Dominique Whaley gives Oklahoma fans, players an unlikely Week 1 hero to pull for

COMMENTARY — Bob Stoops tried to tell everyone walkon Dominique Whaley was a player. Pretty soon Stoops will need to back up that talk with a scholarship.
By BERRY TRAMEL Published: September 4, 2011
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photo - Oklahoma's Dominique Whaley (8) scores a touchdown in the third quarter of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Tulsa University Hurricanes (TU) at the Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma won 47-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Oklahoma's Dominique Whaley (8) scores a touchdown in the third quarter of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Tulsa University Hurricanes (TU) at the Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma won 47-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

NORMAN – Dominique Whaley doesn't seek the spotlight the way he seeks daylight on Owen Field.

Wasn't recruited out of high school, because, he figures, he didn't go to summer camps.

Wasn't in the 2011 OU football media guide because he didn't bother to show up for either photo session.

Good luck staying incognito now, Dommy. Not after scoring four touchdowns in his Sooner debut. Not after rushing for 131 yards on 18 carries Saturday night in a 47-14 rout of Tulsa. Not after writing another wild chapter in what is becoming a tale for the ages.

Not after sliding onto the list of OU's great out-of-nowhere stories, with Joe Don Looney (60-yard TD run to beat Syracuse in 1962) and Jim Culbreath (117 yards as a walkon debut against Oregon in 1975).

Of course, we can't say we weren't warned.

“I told you guys, he's a really good football player,” said Bob Stoops, who indeed had Whaley listed as a co-starter on the depth chart with Brennan Clay.

Whaley's fairy tale is growing wings. From backup tailback at Langston in 2008 to OU walkon to show-stealer for the Sooner season opener.

But Whaley wants no part of promoting himself. “If I could have, I would have snuck out of here,” he said in the post-game interview room. “I'm just a football guy.”

Sorry, fame goes along with the territory for football guys who score four touchdowns for the nation's No. 1-ranked team.

Keep this up, and ESPN will start throwing Whaley's name up on the Heisman list with teammates Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles.

“I hope they don't,” Whaley said of being discovered. “That might mean I gotta go up there, too.”

Probably won't happen. It's not like Jones or Broyles hurt their stock Saturday night. Jones threw for 375 yards and no interceptions; Broyles had 14 catches.

The Sooner offense was in high gear – 663 yards – and its defense was suffocating save for three pass busts. We saw little that would dissuade those who believe Stoops has a championship squad on his hands.

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