Rodriguez coming back to OU

It will be a long road back, but Dalton Rodriguez is ready for the challenge of being a Sooner.

For a six-month period in 2012, it looked like Dalton Rodriguez was going to make his home at Oklahoma. The Class of 2013 prospect was committed to the Sooners until a couple of months before national signing day.

Rodriguez eventually signed with Tulsa and played some as a true freshman last season before being dismissed from the team in the spring.

OU coach Bob Stoops has been adamant about all kids deserving a second chance. Add Rodriguez to that ever-increasing list.

Rodriguez let the world know Friday night he was indeed coming to OU and has started classes with all the other students Monday morning.

“I’ve been trying to transfer for a while now, but I had to get my grades up,” Rodriguez said. “I had to take some summer classes. When I found out I got accepted at OU, it was really exciting.”

Rodriguez was being recruited by then-OU offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle. The Sooners saw Rodriguez, now 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, as an offensive tackle in the making.

Rodriguez always appeared more comfortable and played defensive end in high school and at Tulsa. His position at this time remains unknown, but he said his constant contact is with OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

“I’m ready to be back on the field,” Rodriguez said. “I still don’t really know what position I’ll play. And at this point, I don’t really care. I’ll play wherever they need me.”

Rodriguez will have to sit out this season and is not guaranteed a scholarship. He’ll be a walk-on at OU although he is hopeful through his work ethic, attitude and production, that could change.

It seemed like a natural fit for Rodriguez, a product of the Tulsa (Okla.) Union powerhouse program, to find a home with the Golden Hurricane. But Rodriguez said he thinks didn’t work out because it’s not where he wanted to be.

A lot of that is admittedly his fault as he said he didn’t take care of his grades and do the things he needed to in order to succeed.

OU was the goal. Rodriguez said if he didn’t qualify academically for OU, he was going to head to a junior college. It was literally OU or bust.

“This is my second chance,” Rodriguez said. “I’m going to work hard on my grades and on the field and put myself in the best position I can going forward.”

With Rodriguez coming to OU, it will be a Tulsa Union reunion of sorts with freshmen Jeffery Mead (wide receiver) and Carson Meier (tight end) already on campus.

“It’s going to be fun,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve talked to them a couple of times. I’m looking forward to this fresh start.”

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