The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 24, 2013

Tapper wants to be answer to defensive line concerns

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The fact that his time on the football field, or in a weight program, was minimal scared off some schools. All the Sooners saw was potential.

“Here’s a guy that’s big, physical and he’s hardly lifted weights,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s hardly been doing the things our guys have been doing, and imagine when he does?”

He’s now had two years of summer lifting programs and a season under his belt during which he played in five games.

However, OU is starving for impact defensive linemen.

Stoops likens Tapper to 2011 Big 12 defensive player of the year Frank Alexander. Both arrived in Norman with little fanfare but were exceptional athletes with basketball backgrounds.

“Everyone knew very little about them when they came on the scene and all of a sudden played very well. I think Charles is every bit the athlete and player Frank was at that age,” Stoops said. “Hopefully, it will keep coming in that way in that he’s going to show more and more consistency and play at the level I believe he will.”

The one difference is Alexander didn’t emerge until late in his career. He was a fifth-year senior in 2011.

Tapper is just a sophomore who decided just four years ago to fully dedicate himself to football. The Sooners are asking more from him at an earlier age.

Tapper believes he’s ready for everything that’s about to hit him. He knows there’s no guarantee the analogy that helped push him into football guarantees all his dreams will be fulfilled. But he believes he’s proved something to the coaching staff over the last two years.

“That I’m hungry and determined and that I want to be great. I want to put some national championships and some more Big 12 championships on the wall,” Tapper said. “I wanna be one of those guys on the wall for first-team All-American.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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