Season OU 11: No. 6 FB Aaron Ripkowski

Hard-playing fullback is perfect fit for Oklahoma Sooners

For the next 10 days Sooners Illustrated will count down the top 11 players of the season for Oklahoma as voted by Bob Przybylo and Justin Hite during the season.

No. 6 fullback Aaron Ripkowski (41 points)

This might sound weird, but Ripkowski is pretty similar to Taylor Swift.

Country music claimed her in its genre even though Swift never really fell into the category.

And the offensive line happily claimed Ripkowski, even though he works out with the tight ends and full backs and watches film with the group.

Say what you want about Swift, but it’s really hard not to like Ripkowksi.

A former walk-on, Ripkowski has earned everything that has been given to him. He won reps. He earned a scholarship. He fought for carries. He bullied his way to touchdowns. After a special year, he’ll probably receive an invite to an NFL camp. It’s a long way to go for a player who had just one scholarship offer out of high school.

He’s a team-first guy, through and through.

After playing the most notable game of his career against Oklahoma State, he deflected his personal achievements on the first question.

“I didn’t really think about my success,” said Ripkowski, who wears heavy eye black on game days. “I just thought about that I was sad for the seniors. It was their final game on this home field. No one wants to go out like that.”

Ripkowski had just one touch before this season but finished the year with 13 touches for 51 total yards. He was used primarily in short-yard situations and finished the year with four touchdowns.

His touchdown-per-touch (.30) ratio was by far the best on the team. Tight end Blake Bell was the only other player close (.21). Sterling Shepard was third at 0.1.

On the OU 11, it took a while for Ripkowski to crack the top 11, but when he did, he never left. Ripkowski didn’t finish in the rankings during the first seven games but had the highest average finish in the final five.

He ended the year with the highest average finish – scoring 41 points in just four games when a maximum of 44 was possible.

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