With more and more Sooner fans wanting to know more about the players that will soon take to Owen Field there is always an element of bewilderment for some when a young high school prospect pledges his future to the Sooners with a verbal commitment.
'Who is this kid, is he a big deal?'
For long-time SoonerScoop.com readers the terms 'star ranking', 'Rivals100' or 'early offers' are accepted parts of the vernacular. For those just acquainting themselves with the recruiting chaos of Rivals.com and, in particular, SoonerScoop.com we offer you 'Trail of Talent' a brief guide to give you an idea just what Oklahoma's commitments means to the Sooner coaches and program.
The first time the SoonerScoop.com staff saw Tulsa Union wide receiver Jeffery Mead the two thoughts were the same as most everyone's.
"Man he's tall."
"Man he's thin."
To say that it wasn't quite clear what to make of the then 6-foot-4, 155-pound Mead was an understatement. He was tall, clearly had good hands, and more ability than one might think for a player that could quite excusably still be regaining coordination after a presumed growth spurt.
However, going into his junior year no one seemed quite certain if he was set to break out or just break down.
That's when Mead became Union's big plan man with 33 receptions for 614-yards and six touchdowns. Within those 33 catches were several highlight reel plays including a miraculous one-handed catch against Broken Arrow.
Mead, who also stars in basketball for the Redskins, started to pick up offers and then took a trip to Norman at the request of Jay Norvell and came away with a Sooners offer - the first of many elite offers he'd pick up over the next few months.
"I went into Bob Stoops' office and they let me know that they wanted to offer me," Mead recalled. "It kind of surprised me, my coach (Kirk Fridrich) talked to me about them, I kind of had an idea. I didn't think I was going to get an offer, I mean I knew they liked me but I didn't think they would get me an offer today.
"It was kind of special, my mom and my dad are big Oklahoma fans, so they kind of enjoyed it. They enjoyed it, my dad is a huge OU fan, he was having a ball in Bob's office."
From that point on Mead picked up offers from California, Arkansas, Nebraska, TCU, and Texas A&M amongst several others. In spite of his family's connection to Oklahoma Mead maintained throughout the spring that while he also liked Oklahoma his fandom would have no bearing on his ultimate decision and he began to speak more and more with other programs as more schools took notice of his ability.
Just after his own offer Mead showed up at the Dallas Rivals Camp Series event and put on a strong showing against elite defensive backs like Jamal Adams, Verkedric Vaughns, and Dylan Harding.
A few months after his own offer, the Sooners chose to offer his friend, and teammate, Carson Meier. After the late May offer Meier committed to Oklahoma just a few days later. SCOOP HD was there on the day and had time to talk with Mead about what it would mean to his recruitment to have his friend headed to Norman.
Then exactly a month after the commitment of Meier, Mead joined the Sooners ranks on June 22.
"Just looking at everything, Carson is my close, best friend and when he committed I was like, 'Man we're committing together'. That was a real big deal. My whole family and my friends all grew up rooting for OU. So it's kind of cool knowing the people you grew up with are going to be watching you. You are on the team that they always rooted for," Mead explained at the time.
Mead's commitment joined fellow large-sized receiver Dallis Todd on Oklahoma's commitment list and has been joined by Mark Andrews since. Though Mead hasn't always had the same level of attention as his two receiver commitments his quickly-growing game, incredible hands, and feet too quick to be believed for a receiver his size could see him move quickly up the rankings in his senior year for Union.