curtis 2014 Sooners Signee, Natrell Curtis, Unlikely To Qualify

Image via Max Preps

There have since been several reports regarding the unlikelihood of Natrell Curtis to qualify academically, but I wanted to specifically credit our readers for being the first (or at least as far as I know, didn’t see it anywhere else before it was posted here and I frequent almost all of the OU boards) to bring this to our attention.

And, yes, I know there had been talk for quite a while now that his was expected to happen, but it was just that…..talk.

However, now there appears to be enough evidence that Curtis is indeed unlikely to make it in. I’m aware there are some reports/speculation out there that he’ll take a summer class (or classes) and could still possibly make it. I cannot say whether or not those reports are accurate, though I would question how anyone could possibly know that at this point.

So if we’re operating under the assumption that Curtis does not make it to campus later this summer, then how does that affect things for the program? I’d say very little, which is in no way a shot at Curtis. It’s simply that he was very likely to redshirt this season as the Sooners are relatively deep along the interior of their offensive line (assuming health) for the coming season. That said, beyond 2014 things looked considerably less rosy when it comes to depth, so that is where this loss will truly be felt.

Only time will tell whether or not (1) Curtis can eventually make the grades to qualify at a D-I school and/or (2) whether the interest is still there on his or OU’s part when it comes time two years from now after his JUCO days are done.

For now, however, this is a loss that probably won’t be felt in the immediate sense, but definitely could play a role in things a year or two down the road.


  • Brad Warren

    Any news on Brown, Frison and McQuinnie? Paper said they haven’t enrolled yet.

    • Jordan Esco

      Brown was always known as a grade risk. If he makes it in, it won’t be until later this summer.

      Frison just got out of h.s. later than the other guys. He’s on his way if not already there.

      McQuinnie, there is conflicting talk out there so I’m not entirely sure of his status. Some say he’ll be fine, while others say he’s unlikely to make it.

  • SoonerfanTU

    I will never understand kids that know from early in HS that they will likely be college athletes, that still don’t get themselves qualified. smh. It’s sad, really.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      In all fairness, we don’t know what his situation is; kids may not be as smart on average as previous generations but there’s no doubt the stress and standards are higher than ever at schools, especially if you have lots of issues at home and/or split time as an athlete or have a job. It’s not the same for everyone and there’s nothing “sad” about not qualifying, just means he might struggle academically and has to take a longer, harder road to get where he wants to be, which could be good for him. I wish the best for him.

      • SoonerfanTU

        I disagree. He isn’t missing a test score, I don’t think. It doesn’t take much effort to make C’s in your core classes to get qualified. Is there a chance he worked his butt off, and/or has some undiagnosed learning disorder? Maybe, but 75% of the time it’s simply a kid not taking care of business. I don’t get that. I’ll never get that.

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          “It doesn’t take much effort to make C’s in your core classes to get qualified.”
          Jeez, I sure wish I had gone to some of you guys’ high schools. >_>
          Again, though, you never know what a kid’s got going on, plus he does have a kid.

          • J.K. Abbott

            And every situation is unique and different. The student who comes from a good family who can afford a breakfast every AM before school and knows he has a roof over his/her head and warm bed every night has a better chance at being successful versus the student who was taken from his parents because the locked him in a closet and dog pen everyday after school and fed him dog food everyday. It’s a pipe dream to think every kid should easily reach the requirements to attend a D1 university.

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Exactly. If it were that easy people wouldn’t be so amazed about stories of kids who did overcome that stuff, regardless of where they ended up going to College.

    • Won

      Keep on syh… maybe it will knock something loose and you’ll realize these are young people who may not have the same thought process, capabilities, opportunities.
      Pray for them.

  • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

    I wonder if McQuinnie’s issues are grades or his family frequents the OU boards. I do not think I have seen a recruit more scrutinized before he has ever stepped on campus. Terry Franklin maybe?

    • Jordan Esco

      Oh, I think there have been MANY way more scrutinized.

      • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

        Good debate..Who in the last 10 years has Stoops offered that has been more criticized than McQuinnie? My thought was Terry Franklin maybe. I think some other offers( Steve Taylor, David Anderson, Chad Roark, Bumpus, Nix) were given a little more of a pass because they were OK kids.

    • Indy_sooner

      I think that there are more that have been overanalyzed. Just last year, it was Quincy Russell. Haven’t heard much buzz about McQ, actually.

      • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

        Russell was somebody most fans wanted. In fact a decent portion of the fan base thought we were screwed if he did not qualify. McQunnie has already been judged by a fair amount of fans as a kid that should not have an OU offer or is not OU good.

        • Zack

          I don’t know that I had heard much about mcquinnie either though not on this site, maybe others but this is really the only board I go to. Based on stars I can see the argument that he wasn’t worth an offer but I trust the coaches over guys like myself who are just fans and want top classes.

          • thegoodmagneto(CJ)

            Zack, I agree. I don’t want to make it sound like all or most OU fans don’t want him. He is just gotten some undue flack for getting a schollie offer. More so than any recruit I can remember recently.

          • Zack

            Gotcha I will admit his signing wasn’t one that got me excited. And I know there were other DBs out there that were better prospects but I think he was our first commit from the class.

        • J.K. Abbott

          If anything put Vontre on Kick and tell him to ” stay in your lane and break the wood off in somebody’s a$& ” so guys like Millard and Colvin don’t have to play on specials. I know the NFL has put restrictions on wedges on KOR. Don’t know the Double AA’s wedge rules but Vontre would be a great wedge buster. “Find the wedge, your the bowling ball and the wedge are the pins”.

        • Indy_sooner

          Gotcha now. I cannot judge kids until they’ve had at least 2 years to acclimatize. Mike recruited him ( and not because he could not get ‘4 star’ players) so who knows…

    • J.K. Abbott

      That’s too bad about all the negative banter on Vontre. Coach Mike offered him for two reasons: his athleticism and his willingness to cut kids In half. Vontre will knock the screws off your helmet. Kids like that can play on my team any day. To the TFB posters credit he hasn’t been ripped on like other sites.

  • Indy_sooner

    Sucks about Curtis…. I thought he’d said he was qualified already?
    Makes sense why we were after JUCOs but I cannot believe how much of a hard time we’re having selling the opportunity to start immediately at OU

  • Jim

    The fact that kids cannot graduate HS with qualifying grades is baffling to me. HS is a joke and requires little effort to get a 3.0. I honestly believe you have to try to not graduate or make shitty grades like that. I mean, if you cannot graduate HS with decent enough grades, you’re a pretty lazy bastard. Aren’t the qualifications for athletes even lower?? Hopefully it’s a wake up call.

    • Zack

      I agree high school is easy nowadays if you show up and at least turn in your work you’re guaranteed a C. Not to mention athletes are in at least one P.E. Class at a time so for my school where you were on a 4 class block schedule 25% of your credits would be sports related.

      • J.K. Abbott

        What year did you graduate Zack. Those days are over. The standards ie core classes and test scores have gotten a lot more stringent and rightfully so. Heck when I was in HS we had kids who couldn’t pass recess and get excepted into OU or OSU. We all know the Dexter Manley story. The NCAA clearing house is a pi$$ cutter.

        • Zack

          I graduated in 2007 I know where I went to school they’ve done away with the block schedule so I can imagine it is more difficult for kids to have 6-8 classes at a time. And I may not have the right perspective on this issue because I was no where near good enough to play football. But for me high school was easy I rarely did homework and managed to graduate with honors. And I didn’t fair as well in college where I actually had to work in order to do well.

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Every time I moved and enrolled in a new school they had just gotten rid of the Block Schedule the year before; very frustrating because that would’ve been a lot better than 8 classes and barely anytime to learn, plus tons of homework for the night.

          • Jim

            It felt the same for me. 8 classes meant more frequent yet smaller assignments while block scheduling included few yet longer assignments. Same amount of work regardless; just different time management requirements.

