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October 13, 2012

Red River Rivalry deeper than sport

(Continued)

DALLAS —

For the past 10 years, Hamilton said Oklahoma has held a special dinner in Dallas the Thursday before the OU-Texas game. Prospective college students targeted by the university are invited. This year the ballroom at the Omni Mandale Hotel was filled with 700-800 high school kids and parents out of Texas as they listened to Boren speak about the benefits of attending Oklahoma.

It’s just one of the many things the school does to attract students in Texas.

“We kind of use that extra bit of publicity to have a recruitment dinner that is academically based,” Hamilton said. “It was a fantastic event.”

Hamilton said the event had such an impact, that 10 to 12 of the high school kids in attendance tweeted that they were going to go to OU because of what they heard at the dinner.

"I was never recruited by Texas, and I think it was because I was not in the top 5 percent of my class," Denton native Lauren Burkholder said. "OU offers students a chance to grow as adults and not be overwhelmed by the college experience. OU really does feel like a family, and that is something Texas cannot offer."

None of that will help decide which team will prevail today. However, the winner on the gridiron may boost recruiting for its school next year.

“We’ve never tracked data that shows whether OU will have a larger enrollment from Texas in years after OU wins the Red River Rivalry game,” Hamilton said. “But it sure feels better.”

Michael KinneyFollow me @eyeamtruthmkinney@normantranscript.com

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