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Recruiting: Adron Tennell
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OU targeting Texas wide receiver
At 6-foot-5 and a solid 190 pounds, Adron Tennell is easy to spot on a Texas high school football field. Thatâ€™s what makes the senior receiver such a good target in Irving Highâ€™s passing attack, as Tennell towers over most opposing defensive backs.
Watching him glide across the artificial turf inside Irving Schools Stadium during a recent game between Irving High and rival Irving MacArthur, Tennellâ€™s size and speed was evident.
Unfortunately, he is the most talented receiver on a team built to run the football.
Through the first three quarters against MacArthur, Tennell logged only one reception for two yards. But in the gameâ€™s final minutes, with Irving High staring at a 21-14 deficit and 80 yards away from a tie, Tennell came to the rescue.
During that final drive, Tennell flashed the ability that has him ranked as the No. 5 wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com. The Tigers ignored the double- and triple-coverage their star had been receiving all night, and threw the ball in the air in hopes he could go get it.
And thatâ€™s exactly what Tennell did. On the gameâ€™s final possession, the sure-handed wide out hauled in three passes for 67 yards, almost single-handedly pushing his team down the field and inside MacArthur 10-yard line. But a fourth-down pass to Tennell went awry.
The final pass, intercepted in the end zone, effectively ended the game and Tennellâ€™s dramatic performance.
â€śIt was the second week in a row where we sent him down field and they virtually attacked him and I couldnâ€™t get a call. Thatâ€™s aggravating,â€ť
said Irving head coach Jim Bennett following the game. â€śMaybe in college football they have better officials.â€ť
And even though the disappointment of a loss was squarely on the mind of Irving Highâ€™s head man, he couldnâ€™t do anything but praise the abilities of Tennell.
â€śI think his route running is better than what we showed tonight. He has a great ability to go up and get the ball in a crowd, which we saw tonight. And I was proud of his competitiveness,â€ť Bennett said.
Tennellâ€™s biggest strength is his ability battle opposing high school defensive backs, but he continues to spend more time blocking than burning defenders. That scenario has been cause for some frustration, but he says this season will only make his arrival at Oklahoma that much sweeter.
â€śIâ€™m excited to go there and catch some balls and go in and help them win a national championship,â€ť said Tennell. â€śI want to get in the weight room, put on some pounds and hopefully I can get in there and start. I want to help them out.â€ť
Tennellâ€™s biggest hurdle to instant success wonâ€™t be his physical ability, but his physical size. He is a wiry receiver who could be listed as light as 180 pounds on some scales.
â€śI just have to go and get bigger and stronger,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™ve seen those guys out there and theyâ€™re big. I have to get big, too, and put some more pounds on.â€ť
Right now, Tennell is trying to add weight and muscle to his slight frame, but he has several activities making it hard for him to spend more time in the weight room. Besides football, Tennell is a standout on the basketball court.
As an off-guard and small forward, he averages over 10 points a game.
Several schools recruited him exclusively as a basketball player. And heâ€™s even expressed an interest in playing for Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma.
â€śIâ€™ll try to play in college,â€ť said Tennell. â€śThey said itâ€™s OK, just as long as Iâ€™m passing all my classes.â€ť
Tennellâ€™s commitment to the Sooners came back in July. At the time, he was being recruited by every school in the Big 12, with the exception of Texas. Tennessee and Arkansas were also two major schools offering scholarships.
But in the end, Tennell saw everything he wanted in Oklahoma. His mother was especially impressed with Oklahomaâ€™s ace recruiter Darrell Wyatt, whenever they had a chance to speak.
â€śHe was up front with us,â€ť she said. â€śWhen (Coach Wyatt) talked to us he talked about the academic side of things and everybody else talked about how they wanted him for football.â€ť
As for Tennellâ€™s reasons for why he committed to Oklahoma, he feels having a chance to make plays in the passing game was one of the more intriguing aspects of the OU experience.
Tennell admits to being a Mark Clayton fan during the All-Americanâ€™s highly successful career with the Sooners. And with the success of several OU receivers in the NFL, he feels Oklahoma is the best place for him to develop his game over the next four or five years.
â€śTheyâ€™re a winning team. I like their academics and theyâ€™re a great team and close to home. My family can come up there and watch me play,â€ť said Tennell.
As to where he fits in to the OU offense, that will be determined when he arrives on campus next fall. But with so many talented, but inexperienced receivers in their stable, the Sooners will be looking for capable deep threats to replace Travis Wilson next year.
Tennell sees himself possibly filling that role for Oklahoma.
â€śThey need a deep threat, I think,â€ť he said. â€śThey need to give Adrian Peterson a break because theyâ€™re stacking the box right now.â€ť
And as for the struggles of the Sooners this season, Tennell says he understands how things work and he doesnâ€™t have any regrets in making Oklahoma his pick.
â€ś(Rhett) Bomar just needs time to throw and the receivers need time to be able to catch passes,â€ť he said. â€śAdrian Peterson is going to do what he does, but when the lineman block, they do a good job.â€ť
Even though heâ€™s solidly committed to Oklahoma, Tennellâ€™s next step is setting up an official visit to Norman. He is looking forward to taking in a Sooner game day. And itâ€™s possible heâ€™ll come in to visit during the Texas A&M game.
But until then, heâ€™ll keep taking what he can get in high school. And even though Tennell may become frustrated from time-to-time as a blocking receiver, he and his family know there are bigger and better things ahead for the ultra-talented receiver from Irving High School.