          • Jim

            My high school system went back and forth b/t block scheduling and traditional scheduling. I did not find one more difficult than the other. It is still the same material regardless if it is M-F or T,R, or M,W,F. Go to class, do the work. It is not that difficult.

          • J.K. Abbott

            I hear you. The block schedule was the best thing since sliced bread. Especially for athletes or students who are in extracurricular activities our who have too work. With the block you for your athletes earlier in the day thus you weren’t on the practice field and film room until 7 every PM.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      I graduated this year and know plenty of kids who struggled to graduate or have to take summer classes; yes, some just didn’t care, but there were others who had a lot going on in their lives and the stress of school, especially with standardized testing, is pretty high. Plus, some people just struggle academically. It’s better to not judge a kid’s situation if you don’t anything about it.

      • Zack

        Both sides of the argument have their points but I think what jim really means is if you give some effort (knowing you need to pass classes to get to the next level) then you should be fine.
        Now I know every kid has different issues and I think in Curtis’ situation it was too hard because he’s got a newborn and I obviously don’t know the situation with the mother but it doesn’t seem like a good situation based on his twitter.

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          I get that, but just because he didn’t pass doesn’t mean he didn’t give any effort. I struggled with grades in High School early on and worked my but off to get my GPA back up later on and it barely budged! It is not that easy. Regardless, I understand what he’s saying and it’s all good. It’s unfortunate if Curtis really is dealing with what you say, I know issues at home can make School ten times as hard.

          • J.K. Abbott

            That’s why our JC’s are so important. If you can’t pass recess you can get into a JC. Now it’s up too Curtis wether he takes advantage of this opportunity. Ultimately it’s up too him. Again I’m not making excuses for him. He made the choices he made. I’m just careful not too judge 16,17 year old kids. If the powers too be had judged me based on what I did in HS I’d never had the opportunity to realize my passion in life. I was a knucklehead in HS

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            No doubt. College, whether it be JC or not, is a chance to start fresh.

      • Jim

        Shelby, my situation while going through high school was far from ideal, so I have no qualms about calling out kids who fail to make something of themselves. During my high school years, I worked 15+ hours a week and referreed soccer games on weekends (6+ hours on Saturday and 3 on Sunday) to help support my family while my single mother also worked 2 jobs. I endured my parents fighting and eventual divorce during my freshman and sophomore years in addition to a suicide attempt by my mother. That can make it extremely difficult to keep focus on academics. Yet somehow, I managed to graduate high school with a 3.6, participate in several extracurricial activities including football, track, and 2 choirs, and get accepted to the University of Oklahoma. So forgive me if I do not take much pity on SOME of these kids who fall short.
        Some of these kids endure much worse environments than I did, and some kids just really are not meant for school. I totally get that and can sympathize. However, nothing was ever mentioned about Curtis having any learning disabilities. I would imagine that if he had any, the coaches would have certainly been made aware by SOMEONE and no offer would have been made.
        Curtis is obviously now enduring the consequences that followed his irresponsibilities. I don’t feel bad that he has a kid. That’s his fault. He wants to have sex? Totally fine by me. However, unless he wants to deal with the possibilities that come from that, then he has be more responsible. He’s not a special case. There have been loads of guys that managed to get into college after having a kid in high school, and I’m certain that not every one of those guys had ideal situations with the kid’s mother.
        In sum, my experience allows me to speak candidly about the situation, so I will speak as bluntly as I choose. I am not mad at Curtis, but I do not feel bad for him either. I am simply disappointed. Regardless of his football future, I hope Natrell utilizes this opporutnity to mature as a human being very quickly and become successful at whatever he does.

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          Calm down there, buddy. My life hasn’t been easy either (though I’m not as open about it) so what I said is also coming from experience. It’s great that you can go through the life you did and still succeed, but not everyone is you, people hurt, think, react differently, for good or for worse. No one is asking you to pity him, and I don’t know if Curtis is asking for pity, either. Plus, I mentioned below that going to J.C., while being a longer road for him, would be good for him. No where did I say you should feel bad for him, in fact below I said the opposite. Anyway, people will grow and mature at their own pace, regardless. At least we can agree that we wish him well in the future.

