Nov. 10, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics head coach Mark Williams announced the signing of four of the nation's top high school gymnasts to National Letters of Intent on Thursday. Dylan Akers, Jacoby Rubin, Danny Berardini and William Clement join the Sooners for the 2012 season.
"This could be one of the better groups that we have had in a couple of years," said Williams. "I think that says a lot when you consider the talent we have recruited here in past years and the accolades they collected during their Sooner careers."
"I'm very pleased with the overall class we've signed," said Williams. "I think all four are a very good fit in terms of academics, gymnastics skill and personality. I expect all four will have an impact on our team when we host the 2012 NCAA National Championship."
Two of the four signees in the class are members of the USA Junior National Team.
A native of Kingwood, Texas, Akers is member of the USA Junior National Team and is coached by Tom Meadows at Cypress Gymnastics. He competed at the 2010 Visa Championships where he finished fifth on pommel horse in the senior division. Akers also competed in the Pan American Championships in 2010, where Team USA placed first and at the Pacific Rim Championships in the junior division placing third on vault and high bar, while finishing sixth in the all-around.
Jacoby Rubin is also member of the USA Junior National Team who competed at the 2010 Visa Championships and finished sixth on the pommel horse and second in the all-around. He also competed in the 2010 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships and placed seventh in the all-around. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native is coached by Don Osborn and Kelly Crumley at Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, which is the same program as current Sooner Chad Crumley.
"Dylan and Jacoby were both Junior National Team members and they should provide a solid one-two tandem to our lineup," said Williams. "They will provide some experience from being on the national team."
Berardini is also coached by Crumley and Osborn at Buffalo Grove Gymnastics. The Lake Forest, Ill., native finish 23rd at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. Berardini finished 11th in the all-around at the 2009 Visa Championships in the junior division, while posting top-10 finishes on the still rings and high bar.
Clement, a San Jose, Calif. native, attended the 2010 Region 1 Championships as a member of the Northern California All-Star Team and successfully competed at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships. At Nationals, Clement placed 27th in the all-around and 12th on high bar.
"We are excited to have all of them join the Sooner family," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "Each of the guys have been great high school gymnasts and I think that they will be a great addition to our program."
Oklahoma opens the 2011 season Jan. 15 at the Rocky Mountain Open in Colorado Springs, Colo.