

“Absolutely, I’m trying to win a national championship, so I’m going to work my butt off to go get the best guys we can,” Raym said. “This is it, I’m home now.”