Sophomore, walk-on fullback Aaron Ripkowski rewarded with scholarship
NORMAN — Coach Bob Stoops presented sophomore fullback Aaron Ripkowski with the Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-On Award at the football team’s annual dinner and awards ceremony last Friday.
After the sophomore received his award, Stoops announced his decision to award Ripkowski with a football scholarship.
“I said, ‘Well, he won’t be anymore because he won’t be able to win it next year, so one of you other guys will have to win it,’” Stoops said Thursday.
Ripkowski, from Dayton, Texas, made his mark on special teams and in the short-yardage “Belldozer” package.
“I didn’t know he was gonna announce it at the banquet,” Ripkowski said. “It was a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Stoops said he told Ripkowski the good news at practice on the Thursday before OU’s regular-season finale at TCU.
“I grabbed him, put my arm around him and said, ‘Hey, Rip, we’re going to put you on scholarship for the next season. You’ve earned it and we appreciate you,’” Stoops remembered Thursday.
“We recognize — and always have here — guys that are making a strong contribution and feel they should be rewarded for it when they do. Rip has a lot of great years in front of us with us. He’ll continue to get better.”
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