September 27, 2011

Familiar Sooner Duo Working on Texas Star

On the field Oklahoma fans have been watching the results of the partnership of Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell as Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinators. Off the field it seems the two have landed on a few common recruits and Wylie (Texas) East wide receiver Marcell Ateman is notable among the collection. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound receiver camped in Norman over the summer to and Heupel visited East just a few weeks ago.

As Heupel is Ateman's area recruiting coordinator and Norvell is Oklahoma's receivers coach their efforts overlap somewhat with the big pass-catcher and that's fine by him.

The trio had a bit of a chance to continue to build their relationship when he and teammate Quan Jones headed to Norman for Oklahoma's 38-28 win over Missouri.

"It went good, I went down on the field and then went into the seats and watched the game," Ateman said. "Afterward we went to the locker room and I got a chance to talk to coach Norvell and coach Heupel and I talked to them for a few minutes after the game. Also I got to meet and talk to a couple of players.

"I kind of know (Heupel and Norvell) a little bit but our relationship is still new, we're getting to know each other. They are checking up on me a little bit more and I'm calling him and letting him know how our games are going - I actually am calling both of them."

After the game it was Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds that Ateman had a chance to sit and talk with and while Stills wasn't able to go during Oklahoma's Big 12 opener Ateman did notice one receiver having a big night.

"Oh yes sir, when I watch games I just see if a team distributes the ball well, how their quarterback is doing, and how they connect," he said. "Ryan Broyles he is a great receiver, I was watching him a lot. I can see myself in that offense.

"You know though, I didn't know he was so short, I thought he was taller, and he wasn't that big. Don't get me wrong, he is fast, sees the field well, sees coverages really well. I just thought he was bigger."

Sooner fans lamented the size of the crowd toward the end of Saturday night's action but according to Ateman, who also attended the Iowa State game last year, the atmosphere was something he enjoyed quite a bit.

"Oklahoma played Iowa State year when we went and I thought this time was better - it was good. It seemed like everybody up there is die hard Oklahoma football fan, everyone is driving into the game on that one street, everyone is walking around and having fun, everyone is a die hard fan, the atmosphere - the tradition it's just all out good," he said.

"I had went when I went up for the camp (in June) and this time they showed me around a little bit more than what I had seen, so I got to see a little bit and it's really nice."

Ateman has plans to check out Arkansas, TCU, and possibly Baylor for the Iowa State game on Oct. 8 but says that while the visit to Norman went well it didn't end up being the biggest news of the last few days.

That's because both he and teammate Quan Jones picked up an offer from the Baylor Bears on Monday.

"Yes sir, my offensive coordinator told me about the news today," he admitted. "Actually when you first called I was talking to the offensive coordinator at Baylor, he was asking how my season was going. He told me they saw me at the camp and they wanted to wait a few games before offering us. He was telling me about the way things are going for them and their season."

Both players already held offers from Arizona and Tennessee but Ateman says the chance to stay closer to home, should he so choose, made the offer an important one.

"Right, it's always good to have a team offer me that is right next to home that's like an hour away I guess, so that's good. The quarterback is pretty good and their receivers get a lot of pass and of course it's a pretty good school," he said.

It's no surprise that schools seem to be sending offers to East two at a time as few high school teams in the country can boast one receiver of Ateman and Jones' caliber much less two. The advantages each enjoys due to having the other opposite them on the field is a reality not lost on either prospect.

As such they've talked some about playing together but Ateman says either way he wants to know there will be other quality receivers around him.

"I mean we've talked about playing together and if there is a school we both like, it wouldn't be a bad idea. I mean I've grown up with him since sixth grade and we've considered it but it really just depends on how everything works out - we're two different people but it could happen," Ateman admitted.

"It's hard for teams to pick who to guard cause we are both, basically we're two good receivers. I do look at receivers when teams recruit, I want to see if they recruit other good receivers, the class before me. I do look at that stuff, I take that into consideration."

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