Oklahoma recruiting: DE Ron Tatum wishes he could have 1 day back

Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news, notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we catch up with a 2018 signee, 4-star defensive end Ron Tatum from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City.

Ron Tatum still regrets early pledge to Texas

CHOCTAW, Okla. — Ron Tatum won’t enroll at Oklahoma for more than two months, but he’s not resting. On a typical Thursday afternoon, he makes the 40-minute drive from Putnam City High School to former Oklahoma standout J.D. Runnels’ Nutrition and Athletic Club of Choctaw for a 90-minute workout.

DieHards caught up with the 4-star defensive end and No. 101 overall player in the 2018 247Sports composite rankings to talk about his recruitment. He freely admits he’d like to have a do-over on his initial pledge to Texas on April 26, 2017.

DieHards: What’s the best advice you would give to a junior going through the recruiting process?
Tatum: I would tell him to stay patient. Choose the right school. Take all your visits. Talk to your family and decide from there.

DieHards: But Oklahoma was the only school you took an official visit to, right?
Tatum: That’s why I would say that. You need to take all your visits so you actually know what all is going on with the school and the coaches.

DieHards: The 2018 class was the last one that didn’t get to take official visits in the spring. Do you wish you could have?
Tatum: For me, it didn’t matter. I had my school chosen.

DieHards: But you committed to Texas in April before flipping to Oklahoma in June. Why the change?
Tatum: I knew I made a mistake.

DieHards: You were committed to the Longhorns for about six weeks, so is it safe to say they came in second place?
Tatum: In my mind, I wanted to go to Alabama. But it was so far away. I just couldn’t go there. I always wanted to get to OU since childhood, really. Once they offered me, it was like it was chosen in my heart. I knew that’s where I would go.

DieHards: What’s the biggest secret you kept in recruiting?
Tatum: That I wanted to go to OU the whole time.

DieHards: What’s your biggest recruiting regret?
Tatum: My biggest regret is not choosing OU the first time right off the bat. That was all over the news and in front of my classmates and stuff. I still regret that.

DieHards: You committed to Texas at a ceremony at Putnam City High School. When you switched your commitment to Oklahoma it was during the summer. I guess there was a little less intrigue?
Tatum: I just de-committed. I guess I wish I could had a de-commitment ceremony. But I don’t think you can do that.

DieHards: Which coach was the hardest to say no to during recruiting?
Tatum: Coach Tibs (Oklahoma defensive ends coach Calvin Thibodeaux).

DieHards: You ultimately said yes to him?
Tatum: I did, but I just didn’t want to say no to him. Once, I said no to him I really regretted it.

DieHards: Thibodeaux seems to build strong relationships in recruiting. How does he do it?
Tatum: He’s cool. He’ll keep in contact with you. He’s honest with you. He’s very cool and very nice and he always tells you like it is.

DieHards: Most of the recruits I’ve talked about at Oklahoma have brought up honesty from the coaches. Was that important to you?
Tatum: You shouldn’t want to hear a bunch of lies, if a coach is just telling you you’ll come in and start automatically or this or that. I want someone who will tell me straight up that I have to work and compete for everything.

DieHards: Did you write off coaches that promised things immediately?
Tatum: I listened to it, but I really blew them off. I tried to focus on things other than the playing aspect.

DieHards: Was there a school that disappointed you in recruiting?
Tatum: I would have thought OSU [Oklahoma State] would’ve recruited me more. They just sent me letters and offered me a scholarship. They didn’t really text me or try to talk to me.

DieHards: Why do you think that was the case?
Tatum: They probably knew I was going to chose OU from the jump.

DieHards: Which school would you have given more consideration if they had gotten in on you earlier?
Tatum: Probably Alabama.

DieHards: Did Alabama extend an offer?
Tatum: They were probably the sixth or seventh school. You know what, and Georgia.

DieHards: How much negative recruiting was there?
Tatum: At times, it was annoying. People kept texting you and calling you. At the end of the day, I guess people want that or wish for that.

DieHards: Were there coaches telling you not to go to Oklahoma?
Tatum: There were some people. Texas. They told me not to go to OU and stuff. They would tell me how bad they were. I was like, you’re just saying that because you are rivals.

DieHards: Which school that you didn’t sign with had the best facilities?
Tatum: Alabama. Everything there was new. It was over the top. They had stuff other schools don’t have.

DieHards: Is it beyond what Oklahoma has with the recent renovation?
Tatum: Oklahoma caught up.

Miss a previous edition of Wagon Wheels? Get caught up here.

The post Oklahoma recruiting: DE Ron Tatum wishes he could have 1 day back appeared first on Diehards.

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