NORMAN — Austin Haywood had been telling his dad, Paul, that he just wasn’t happy at Oklahoma.
Yesterday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced that the sophomore tight end would transfer at the end of the semester. It was surprising, given the playing time Haywood was getting.
“He was playing as a sophomore,” Paul Haywood said. “He was rotating in a lot.
“I was kinda upset about it, but I said, ‘Go somewhere where you’re happy.’”
According to sources familiar with the situation, Haywood had threatened to quit the team before, and a verbal spat with assistant Bruce Kittle late last week was the final straw.
Paul Haywood said he thinks much of why his son was unhappy is because offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who was Haywood’s position coach his freshman year and his primary recruiter, left to be coach at Indiana after last season.
“Coach Wilson was bringing the best out in him,” Paul Haywood said. “And Austin was kinda getting used to him, and then coach Wilson went to Indiana.”
Paul Haywood said he doesn’t know where Austin will transfer.
Haywood, who played in high school at Anadarko through his junior year and transferred to Southmoore for his senior season, was a member of The Oklahoman’s elite, 25-man All-State high school football team in 2009 and one of the top recruits in the Sooners’ 2010 recruiting class. He had six receptions for 42 yards, including a 19-yard reception against Texas.
In August he had talked about discovering the work ethic needed to play Division I football.
“(I) changed in just being able to show up on time,” Haywood said. “Not being late to meetings and class and tutors. Just being more responsible. I had to learn from my mistakes.
“I think it will help me become a smarter player. Just being out there and knowing what I’m doing helps.”