Ben Sparks, Cade Horton

Norman High offensive lineman Ben Sparks (75) blocks for quarterback Cade Horton (14) during a Tiger game vs. Moore on Friday Sept. 14, 2018. (June Frantz Hunt/Transcript)

Ben Sparks isn't sure what took him so long.

The Norman High offensive lineman knew which college was his top choice since Southern Methodist offered him on Feb. 22.

Now, he's committed to the Mustangs.

"They were my third offer," Sparks said, "and ever since then, they've always been kind on the top of my list. I don't know what I was waiting for.

"I always thought to myself, I don't know what could be better than this, but I'll just wait a little bit longer. And finally, I just thought to myself, there's no reason to wait any longer. This is where I want to be."

Sparks announced his commitment in a tweet on Tuesday.

He wrote in the post: "Thankful and excited beyond measure to announce my commitment to Southern Methodist University! Thank you to everyone who has recruited me and helped me in this process!"

The 6-foot-4 senior chose SMU over several FBS offers, including Memphis, North Texas, Texas State, Tulsa and Wyoming.

Sparks says he's happy he won't be far from home. And he felt it was his ideal situation after visiting SMU over spring break.

"The coaching staff was great," Sparks said. "And whenever I stepped on campus, I knew it was a good fit for me."

Sparks gives SMU its sixth commitment for its 2020 class, which currently ranks No. 57 nationally by 247Sports.com.

He never saw his recruitment as a distraction to his play at NHS, but he's grateful to be able to now focus solely on his senior season.

"I think Norman High is going to do special things this year and I want to be focused on that," Sparks said, "... but it wasn't a distraction in any way. I just felt like it was the right time."