The Red River Rivalry got a little more intense Wednesday, as a pair of conjoined twins have signed with the different, rival schools. Two brothers, Mike and Gerrit Stout, from Lawrence, Kansas spurned their hometown Jayhawks and faxed in their letters of intent within seconds of each other early Wednesday morning.
Gerrit will join the Texas Longhorns, while Mike will head to Norman to become a member of the Oklahoma Sooners. This is happening despite the fact that both twins are joined at the hip.
It wasn’t an easy decision for the two young men or their family. Mike says it’s tough to put into words how hard it will be leaving his right hand man.
“They’ve been inseparable since they were born, it seems. I never thought I’d see the day they would be in two places at once,” the twins’ mother told WRNL.
Outside of their trip to the Hoover Dam in fourth grade, the two brothers have never stood in different states.
Gerrit and Mike, both offensive lineman, formed one of the nastiest double teams in Kansas high school football history. Colleges all over the country wanted the tandem to stroll their sidelines next fall.
The two brothers never thought it would be possible to play in two different places. They’ve shared everything in life to this point, and playing right next to each other in college just seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Mensa member Tom Herman was the first to think outside of the box when it came to recruiting the conjoined twins. Knowing his boosters didn’t have enough money for both of the Stouts, Herman brainstormed a way to get Gerrit to Austin, Texas. It turns out convincing the conjoined twins to play in separate states was much easier than it was explaining Texas’ loss to Kansas last season.
Meanwhile, there stood Mike in his brother’s shadow. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops knows a thing or two about a Mike trying to follow in his brother’s footsteps. The Sooner football coach offered Mike a scholarship, and the rest is history.
The recruitment offered a couple of awkward moments, as the brothers had several in-home visits with Herman courting Gerrit and Stoops trying to lure Mike to Norman. No matter how hard it was for the Stouts, neither brother could bring himself to leave the room when the other was talking to their rival coach.
For the longest time, recruiting experts thought the pair of lineman would head to play for their hometown Kansas Jayhawks. You could regularly spot the brothers in Mark Mangino’s used Kansas football gear, as it was the only clothing their mother could find that fit well.
Mrs. Stout says the logistics are still being ironed out pertaining to how this is actually going to work. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings between the brothers. Peers at school reported seeing the two attached at the hip all day Wednesday.
This surprise pair of signings certainly beefs up the Red River Rivalry. When asked what it will be like to be on the field at the same time when Texas and Oklahoma match up this season, Gerrit said “we’ve never had it any other way.”
Stay tuned to WRNL for the rest of the day for more hard-hitting news from National Signing Day.