Nic Harris left a 6-foot-2, 230-pound hole at strong safety after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in April. His replacement this year will be Sam Proctor, a sophomore from Pearland, Texas, who was recruited by OU as an athlete, rather than for a specific position. After redshirting his first season with the Sooners, he saw significant time on special teams as a freshman. Now, as a starter, he’ll be counted on for much more than the 10 special teams tackles he racked up last season. → Since you played offense in high school, what did you think when the coaching staff told you that you’d be playing defense? It wasn’t as big of an adjustment as many might think, I played a lot of defense growing up. Matter of fact, everyone in my family played defense. I was the first one to start playing offense in my family. It wasn’t as big of an adjustment as I thought, as far as being physical and tackling, the biggest thing was learning defense and learning defensive concepts. →What did you learn in your first year on the field, after redshirting your first year here? I just learned that the biggest thing about playing here, especially on defense, is accountability to your coaches, accountability to your teammates. They want to know that they can feel like they can trust you and that you’re responsible to carry on your assignment and make that play. And not just on the field, but off the field with how you handle yourself in the classroom. →How much of that came from Nic Harris, who you’ll replace this year? I honestly believe he led by example in the community. He graduated, his grades were always where they were supposed to be. So Nic definitely set the example for young guys like myself, watching him last year, seeing how he handled himself on and off the field. →How much did playing offense help when you switched, knowing what offensive players didn’t like safeties to do? I actually played quarterback, so the looking off the safety, some of the drops, a three-step drop is usually going to be a quicker pass. A five-step drop, you can think a longer pass, stuff like that. By playing quarterback, now I’m able to be the safety and see the quarterback, see his little tactics and recognize what type of play could be coming out. →What’s been your best moment at OU? A lot of great moments, but going to the national championship last year. I didn’t get to play defense, but getting to play on special teams, and made a tackle and got my name called at the national championship game. That was a big moment for me. →What do people need to know about Sam Proctor the person? Sam Proctor the person is a very spiritual guy. I believe in meditation, I believe in prayer. I believe in reading a lot of scriptures for mental strength, spiritual strength. That’s what helps push me through my day. →What scriptures do you read? Psalms 27, Psalms 62, Psalms 121 are some of my favorites. →What do very few people know about Sam Proctor? Single parent home (with) my mother. I have two older sisters and a younger brother. My father passed at a young age. I’ve basically been the man of my house since I was like 7 or 8, if you can grasp that. →How did that help prepare you for life as an adult? That was the biggest thing that could ever happen in my life. Without that happening, I don’t believe I’d be at the point where I’m at today. That change in my life at that age ultimately prepared me to push myself and better myself to be where I’m at right now. Text "Sooners" to 65360 today for your chance to win 2 tickets to OU vs. BYU in Dallas, Sept. 5.