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

He's also got a championship story developing in Whaley.

It's easy to cheer for this guy. Overshadowed at Lawton MacArthur by now-OU teammate Javon Harris. Overshadowed at Langston by whoever was the starting tailback; Whaley scored two touchdowns all season for the 2008 Lions. He rushed for 104 yards vs. Lincoln University but had just 154 yards in Langston's other nine games combined.

Maybe he should have started at Langston, suggested Stoops, who awarded the first game ball Saturday night to Whaley.

Broyles – who had 14 catches himself Saturday night – admitted that the locker room pulls for the non-scholarship players who more than pull their weight.

“It's a little bit more meaningful,” Broyles said. Former walkons “Trent Ratterree, James Winchester, those guys are out there producing.”

Ratterree and Winchester eventually got scholarships. Now might not be a bad time for Whaley to ask for one.

“I'm in there every day,” Whaley said of the coaching offices. “It's eventually going to come.”

Stoops' own words will work against him on that discussion. Mr. I-told-you-so has been touting Whaley the last two springs, even re-telling the story of Whaley needing an IV on the sideline because he ran so wild against the OU defense in a scrimmage. A story Whaley disputes.

But that's the way it goes with such tales. Some grow tall.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.



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