Oklahoma picks up offensive line commitment

Demetrius Hunter, OU's first OL pledge for 2022, tells SI Sooners it feels like OU's Bill Bedenbaugh "is already my coach"
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The Oklahoma Sooners added their first offensive lineman to the 2022 recruiting class.

Demetrius Hunter, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman from Orange, TX, announced his verbal commitment to the Sooners on Twitter.

Hunter, rated a 3-star recruit by 247 Sports and a 4-star by Rivals, is projected by 247 Sports as the top center in the nation in the 2022 class.

He has experience playing on the interior of the offensive line, where he flashed the power and athleticism required from a Bill Bedenbaugh big man.

Hunter said once he started talking with Bedenbaugh, he already felt at home.

“I feel like Coach (Bedenbaugh) is already my coach,” Hunter told SI Sooners. “We talk everyday. He gave me some very important lineman’s numbers like Orlando Brown and Creed Humphrey.” 

Brown and Humphrey were happy to pass along advice to Hunter, he said.

“Creed gave me some tips and just told me to study the playbook as soon as I get there. And Orlando Brown told me Coach (Bedenbaugh) will take care of me like his own,” he said. “So once he told me that, man, I think it was just obvious from there.”

Due to the pandemic, Hunter hasn’t been able to visit OU’s campus, but he said he loved what Norman had to offer on his virtual visit.

“The campus felt like a great atmosphere to be in,” Hunter said. “A nice college town. Not too big, but somewhere you can just enjoy the day and learn. I got that feeling when I watched that virtual visit.”

As soon as the recruiting dead period is lifted, Hunter said Bedenbaugh wants to host him on a visit to see the campus for real.

Hunter’s reputation will precede him when he arrives in Norman, as he has already been dubbed “Pancake Hunter” but his coaches and teammates.  

“I believe the first time (he heard the nickname), it would have to be my sophomore year playing center,” he said. “When I got the groove of it, I started pancaking people like it was nothing. I just had to find myself and find that dog, and once I started pancaking people, my family was like ‘You need a nickname,’ so you know what? Pancake Hunter.”

It took him a little bit to live up to the nickname, but once he settled into the center position, Hunter began to attract the attention of coaches around the country.

“I was on a line full of seniors, and I was the only sophomore staring at center,” he said. “When I finally got the swing of things, he knew he made the right decision, my coach. It was very nerve wracking, you know, because I’m young.

“Center was a new position for me so I was already making sure I didn’t want to mess anything up. ... Once I learned to just worry about the game instead of worrying about messing up, that’s when I became Pancake Hunter.”

Hunter said he intends to enroll early in the spring of 2022 to get a head start on his Oklahoma career.

Hunter joins wide receivers Luther Burden, Talyn Shettron and Jordan Hudson, running back Raleek Brown, tight end Jason Llewellyn and linebacker Kobie McKinzie as 2022 recruits who have verbally committed to the Sooners.