The past connected with the present today at J.D. Runnels’ fourth annual pro day.
Where former Sooner stars showed up to see OKC’s own future footballers.
A win-win situation for all involved.
“I firmly believe that the kids come here, one, I think they trust the knowledge, they know they’re going to have fun, and I think that they know they’re going to be getting what they need to get better,” Runnels said. “Getting local kids exposure, getting them where they will want to come back, keeping them safe, healthy, that’s my goal.”
Putnam City Pirate junior Colling Clay made the trip to the Nutrition and Athletic Club of Choctaw, and enjoyed his first chance at competition there.
“It was a fun experience,” Clay said. “I learned a lot of new things. J.D.’s just a real good guy, and I’m glad I came out here today. He showed me around the place, and just made sure that I was ok. He was just chill with me the whole time.”
The pro day featured first rate football talent all battling for bragging rights along the way.
“It’s fun,” Jason Taylor ll, Carl Albert Senior Defensive Back, said. “It’s great competition out here. Usually when we work out with J.D. there’s just a couple of us. I’m glad all of his players came out. You can always have those bragging rights that this side of the state is better, or that is better. It’s just good having competition.”
“Some people say that Oklahoma kids don’t get the recognition, but it’s good that J.D. found me and he recognized my talent before I even knew I had it,” Jaedon Pool, Carl Albert Senior Cornerback, said. “It’s good, and I’m so glad he invited all of us here.”
According to everyone in attendance today’s triumph wouldn’t be possible with out Runnels.
“J.D.’s a really special guy,” Cole Mashburn, Norman North Junior Defensive End, said. “He always looks out for the individual players and what’s best for them, and what they need to work on and everything. He’s a real good guy. Down to earth. He’ll do what’s best for you.”
“Really on the athlete side he helps us on the field, but gets to know us personally," Ace Vick, Midwest City Senior Safety, said. “Like how he’s feeding us, and just talks to us and gets to know us as a person instead of just on the field.”
After countless competitive workouts and drills Runnels wrapped up the event with some knowledge for his kids to take and use for their futures.
The former Sooner standout and pro player talked about everything from college workouts to recruiting to academics and even accountability on and off the field.
His goal is to create a one of a kind experience with his Pro Day 38.
“I want the kids to understand that I care, and that there’s somebody in Oklahoma that wants to see their kids make it farther than they did,” Runnels said. “Texas has this. Florida, California has this. Arizona, Las Vegas they have these things around. There were a lot of special moments. It was a lot of things that hopefully those kids will never forget."