After a second trip to Norman in as many months, 2014 Pflugerville (TX) running back Samaje Perine (VIDEO) has verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma according to ESPN's Max Olson.
Perine, along with several other recruits, was in Norman on Tuesday with several members of his family for what many believed to be a final visit before making a decision shortly thereafter. Little did we know just how quickly that decision would come.
The four star (per Rivals) prospect had been focusing primarily on three schools; Oklahoma, Alabama, and TCU. Despite the obvious acclaim that comes with any recruit holding a coveted offer from the Crimson Tide, Perine had been pretty open in interviews about Bama's considerable depth at the running back position. It was playing a role both in his interest regarding Alabama and likewise their interest in him as he said the contact had died down some of late.
Prior to Wednesday's news of his commitment, Oklahoma's main competition for Perine was conference foe TCU. Which, as a side note, is something OU fans had better get used to hearing because the two schools will be going for a lot of the same recruits over the coming years and the days of OU waltzing in and somewhat easily securing commitments are over.
As a back, at 5'11" and around 220 pounds Perine is a bruising, physical runner who does not shy away from contact. He's at his best running downhill, putting his foot in the ground to make that one cut and get up the field. He definitely isn't the kind of back who is going to dance around in the backfield. He quickly recognizes where the hole is and has the quickness to get through it. He'll never really be confused for a speedster type back, but don't take that to mean he's slow. You can see him outrun guys on film once he gets into the open field, so he has more speed than maybe some (myself included apparently) give him credit for. He is also the kind of back you could ride for an entire drive, all the way down the field, just grinding out the tough yards and first downs.
Coming off an ACL and MCL tear towards the end of his sophomore season, Perine put up over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. With similar type year as a senior, he has a very legitimate shot to finish as the highest rated running back in the state of Texas for this 2014 class. Which if that is indeed the case, it would make for the second consecutive year the Sooners secured a commitment from the top back in Texas (Keith Ford in 2013).
In addition to the three schools above, Perine also held offers from Arkansas, Houston, Nebraska, Purdue, and Tennessee.
Welcome to Sooner Nation, Samaje!