          • Jim

            Oh I’m not worked up on the matter; just expressing my thoughts.
            I just do not feel that there are very many situations in life where a person cannot achieve even basic success (2.5+) in today’s high school systems. Some circumstances require more effort than others, certainly; however, qualifying as a college athlete appears pretty damn easy. Just look at some the recent interviews with $EC players.
            :-)

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Today’s High School’s system may not be as academically as challenging as it was for kids in the past, but it’s as stressful as ever (especially if you have a stressful life). A lot of people think that because our education system is broken, then all kids can just graduate easily, but the way it’s broken is actually what makes it so hard for kids to learn nowadays.

      • SoonerfanTU

        Stress of school? Are you kidding me? School is no more stressful, and if it is, it’s because kids have WAY too many distractions now days. When I was in HS (mid 90’s), we didn’t have cell phones. We weren’t allowed to have food/drink in the classroom. Dress codes were quite a bit stricter (though we did NOT have uniforms).

        We had standardized testing back then too. Some stupid writing test every year or two. PSAT’s maybe? I don’t recall the names of them all, but we were tested. But I’m getting sick of reading how school is harder or more stressful these days. That’s a bunch of bunk.

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          My lord, I’m not saying the curriculum today is harder than it was for kids in the past. It’s not (unless we’re talking second grade common core >_>). Yes, School can be very stressful for people I don’t see why that’s hard to believe. “Some stupid writing test ever year”? School isn’t like it was in the 90’s, they don’t let the teachers teach (and many other issues) and no one is learning and yeah, that actually makes it harder for everyone. Oh, and if you have issues at home, you can be damn sure it makes school harder, so I don’t know see what’s wrong with me pointing that out. You don’t know everyone’s situation and not every teenager is going to come through in moments like that, so what if they have to go to J.C. first? There’s no doubt he’ll have to figure things out and work his butt off if he wants to qualify for a School after Pima, but High School GPAs are unforgiving. Anyway, like Zack said somewhere, J.C. is probably best for him right now, anyway.

        • J.K. Abbott

          IMHO school is harder then when I went to HS in the early 80’s and even 90’s. The required classes / curriculum requirements are much more stringent then even five years ago. Compared to when I was in HS it’s not even close. Now school funding and teacher accountability are tied to EOI test score. That alone makes public Ed much more difficult because teacher EVals are tied to students EOI scores. I’ve been in public Ed for 25 years and have experience as an advisor / counselor for student enrollment. Public Ed is a different animal then even five years ago. Heck just look at the entrance requirements and how they have changed to get into higher Ed. One of the requirements to get into OU and OSU in the 80’s was a 18 on the ACt. It’s up to 24 now the last time I checked.

          • SoonerfanTU

            There are more kids that have no business being promoted to the next grade being promoted now days, then back when I was in school. I don’t care about the curriculum, or test scores, or any of that. Fact is, schools and teachers get kids through the system now more than they would have 20 years ago. They had no problem flunking kids and making them repeat a grade back then. That happens FAR more infrequently now days. And while I may not be involved directly in education, I have 3 teachers in my immediate family that I see and talk to on a weekly basis.

          • paganpink

            They have redone the ACT and dumbed it down at least three times in the last few decades. They call it “norming” it, and they set it lower based on the average scores becoming lower year after year. The two scores are probably comparable, and certainly go against any notion that kids are required to do more, or more importantly LEARN more then they used to. Read some high school texts from the 1920’s and see what they were expected to do. Chaucer? Latin classes? Modern textbooks are a joke in my opinion with poor priorities and political correctness dictating what is in them rather then focusing on real world knowledge that will help them in the future. I believe you’re a good man, and that most teachers are trying very hard. But our schools continue to graduate kids that read at grade school levels, have no idea how government or, in particular, economics work and know more about Malcolm X then George Washington. They spend weeks on the unproven theory of global warming while doing little or none of the basic physics experiments that all schools used to require to help them understand how the natural world really works. It’s the curriculum and the teachers unions that have gotten us such poor outcomes and most of it is based on liberal academics that think they know a better way then what worked for more then a hundred years. Do away with phonics? Total failure. Seven steps under common core to add two sums together rather then learning the times table by rote? Ridiculous.

