Fatherhood changes perspective for OU players

Fatherhood has changed the way OU defenders Matthew Romar, Dominique Alexander approach their lives.

This was nothing like Oklahoma defensive tackle Matthew Romar had ever experienced before. Tougher than earning playing time, tougher than beating his offensive lineman and doing his job.

Changing diapers – this was something Romar wasn’t quite ready for.

“This might sound crazy, but I went on YouTube to learn how to change a diaper,” Romar said. “I didn’t want my mom and them to show me so I went behind their back and went to YouTube. ‘I already know how to do that.’ I was lying.”

Romar became a father to a baby girl, Madison, on Feb. 19. It’s not incredibly rare at all for college football players to have to juggle the game with school and an emerging family.

Romar had a great example to look up to with the way Tyrus Thompson handled it the last few years when with the Sooners. And Romar has company because he wasn’t the only notable OU defender to become a father.

Less than three weeks later, linebacker Dominique Alexander welcomed his son, Noah Lee, on March 6.

It’s safe to say for Alexander and Romar that their perspective on life has changed dramatically since the last time they played a football game.

“I went from playing for my family and my brothers,” Romar said. “Now I have a newborn daughter. She’s going to need me, and she’s going to need money. That took me to another level with my playing style and how I think.”

Alexander agrees. He said fatherhood is the best feeling in the world, and it has definitely changed his outlook on life.

“Life is a lot more serious now,” Alexander said. “It not really about me. It’s about me as well, but every decision I make now has meaning.”

Neither Alexander nor Romar have their kids on campus. Spring break allowed them to spend as much quality time with their newborns as possible before returning to OU for spring football.

Romar is hoping to find his way into the starting lineup, while Alexander is missing spring practice because he is still recovering from wrist surgery. It has brought the teammates closer, joking that every now and then they’ll share some daddy tips.

And they know they’re still learning.

“At the end of the day, I got it,” Alexander said. “Well, I kind of got it, got to take it all in stride. I mess up sometimes. Just like football, got to learn from your mistakes.”

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