Charles Tapper always dreamed of making big money, just thought it would be in basketball. His football dream became a reality Saturday when he was drafted in the fourth round with the No. 101 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft.
Tapper, originally from Baltimore, grew up believing the hardwood would be his future before former Oklahoma assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright helped persuade him to try football.
Good move. Tapper was a star on and off the field for the Sooners, helping OU earn its first berth in the college football playoff last season.
Tapper, a three-year starter in Norman, finished his career with 138 tackles and 15.5 sacks. He saved his best performances for his last one, registering seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss as a senior.
OU fans knew for years about the athletic freak of nature Tapper has been, but NFL scouts got to see it up close and personal at the NFL Combine.
Tapper ran a blistering 4.59-second 40-yard dash, easily the No. 1 time of any defensive lineman invited to the event.
Tapper was as big of a leader off the field as he was on the field, always showing a socially conscious mindset and realizing how his actions could inspire people.
Before Tapper, the Sooners didn’t venture to the east coast often in recruiting. OU is trying to earn its foothold in the area now with several players and recruits pointing toward Tapper’s success as a reason for why OU is a worthwhile option.
Tapper is OU’s second player selected in the draft as wide receiver Sterling Shepard was picked in the second round by the New York Giants on Friday evening.