Andrew Crow wants to chase his dream.
The recent Rejoice Christian graduate filled up the stat sheet during his time with the Eagles.
Crow ran for 2,625 yards and led the state with 48 touchdowns scored last fall as a senior. For his career, Crow accumulated more than 4,600 yards on the ground and scored 81 total touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions.
Crow’s numbers earned him All-State recognition, but the 6-foot, 175-pound running back/defensive back did not garner the type of attention from college programs he had hoped.
At least not until Wednesday afternoon when Crow announced on his Twitter account he will walk-on to the University of Oklahoma football team.
“It’s tough to say I belong at a school like this because it’s such a prestigious university,” Crow said. “But everywhere I’ve gone, even at high school, I’ve been overlooked. I don’t feel like the coaches know what quite what I’m capable of.”
Crow chose to walk-on with the Sooners after similar offers from Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Crow had scholarship offers from Southern Nazarene, Oklahoma Baptist and Baker (Kansas) University.
But the lifelong OU fan continued to believe the crimson and cream was always an option, even if he had to wait for his chance.
Following the end of Rejoice’s season, which culminated with a run to the state semifinals in early December, Crow, along with coach Brent Marley, began to reach out to coaches around the OU program.
Marley’s involvement was a little bit personal as well.
Following his high school days at Coweta, Marley, like Crow, chased his dream to play major college football. Marley was a walk-on at Oklahoma State as a receiver from 1998-2000.
Marley admitted he could see a little bit of himself in his former star running back.
“I told him ‘you cannot control who recruits you but you can control who you are interested in. You are in charge of where you dream of playing at,’” Marley said.
Weeks and then months passed. Crow got offers from smaller four-year schools, but not what he’d hoped.
“I knew that I wasn’t going to go to some of the other schools,” Crow said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play at a big school.”
In April, Tulsa had a walk-on spot for Crow. OSU followed with a similar opportunity in May.
Still, Crow heard nothing back from OU. But he continued to hold out hope.
“I had it in the back of my head, what if I could’ve played at OU? That’s always been my dream,” he said.
It wasn’t until Crow was in his dad’s office filling out thank you cards from the graduation gifts he had received when he got a call from OU Director of Player Personnel Drew Hill.
Crow was instructed to contact the staff again after he had finished orientation at OU, which took place few days later.
“I was excited,” Crow said. “I knew something was up. I didn’t know what the situation was.”
Following Wednesday’s orientation in Norman, Crow was on his way over to the Sooners football offices when he just so happened to bump into another former Rejoice standout.
Bryan Mead, a redshirt junior linebacker at OU who joined the program as a walk-on after his days as an Eagle, happened to catch Crow following a workout. Mead escorted Crow to the football offices and introduced him to Hill, the first time the Rejoice running back had a face-to-face encounter with the Sooner staffer.
“Obviously, I was nervous,” Crow recounted. “Coach Hill showed me around the facilities. That’s when I thought this was a reality.”
Moments later, Hill offered Crow a spot as a walk-on to the program.
Crow returned home and will await further details as fall practice creeps closer. For now, the former Class A standout at least has his foot in the door and the opportunity to fulfill his dream.
“The family and real close friends know how much this means to me,” Crow said. “It still doesn’t seem real to me.”