Austin Bennett commits to OU

NORMAN, Okla. -- Last month three-star athlete Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) couldn't imagine a scenario in his recruitment in which Oklahoma would be in the picture.

That's how fast things can change in the recruiting world. Bennett was offered by OU last week. He told SoonerNation on Wednesday afternoon that he has verbally committed to the Sooners.

Bennett was visiting the campus for the first time Wednesday with his parents and younger brother when he decided he wanted Norman, Okla., to be his future home.

"We're all pretty excited right now," Bennett said. "When I told the coaches, they were pumped up, too. I really liked that because that tells me they wanted me. This feels like a big weight lifted off my back."

Bennett, who is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, was one of several Manvel recruits who participated in OU's satellite camp last week in Houston.

The Sooners had already offered his teammate, wide receiver Kyrion Parker, and also ended up offering 2014 tight end Koda Martin.

Following an impressive camp performance, Bennett was offered.

"I hadn't really thought about OU as being an option until recently," Bennett said. "They started calling my coach, and I was able to talk with Coach [Jay] Norvell, and things started going really well.

"I wasn't stressed out or nervous at all last week. I knew I could perform and just had to do what I always do."

Bennett said after meeting the coaches he was confident the Sooners were going to be his choice. All that was needed to seal the deal was a visit to campus -- and that happened Wednesday.

Bennett was originally committed to Arkansas. However, after former coach Bobby Petrino was removed Bennett and his family decided it was best to explore all options again.

And options are something Bennett certainly had. Some of his other top offers included West Virginia, TCU and Ole Miss. But the OU program has some things that put it over the top.

"It really was about the tradition and history of the football team," Bennett said. "There aren't many teams that can compare to OU. I love the offense they run and how family-oriented it feels here."

Bennett is the 11th commitment for OU's 2013 class and second wide receiver in the last two weeks. The Sooners picked up a verbal from three-star Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) two weeks ago.

Bennett said he never thought he would get the chance to play for Oklahoma. But being on campus made everything feel real to him and helped him realize he was making the right decision.

"I didn't know what to expect being here," he said, "but it's a great small town. There aren't a lot of distractions. I know I'm going to love it here."