Georgia prep receiver holding true to his OSU commitment
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 15, 2012
1/15/12 at 5:56 AM
The home of highly regarded wide receiver recruit C.J. Curry, Flowery Branch is a Georgia community located 45 miles northeast of Atlanta, 44 miles northwest of the University of Georgia campus in Athens - and 900 miles east of Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
Until August, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Curry was committed to the Georgia Bulldogs. But after having been recruited by Oklahoma State linebackers coach Glenn Spencer (a Georgia native), and after having made an unofficial summer visit to the OSU campus with his family, Curry rescinded his Georgia commitment and announced that he would sign with the Cowboys.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline described Curry's switch as a "shocker," but Curry says he became interested in OSU long before he was recruited by the Cowboy coaches.
When Curry was a high school freshman, he became a fan of then-Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant.
"I remember thinking that if Oklahoma State (recruits) me, I have to go there," Curry said last week. "That was my school right there."
Apparently, Curry's commitment is firm. He recently was visited by Notre Dame and North Carolina coaches, but says he explained that he intends to make his official visit to OSU next week - his only official visit to any school - and will sign with the Cowboys on Feb. 1.
With All-American Justin Blackmon headed to the NFL, Oklahoma State is in need of a stretch-the-field wide receiver. Among returning Cowboy wideouts, Michael Harrison has the potential to be that type of performer - if he can avoid injuries. During the 2011 season, Tracy Moore had 45 catches, Isaiah Anderson had 26 and freshman Josh Stewart had 19. Among three receivers who were redshirted, Torrance Carr could emerge as a deep-ball threat.
The big-play role filled by Bryant and Blackmon currently is vacant, and OSU has addressed that situation by recruiting two wide receivers - Curry and Brandon Sheperd of the St. Louis area - who routinely made home-run plays in high school. Blake Webb has sprinter's speed and also is committed to OSU, but at 5-foot-11 he is a smaller receiver who likely would be used in a slot position.
Spencer's Georgia connections have served OSU well. There currently are five Georgia natives - including defensive tackle Nigel Nicholas, fullback David Paulsen and defensive end Ryan Robinson - on the Cowboy roster.
C.J. Curry's actual name is Felix Curry Jr. During his youth-football years, teammates nicknamed him C.J. - short for Curry Jr. Curry's father, Felix Curry Sr., is a defensive assistant at Flowery Branch High School.
C.J. has two younger brothers: Darius, who will be a senior defensive back in 2012 and also is being recruited by OSU; and Justin, a freshman running back for Flowery Branch.
"When (C.J.) first de-committed from Georgia and made it clear that he wanted to sign with Oklahoma State, (recruiting correspondence) slowed up for a little bit - but then it picked back up," Curry Sr. said. "Down the stretch, everyone wants to see if he's still solid with Oklahoma State.
"During the summer, C.J. said that there was one more place he wanted to see before he was content with his commitment to Georgia. He wanted to see Oklahoma State."
Because of the distance between Flowery Branch and Stillwater, Curry Sr. said his wife Trina predicted that C.J. would lose interest in OSU. Nevertheless, the family made the long drive to Oklahoma for the summer visit. During their time at OSU, and after spending time with coach Mike Gundy and his staff, interest in the Cowboy program - C.J.'s, Curry Sr.'s and Trina's - was intensified.
"On our way back home, (Trina's) attitude toward the place was totally different," Curry Sr. said. "She wanted to see what kind of men the OSU coaches are, and she was blown away. A lot of people talk about the facilities at Oklahoma State, and there are nice facilities everywhere, but she was so impressed with the type of men that the C.J. will be playing for. Super impressed.
"And each time she talked with coach Gundy, she was even more impressed. To me, it's important that (C.J.) is around men who understand the importance of character."
On Jan. 2, the Curry family did what thousands of Oklahomans did - gathered around a television to watch OSU defeat Stanford 41-38 in the Fiesta Bowl.
"We were on the edge of our seats during the whole game," Curry Sr. said. "A lot of the Oklahoma State games are not (televised) in our area, so my wife took it upon herself to go to our cable company. She picked up some channel and we got almost every game that OSU played."
While viewing the Dec. 3 Bedlam game (OSU 44, Oklahoma 10) and the Fiesta Bowl, "I felt like I was watching my coaches and my teammates," C.J. Curry said.
Original Print Headline: Holding true with OSU
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Receiver C.J. Curry plans to make his official visit to OSU — the only official visit he will make — next week. COURTESY / Gainsville (Ga.) Times