For OSU fan Bassett, offer is great surprise
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 03, 2013
2/03/13 at 7:27 AM
Some recruiting stories, whether by fault of coaches or kids, are so slimy that they leave you feeling like you need a shower.
This is the opposite of that.
"It's a dream come true," John Bassett said.
John and Vicki Bassett are the parents of Cooper Bassett, a defensive lineman whose Oklahoma State career came to an end in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
They also are the parents of Dawson Bassett, a Tuttle High School senior who got the most pleasant surprise of his life one week before signing day.
A lifelong OSU fan, Dawson had just finished lunch Wednesday when he got an out-of-the-blue phone call from Mike Gundy. The coach told Dawson the Cowboys had a football scholarship for him, if he wanted it.
"I was at a loss for words," Dawson said. "I didn't know what to say. I was just shocked and probably sounded half-goofy."
Dawson said the call made his day. And his week. And his month. But it sabotaged his focus for the remainder of the school day.
"If you think I was concentrating, you are wrong," he said. "I went into my next period, I was in my seat at school, and I was still kind of stunned at the whole thing."
The news also qualified as a stunner in recruiting circles. Dawson held just one scholarship offer (from Central Oklahoma) before OSU stepped to the plate. He visited Missouri last weekend and, though it was a good trip, came home without an offer.
Now Dawson feels fortunate Missouri didn't offer while he was visiting. What if he agreed to be a Tiger before Gundy called? He once watched Cooper go through a similar situation, committing to Kansas State and doing a U-turn when OSU offered.
"It was the roughest thing he ever had to go through," Dawson said. "He was in tears telling that team he was going to go somewhere else. It was definitely a relief that I didn't have to do that."
Cooper switched because OSU was his dream school. It runs in the family.
"There are stories about me being a hard-headed Oklahoma State fan," Dawson said before telling this one:
After Cooper committed to Kansas State, he was given tickets to watch "his" team play against OSU. Little brother tagged along.
"I still wore the orange and black," Dawson said. "I was sitting right by him in the opposing section and cheering for Oklahoma State."
Get any dirty looks?
"I probably did," Dawson said. "But I was too young to care."
Another Dawson "hearts" OSU story:
When Gundy made a home visit during Cooper's recruitment, Dawson came downstairs hoping to get a picture autographed by the OSU coach and former Cowboy quarterback. Gundy said something like "what do you want me to write?" Dawson suggested this: "See you in five years."
And, five years later, Gundy offered the kid a scholarship, never mind that Dawson is not a prospect with a constellation of stars attached to his recruiting profile.
Recruiters rely on "measurables." Dawson (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) didn't sprout up or bulk up as fast as his brother and is growing into his frame. Dawson also missed his sophomore season with a broken leg. That's a bad combo in an era when recruiters covet early commitments.
Dawson needed someone to champion his potential. Fortunately, big brother had direct access to the ears of OSU staffers.
Cooper constantly gave coaches updates on Dawson's senior year and, fortunately, Cooper had something of substance to relay to them. A linebacker and receiver, Dawson's stat haul last season included 106 tackles, 32 catches, 780 receiving yards and 11 receiving TDs.
"I never wanted to be obnoxious or annoying," Cooper said. "But any chance I got to bring up my little brother or if I had any amount of information to pass on about him, that's what I did."
Dawson said he owes thanks to Cooper.
Cooper said the credit for a scholarship offer ultimately goes to Dawson.
"It's all because of his hard work and abilities," Cooper said. "But I definitely took every opportunity I could to campaign for him. He owes me a few tickets next season."
Cooper said the scholarship offer didn't make one person's dream come true. It made a family's dream come true. Dawson said his mom was so excited that she cried when he relayed the news.
"This wasn't just a chance for him to get his school paid for, but an opportunity for him to have the same opportunities and experiences I have had," Cooper said.
"He has worked his butt off to put himself in that position, so it's pretty awesome he will get the same opportunity I did."
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Dawson Bassett (left) and Cooper Bassett. Courtesy