STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford has been working hard on the recruiting trail and Friday that work paid off as top Texas teammates Marcus Smart and Phil Forte verbally committed to play for the Cowboys.
"Me and Phil, we're going to Oklahoma State," Smart told ESPN's Dave Telep. "We had a feeling, me and Phil, that we wanted to play together. Then bam, this was the right place for us."
Forte and Smart both committed to the Cowboys on Friday while on a visit to Oklahoma State.
Smart, a small forward, is a five-star prospect and the No. 11 overall prospect in the 2012 class. Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 200 pounds he has been recruited by many including Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina.
Forte, a 5-foot-10, 175 pound shooting guard, has had multiple schools after him as well in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa and Kansas State.
The Cowboys extended offers to Smart and Forte nearly one year ago, and those individual offers seem to be what helped the two make their decisions.
"We were very timid about people using Phil to get to me or the other way around," Smart said to ESPN. "We just felt Oklahoma State was recruiting us individually, not as a package deal. It was Phil first, and then it was Marcus first; it wasn't Marcus and Phil together."
As teammates at Marcus High School in Texas, Forte and Smart have helped their team to an impressive 90-14 record in three years of high school ball. The reigning 5A state champions also play on the same AAU team, the Texas Assault.
As a junior Smart averaged 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game and was named both the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' Player of the Year and the Gatorade Player of the Year.
Forte averaged 17 points per game and made more than 120 three-pointers last season as a junior.
The verbal commitment of Smart and Forte mark the second year in a row that OSU's Coach Ford has snagged top talent out of the same area in Texas.
Last season Ford landed Lincoln's top talent in LeBryan Nash who was considered one of the top players in the country.
For now the commitment is verbal as the first day a basketball commit from the Class of 2012 can sign a National Letter of Intent is during the early signing period, Nov. 9-16, 2011.