Some news and notes from the first full week of spring practice for Oklahoma.
Tapper welcoming Reynolds
It’s said repeatedly about committing to a school and not a coach. Now heading into his senior season, there might not be a better example of that than defensive end Charles Tapper.
Tapper, a three-star prospect out of high school in Baltimore, was discovered by Bobby Jack Wright. Tapper was quick to say Wright has been like a father figure and mentor to him.
Eventually Wright got moved from defensive ends coach to cornerbacks coach, but Tapper instantly connected with Jerry Montgomery. When Montgomery left for the NFL last month, it was tough for Tapper.
“It hurt me to my heart,” Tapper said. “I actually went upstairs to a position room and shed a couple of tears when Coach Montgomery gave me the word he was leaving.
“When Coach Wright (left), I called my mom and said wow. The guy who brought me here and pretty much showed me the way just left me.
“When I really sat down and realized they were both gone, it hurt me bad.”
Wright is still around OU in a consulting position, but now it’s all about Tapper getting to know first-year defensive line coach Diron Reynolds.
The one thing Tapper said he has liked about Reynolds is his ability to not try to change everything from how Montgomery had it. Instead, it’s Reynolds adapting and getting the best of both worlds.
“He’s using the things that we had in the past and bringing it together and bring his things together,” Tapper said. “Coach Reynolds has really stepped in and helped us transition.”
Anderson to miss rest of spring
One of the standouts of the first couple of practices was freshman running back Rodney Anderson. A mid-year enrollee from Katy (Texas) High, Anderson was getting rave reviews from players and coaches.
But he’ll have to be shut down for the rest of spring. OU coach Bob Stoops announced on a local radio station Thursday that Anderson has suffered a sprained MCL and will miss the rest of spring practice.
Stoops said the injury will not prevent Anderson from being ready for fall camp, and he should be fine for summer workouts. Anderson, a former Scout 300 prospect, is coming into a loaded backfield but sounds like he should find some time on the field as he has been able to pick the offense relatively easily so far.
Waiting for Seibert
When it comes to 2015 signees not on campus, safety is a position brought up a lot. With good reason, too, since OU had an incredible class at the position.
The replacement could very well be signee Austin Seibert at both positions, but it’s a waiting game until then for the Sooners.
Stoops said Nick Hodgson is handling the field goals right now, while Jack Steed is doing the punting until Seibert gets to campus. Hodgson was 9-of-10 on his field goal attempts Monday.
Seibert was ranked among the top kickers and punters in the nation and was an Under Armour All-American.
Parker ready for more responsibility
Parker started to find his groove late in the season at strong safety, but the door is wide open for Parker to emerge at any number of spots. And OU won’t be shy to try him out at a variety of positions.
“It’s very big for somebody like me because I’m not just learning strong (safety) anymore,” Parker said. “I’m learning strong, nickel, free, dime – I’m learning all over the field. It’s not like I’m a freshman anymore. I’ve really got to get my stuff down and live in the playbook.”
Parker said he’s eager to show what he can do.
“I’m definitely ready for it,” Parker said. “I’m ready to grow up just as a person and as a member of this team. I’m very excited to have all those responsibilities and basically get to play all of them.”