Following Jordan Mastrogiovanni's on-campus visit last Friday, he could not have been more complimentary of what he took in and all that the University of Oklahoma had to offer. It really seemed like it was just a matter of when not if he eventually pledged to the Sooners. Much to the chagrin of some OU fans, the commitment did not happen during last weekend's visit but he didn't make the fans wait much longer. Multiple reports confirmed the news of his commitment late Thursday morning and with it, Mastrogiovanni becomes the tenth 2013 verbal commitment for Oklahoma.
Aside from guaranteeing himself a spot on the OU All-Name team, the young man can also play a little football. At 6'2" 225, he is a dominant run stopper in the middle for Dallas Jesuit high school team. Just for a little perspective (not at all to knock the guy who is a very good player in his own right), Oklahoma's current middle linebacker, Tom Wort, is listed at 6'0" 229. So, strictly from a size perspective, Mastrogiovanni already appears physically ready to play at the D-I level and that's prior to his senior year.
One of the things that really stands out on his film is his ability to avoid getting caught up in traffic. He uses his hands to fend off blockers very well and even more impressive is how nimble his feet appear to be, which allows him to keep his feet avoiding cut blocks. Typically, players who excel against the run as well as he does tend to struggle when asked to drop back into coverage. While Mastrogiovanni could still use work on this part of his game, he already displays an above average ability in coverage quickly recognizing plays and closing on the ball.
Aside from just the simple fact of landing a very talented player in Mastrogiovanni, the fact that he is a linebacker only increases the significance of this commitment. Wednesday, the Sooners received some bad news when one of their top targets at linebacker, Chans Cox, committed to Arizona State. In many fans opinion, new LB coach Tim Kish needed a win on the recruiting trail, if for no other reason just to kind of break the ice so to speak. This is big for everyone involved and while it certainly didn't hurt Kish or OU's chances that Mastrogiovanni was a self confessed Sooner fan, you have to credit Kish for developing a repor quickly and well enough to secure his commitment just days after his visit.
Welcome to Sooner Nation Jordan!