RB Oku Chooses UT over Auburn

Tennessee received a late addition to its 2009 signing class when running back David Oku signed with the Vols on Thursday.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Oku originally committed to UT in October but reopened his recruitment in January.

Oku then took official visits to Syracuse and Auburn and elected not to sign with a school on National Signing Day on Feb. 4.

Oku said he decided to sign with UT because of his comfort level with the Vols and the presence of junior wide receiver Gerald Jones, who attended Millwood High School in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“That just basically was where I felt at home,” Oku said. “Me being from Oklahoma and knowing Gerald as much as I do and being like family to each other made it even easier.”

Oku attended Carl Albert High in Midwest City, Okla., until last month when he transferred to Lincoln (Neb.) East.

Oku told the News Sentinel at the time that he made the move in order to take more classes to improve his grade point average in order to ensure he is eligible for college athletics.

Oku said “family problems” in Oklahoma also influenced his decision to finish high school in Lincoln.

Oku is the 21st signee for UT’s 2009 class, but the Vols might not be done.

Tight end Orson Charles from Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., is expected to choose among offers from UT, Georgia and Southern Cal today.

Charles visited UT on Jan. 30.

The Vols have also remained in the picture for running back Bryce Brown from East Wichita (Kan.) High.

Brown is also considering LSU, Oregon, USC and Miami.

Some people speculated that Oku was waiting to find out which school Brown would choose.

The thought was Oku would only sign with UT if Brown signed elsewhere.

Oku said that was never the case.

“That’s got nothing to do with it,” Oku said. “I’ve actually talked to Bryce about coming to Tennessee, too.

“If he comes, cool. If not, alright then. We’re real good friends.”