Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: When recruiting ends, South Grand Prairie's DeQuinton Osborne will tackle fear of flying
SGP’s Osborne grabs schools’ attention after being stuck on runway
GRAND PRAIRIE — DeQuinton Osborne loved his recruiting trip to Texas Tech last weekend. Everything was great, the South Grand Prairie senior said, from the people and coaches he met to the food he was served, which has added importance when you’re a 300-pound defensive tackle.
The one glitch came on his first airplane flight in five years.
“When you get turbulence and you’re thousands of feet in the air,” he said, “it’s a little scary.”
But a few bumps in the air were better than the stillness of two months ago. After a long wait for a scholarship offer, the defensive tackle’s recruiting profile is finally taking flight.
And just in time, because signing day is next week.
Osborne, whose first scholarship offer was from Southern in December, now expects to choose from Texas Tech, UT-El Paso and Indiana State.
He might take a recruiting trip to Nebraska or Baylor this weekend, and Wake Forest and Tulsa also have expressed interest.
“The last two weeks have been crazy,” SGP coach Brent Whitson said.
It might seem crazy how long it took recruiters to find Osborne, who had 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and a fumble recovery last season. He was a unanimous all-district selection in 7-5A, which is a recruiting gold mine.
But Osborne’s impressive season came after most top college programs had long lists of player commitments. Most of them committed after strong junior seasons, which was the year when Osborne struggled.
He was a backup most of his junior season and wasn’t in great shape. When recruiters asked to see film of Osborne’s junior year, Whitson resisted.
“If I show you the film,” Whitson told them, “you’ll never come back.”
After Osborne’s junior season, the SGP coaches talked with him about making changes. He needed to work harder and have a better attitude, they said. He needed to do the things he had never done to become the player he wanted to be.
“I took it all in,” Osborne said.
Then he decided to be the player that he was last season: a dominant force in the middle of SGP’s defense. It still could’ve been too late to attract a big-time college scholarship if not for some of the other coaches in 7-5A.
Whitson raved about his senior, and so did coaches such as DeSoto’s Claude Mathis, Cedar Hill’s Joey McGuire and Mansfield’s Jeff Hulme. When recruiters made calls to coaches after the season, Osborne was often part of the conversation.
“Recruiters will ask all the time, ‘Is anybody getting missed?’” McGuire said. “I told them you need to go over there and look at No. 95. He’s a stud.”
Now No. 95 is taking his time. Osborne enjoyed his trip to Texas Tech, but he won’t rush the decision.
He wants it to be a good one, of course, and who can blame him for wanting to soak up the recruiting interest for another week?
After all, he had a long wait on the runway before takeoff.
“I’ve thought about playing college football since I was 5, 6 years old,” Osborne said. “Just taking my visit to Texas Tech, that’s stuff you only imagine when you’re a young kid. For it to really happen, it’s just an unbelievable experience. It’s an honor.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter @mattwixon.