    • J.K. Abbott

      Like Zach posted Curtis has a newborn. From experience kids are hard enough to raise as an adult much less as a Senior in HS. We are still talking about 16, 17 year old kids here. That’s what make our jobs difficult as educators and coaches at the HS level. Bottom line is these are 16, 17 year old kids. I hope those that are quick too judge HS kids never made mistakes in HS. Lord knows I did. And keep in mind our HS players read these forums. If and When Curtis pays his dues at the JC level and if OU still wants him, negative posts won’t help matters.

      • EasTex

        Yessir, it’s tough being a kid already. I wish him every success as a person, player and especially as a parent.

      • SoonerfanTU

        Than he has no business at OU. He needs to find a school near his kid/family. You have a kid when you are 17-18, you have to give up some things. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

        • J.K. Abbott

          Did Torrence Marshall have no business at OU? There have been plenty of impact players who played at OU that had to attend a JC because of grades and who had newborns while they were in High School. More then I can count. Sounds like you were the perfect kid TU from a perfect family. My mom had me at 17 and she’s anything but dumb. She worked her Ass off raising me, going to HS and later graduated from College all the while she made sure I had food on the table, clothes on my back and a roof over my head.

          • SoonerfanTU

            Your mom probably didn’t have a chance to become a millionaire playing football, did she? I called him dumb b/c he certainly hurt his chances in those regards. Agreed? Probably easier to get to the NFL with no kid while at OU, as opposed to having a kid, and being at Zona or ASU. And yes, if Marshall had a kid that was somewhere other than in Oklahoma, he probably should have found a school closer to where his child was. Missing out on your kids’ first two years of life to play football isn’t something I can agree with. Sorry.

  • Ed Cotter

    Bummer. Good luck to the young man. He was a great recruiter for OU while he was in the fold.

  • hOUligan

    Was excited to see the young man slip on a Sooner cap at the USAA game and sure he was excited too. Am sure he is bummed. OU has got to get OL recruits this season as the depth next year is perilous. But have to get guys that are or will certainly qualified. Does no good to sign 4*s who will never make it to campus.

    • ND52


      OU has got to get OL recruits this season as the depth next year is perilous.

      01, 05, 09…….15?

  • EasTex

    Still much uncertainty about his status. If he does get his grades up and qualifies, fantastic. If not, and he has to go JUCO, it isn’t the end of the world or the end of his potential OU career. Phil Loadholt was a JUCO player that came in 2007 and had two very productive years and is currently a productive NFL player.
    I’m a little surprised that this issue wasn’t detected during the recruiting process, OU seems to cover this situation quite well during the evaluation process.

  • Jordan Esco

    I know I mentioned it in the post itself, but again thank you to our readers for finding this! You posted it here, then I did on Twitter, and wouldn’t you know it all of a sudden the “legit” OU reporters felt they had enough to run w/ for a story. Funny how that works.

    Well, while they won’t ever dream of giving you/TFB the credit I certainly will. So, again, thank you!

  • BigJoeBrown

    Wish Curtis the best. This was a kid who had a kid. I can’t imagine entering college to play football at 18, with a baby at home. It would be tough, that’s a full plate.

    • Zack

      This is why I think what’s best for him is probably going to juco and then attending whichever state school is closest to home Arizona or asu.

      • J.K. Abbott

        You are probably right zack.

    • J.K. Abbott

      Yes it is. I’m not making excuses for the kid. Life is about choices but there are factors and unique circumstances that make every situation different.

  • j l

    I saw this on news OK via Bleacher report about 1 Am last night.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    I actually just now realized that my brother goes to that same Community College in AZ. I thought it sounded familiar. Lol