By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Football fans by now are familiar with Broken Arrow’s Andrew Raym, an offensive lineman who has been heavily recruited since his freshman year. They also know that the senior four-star recruit has made a verbal commitment to the University of Oklahoma.
The 6’5″, 305-pound Raym committed to OU once before, but backed off to look at other options, including offers from Michigan and Georgia.
“Obviously, everything they have from their schooling to the football is prestigious,” Raym said of OU. “They’re a Top 4, Top 5 team every year and it was my dream to play there. I took my other officials (visits) to just double check everything, making sure I wasn’t missing out on something. But, nothing really trumped OU in my mind.”
With dozens of college football programs reaching out for high school athletes to play football and other sports, one has to wonder if there is a downfall despite how much of a privilege it can be. Not so for Raym.
“I think I was pretty fortunate and got to stay away from it through most of my career,” he said. “I never really got into it that much, so there was no disadvantages for me. But, yeah, it sure was a long road, but definitely a fun one though.”
Watching the Sooners play on Saturdays now brings a whole new perspective for Raym.
“It’s honestly just super-exciting. I’m just excited to get down there in January (Raym graduates from BAHS in December) and make my impact in the program,” the B.A. right tackle said.
While it appears obvious to those watching him on the field, Raym recognizes he has gotten better since last year.
“I feel like I got way more balance and I got quicker feet this year. Overall, I think I just improved everywhere,” he said.
After going 13-0 and winning the Class 6AI state championship in 2018, Broken Arrow started off 2019 winning its first two games. It was dominating in a 42-13 romp over Mansfield (Texas) in week one. A 14-0 shutout of rival Union followed the next week at Tuttle Stadium, where the Tigers had not won in over three decades.
“It was definitely big,” Raym said. “Especially, in knowing that it was the first time in quite awhile for our program.
It also marked two straight years of victories for Broken Arrow against the Redskins.
However, a setback occurred on Sept. 13 when the Tigers fell 42-19 to Owasso in their home opener.
Broken Arrow had the ball first in that game. Led by key blocks from Raym, the Tigers drove and scored first for a 7-0 lead. But their next two drives ended with fumbles lost and the Rams took over momentum.
“Those really hurt us. It was the first fumble, we were driving to go up 14-0, and then the second fumble gave them the ball at the two-yard line. It really could have been 21-0, but we find ourselves down and when (defensive back) Myles (Slusher, an Oregon commit) goes out (to injury) it opens up our secondary. I feel like once we get Myles back and once we’re focused. We’ll be fine.”
Although the Tigers lost starters from last year’s state title team to graduation, Raym is confident the new talent is stepping up.
“People like Noah (Cortes, 2018 running back) are hard to replace for sure, but I think we got just as much talent if not more talent this year,” Rayme said. “We just have to figure out how to piece it all together and make it work perfectly as last year’s team did. Last year’s team just clicked and everything just worked perfectly. We just have to get that balance this year and we’ll be fine.”