The Norman Transcript

OU Football

November 19, 2013

Fullback Ripkowski filling in for depleted tight end spot

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Finding a true tight end is something OU has tried to do for two years. It’s very clear that in recruiting, OU is putting a heavy emphasis on the position for the future.

OU signed three — Taylor McNamara, Sam Grant and Green — in 2012 and has two more committed for 2014.

Boulware said the spot’s disappearance in the passing game in 2012 and most of this season has hurt in recruiting. But OU’s tradition with the spot helps. OU has commitments from junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana and Tulsa Union’s Carson Meier for next season.

“It’d be easier if we had an All-American like (Jermaine) Gresham still here, you know, about to leave. Those five-star tight ends see a guy that they can try to imitate, you know, and so that’s what they look for,’” Boulware said. “What we’re trying to do is convince them that, ‘Hey, look, you know, here’s a guy who was here in the past, in the same style of offense and they were very productive.’ When you get kids who are really smart, they see that. They see the productivity that tight ends have had in this offense. They know that our head coach loves tight ends, and it’s a no-brainer.”

But in recruiting, what teams have done in the past doesn’t always resonate. Two years can be an eternity when it comes to convincing 17- and-18-year-olds what their future will hold.

But finally getting the tight end involved in offense is the first step toward re-emphasizing the spot.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

 

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