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Collected Wisdom: Renaldo Works, former Oklahoma tailback who starred in the 2002 OU-Alabama game

by Berry Tramel Published: December 28, 2013

Whenever you get those two big programs together, even though a lot of people are counting us out, I still think it's going to be a great game. Those guys are going to play well together. I believe we're going to make it a heck of a game and come out victorious.

I went to Booker T. (Washington in Tulsa). There's a little guy, (OU linebacker) Dominique Alexander, look out for him. That's a little guy I helped recruit a little bit. I was always told to give back. When you see someone who has an opportunity to play at the University of Oklahoma, help them out. I told him it's a good place to come. The alumni support is strong. You're going to get a good education. You'll have ties to the university the rest of your life. You might play professional football, but then you have to figure out what you're going to do the rest of your life. A good degree from the university will pay dividends.

Coach (Bob) Stoops said something to me, if you want to play, the only way you're going to play is if you're academically eligible. I figured no matter what, I was going to bust my tail and stay eligible so I could have the opportunity to play.

My parents pushed academics. And I also had another good mentor, Rocky Bright (of Tulsa Washington). He went to the University of Oklahoma before I got there. He kind of helped me get to that point. He would push me — the bottom line is, you want to get your books, you want to have the opportunity to be successful after football. I passed the same thing along.

The university has been so good to me. They helped me come back, helped me in reaching some of my short-term goals. A lot of guys don't want to go back because of pride. They don't want to feel like they didn't succeed. It's scary to go back feeling like that, especially going back to the same place where you were seen as a hero.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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