Mark Andrews grew up an Oklahoma Sooner fan. Come next fall, he’ll be suiting up for his childhood team.
Andrews made his decision official last week, and the wideout from Desert Mountain couldn’t be happier about his choice.
“I really love everything about their [Oklahoma] program and the atmosphere I felt there,” Andrews said. “I’m excited about it.”
Andrews has yet to take his official visit to Norman, Okla., but he saw all he needed to see on his initial visit to the area to make the Sooners his top selection.
“I got to hang out with Coach [Jay] Norvell, the wide receivers coach and [Head] Coach [Bob] Stoops basically all day, went to lunch with them and I got to have meetings with them and really see where they see me fitting in,” Andrews said. “I met all the players, they’re all great dudes and it was good to see that side of the program.”
The transition to the college game and playing for the Sooners shouldn’t be overly difficult for Andrews, because what Oklahoma offers is very similar to what he’s working with now with the Wolves.
“They run kind of the same system we run here at Desert Mountain,” Andrews said. “They see me kinda spreading out wide, being able to high-point balls, and that’s something that really intrigues me because that’s what I’m very good at, being able to get the ball.”
Andrews had an incredible 2012 season for the Wolves. He caught 81 passes for 1,494 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for 96 yards and another touchdown.
Those kind of numbers you’d assume would come from a player who’s been at the game of football for a while. In Andrews’ case, that’s not true. He told me he never played football until he arrived at Desert Mountain, which is mind-boggling.
Andrews did grow up playing a lot of soccer, which helped him immensely once he got on the football team. He started as a freshman and he hasn’t looked back.
“Being a big person [6’6″, 235 lbs.], it’s hard to have good footwork, but soccer’s really helped me with that, it really helped the transition,” Andrews said.
Andrews feels he has a lot to offer Coach Stoops and the Sooners upon his arrival.
“I think they’re getting a playmaker, someone that can make a big play at a good time,” Andrews said. “I’m very versatile, I think they’ll use that to their advantage.”
Versatility should be Andrews’ middle name, because he pretty much does it all for Wolves head coach Tony Tabor, who believes Andrews is a one of a kind talent.
“He moves like a receiver, he can do anything,” Tabor said. “He kicks off, he punts for us, he’s one of the best athletes I’ve seen in 20 years of high school football. He’s gonna be an outstanding young man at Oklahoma.”
“Also, on and off the field, great kid,” Tabor added.
Practically every one of Andrews’ 21 touchdown catches came from the arm of quarterback Kyle Allen, who’s also set to head off to a big time Division I school in Texas A&M next fall.
If anyone knows the matchup problems Andrews gives opposing defenses, it’s Allen.
“He takes the whole defenses’ eyes to him,” Allen said. “He’s standing over there at 6’6″, [so] he’s kinda hard to miss out there.”
“He adds such a different aspect to the game than most teams can comprehend, at a size, speed and athleticism,” Allen said. “They don’t know how to scheme for him, they don’t know to cover him and it usually ends up biting them in the [tail] if they try and scheme for him.”
As far as being a character-driven person, Allen knows Andrews is that guy.
“Mark’s one of the best people I’ve ever met,” Allen said. “He’s a real community guy, he’s real adamant about helping people with their diabetes, because he has diabetes and he’s in the community talking to kids about diabetes all the time.”
“Really an inspirational person,” Allen said. “He’s a well-rounded person, and I think everyone that’s met him knows that.”