"Coach Broyles," said the quarterback, "I just wanted to let you know first that it's going to be Oklahoma."
Chuck Fairbanks made a big thing out of it, as anyone could have guessed. He called a press group together and pronounced it "a great day for Oklahoma recruiting." Jack signed the surrender papers while the family and the Oklahoma coaches and a cluster of reporters and photographers looked on.
Some other coaches made a big thing out of it, too. They all denounced the two-visit rule in the Southwest Conference, which they thought was the biggest aid Oklahoma had. His high school coach guided him to Oklahoma all the way, they said. Some schools were strung along just for the publicity, they said. And for the trips. All of this was too bad, they said, because Jack was a good kid and they wished him well.
This week Jack Mildren will arrive at Norman. There will be no band playing and no press conference. His name will not be on the marquee of a motel or even on a sign at a supermarket. No Miss Wheatfield will greet him, and no millionaires will be around waiting to take him to lunch. He will be just another freshman who has been brought in to play football, like hundreds of others all over the U.S. The only thing Jack might be thinking about are the words of an Arkansas recruiter from a few giddy months earlier in the year. The fellow had said, "Once you make your decision, never look back."
He will certainly try to follow that advice, and the world may hear of him again, and it might not. Which won't matter at all to the recruiters. Somewhere out there right now is another Jack Mildren, another Head Hoss, and the recruiters are in pursuit.