There have been glimpses in the last two seasons of the Charles Tapper that Oklahoma fans thought they would see during his final two years in Norman.
After an incredible sophomore season that fans pumped up for what was next for the Baltimore native, it hadn’t really materialized through his junior season and first month of his senior year.
He knew it. He admitted it. Something had to change. Again, a change that can be attributed to what happened in OU’s shocking 24-17 loss to Texas.
No play epitomized the game more than when Tapper had Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard for a huge third down sack on the first drive of the second half. Instead, Heard got free and earned the first down. Texas would take a lot of time off the clock and notch a field goal.
Tapper, like OU, was in position for great things but couldn’t do it. He said after that game, he had a talk with first-year defensive line coach Diron Reynolds about what was going on. The solution? Stop playing timid and show what you can do.
And what he can do has been on display the last couple of games, punctuated with his outing last week where he had three sacks and two forced fumbles in OU’s 62-7 win against Kansas.
His performance there earned him Co-Defensive Player of the Week for the Big 12 and what he hopes will be the start of even better things to come.
“Yea, I was getting nervous,” said Tapper. “I was finally able to crack it open. Hope I can keep getting them throughout the season.”
Tapper now has 28 tackles, five for loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles this season. And add him to the list of OU players honored by the Big 12. Baker Mayfield has earned the honor once as has Samaje Perine and Austin Seibert, while Zack Sanchez has earned the defensive honor twice.