After spending the weekend in Austin, 2018 3-star safety Patrick Fields announced his top three schools and his decision date in a Monday evening tweet.
Our colleagues over at Burnt Orange Nation reported on the Fields visit on Monday, and apparently the Tulsa Union DB was impressed by the new staff and new direction down in Austin. With a final three coming immediately after the visit, Fields obviously feels he’s seen everything he needs to.
A week ago, SoonerScoop described Oklahoma as the “heavy favorite” for Fields. And why not? Fields attended OU’s second Junior Day this month and has held an OU offer since late July, while the Longhorns only joined the crowd in late January. 247 still has OU’s chances at 100% (as of now).
But if Fields does go with Texas on Sunday, it will be a huge symbolic victory for the new Tom Herman regime. Fields isn’t some transcendent talent, but he is a top-10 Oklahoma recruit, and the Sooners historically have had little trouble getting those kids to campus when they want them. We take it for granted that Bob Stoops can win a few battles south of the Red River, but it would be unsettling to see Herman winning battles up north.
Also, Texas is probably the only Big 12 program that can hope to match or exceed Oklahoma’s 2018 class. I’m sure that’s a huge goal for Herman, who not only has to make up for a historically bad 2017 haul, but also must prove to boosters that he’s moving the program in the right direction. Obviously recruiting didn’t save Charlie Strong, but it might have bought him an extra season.
Fields isn’t the last player OU and Texas will battle for this year, but Sunday’s announcement could be an early indication of who’s winning that war.