Mastrogiovanni commits to OU

As recently as a couple of months ago, inside linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit) had no idea where he stood with the Oklahoma coaches.

He has always been high on the Sooners, but he didn't know if the feeling was mutual. Following a great unofficial visit last Friday, he got his answer.

And now the Sooners have their first linebacker for the 2013 class. Mastrogiovanni confirmed Thursday morning he has verbally committed to OU.

"I was thinking about this, and this is something I could tell my kids when I'm older," he said. "I'm getting a chance to play football at OU. That is something I've always wanted to do."

The Oklahoma ties run deep in the family. His grandfather attended OU and his father grew up in Shawnee, Okla., so the Sooners have always been the top team for Mastrogiovanni.

Mastrogiovanni, who is 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, is ranked No. 7 at inside linebacker and No. 196 in the ESPN 300.

Mastrogiovanni didn't lack for offers. Schools such as LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Clemson had offered, so he knew he had plenty of options.

But Mastrogiovanni was holding out hope for the Sooners. He was one of the top targets of former OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables. But when Venables left for Clemson, Mastrogiovanni didn't hear much from OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops or first-year linebackers coach Tim Kish.

That changed in May when OU made the offer, and it has felt like a countdown to him being a Sooner ever since.

Mastrogiovanni made an unofficial visit to Norman with his father and uncle and his family came away impressed with what OU had to offer.

"They were very happy about everything, but they know it's my decision. I need to do what I feel is best," Mastrogiovanni said.

What he felt was best was almost a commitment on the spot. He said the thought crossed his mind, but he wanted to see if he still felt the same way. He did and knew it was time to make the call.

If Mastrogiovanni had questions about where he stood with OU, they were answered during the visit. Not only did he spend a lot of time with Kish and Stoops, but OU coach Bob Stoops served as his tour guide for his entire visit.

Mastrogiovanni is commitment No. 10 for OU's 2013 class and a big get for Kish. He has not been bashful about making offers, but the Sooners had not fared well in the linebacker department.

Twelve linebacker recruits with OU offers have committed to other programs, but Mastrogiovanni has put an end to that streak.