Cornerback De’Vante Harris (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), who has been committed to Oklahoma since the spring, announced on Twitter that he has decommitted from the Sooners on Saturday and confirmed with a text message that the decommitment was true.
Harris, a four-star prospect ranked No. 14 at cornerback, had been one of the biggest recruiters for the Sooners since committing. He had made several unofficial visits and an official visit and had coaches for in-home visits recently. There were rumors two weeks ago of Harris looking at Texas, but Harris quickly shot those down.
Reports have also surfaced of OU defensive backs coach Willie Martinez being considered for other jobs. He has been reported as a defensive coordinator candidate at both Kansas and Illinois in the last 24 hours. Martinez has been the primary recruiter for Harris.
The news wasn’t just a shock to OU fans, but also to Mesquite Horn coach Rodney Webb.
“Really? I have no knowledge of that,” Webb said about Harris decommitting. “I was with him in Orlando this week, and he was doing his thing.
“I saw him briefly after the game. Nothing seemed wrong. He seemed like himself, like he always is with his personality. I’m kind of at a loss because he has been such a solid commitment.”
Harris was in Florida all week for the Under Armour All-America game and returned home Friday still talking up the Sooners. Calls to Harris’ cell phone were not returned though he did text the confirmation so there would be no speculation about his Twitter account being hacked.
Harris had also developed a good bond with the secondary, including sophomore Tony Jefferson. When a fan tweeted Jefferson that the Cali Trio needed to bring back Harris, Jefferson replied: “if he wanna go let EM. Gotta go where his best for him. No hard feelings.”
Harris, in his first tweet after the announcement, tweeted back: “Thanks Tony.”
Future teammates were also unaware of Harris’ departure. Cornerback commit Kevin Peterson (Wagoner, Okla./Wagoner) said he found out via a text message from Wagoner coach Dale Condict.
“It’s a big shock. Coach Condict texted me like two minutes before you called,” Peterson said. “I have no idea what happened.”
Peterson said he has not heard from Martinez in more than a week, fueling the speculation about the future of Martinez. During the dead period, it was Bob Stoops that called Peterson.
Harris was OU’s top-ranked defensive prospect for the 2012 class.