Up until just a few years ago, Charles Tapper was much more of a basketball player than a football player growing up in Baltimore. Now entering his sophomore season, Tapper has been one of the most talked-about players on the Sooners defense in preseason camp. He's listed as the starter at defensive end entering Saturday's opener.
Of course I still play basketball. Well, not right now. I probably won't till the end of the season, around January. It's not a rule, I just want to take it upon myself that I had a lot to learn on the football field. I miss it a lot but if I can't play basketball, I might as well take that anger out on somebody.
The last time I played was when I was back home. It was probably three months ago. It's been a long time. I've probably lost a little bit of my game.
I started focusing on football when I was in my junior year of high school. It was weird. It was me and this guy named Cory Robinson. We were sitting in McDonald's and he told me, ‘You can either drive a Honda Accord or a Lamborghini.' I asked him what he meant and he said I could keep playing basketball and drive a Honda Accord or I could play football and drive a Lamborghini. I said, ‘Shoot, I wanna drive a Lamborghini.' Since then, everything has happened. He took me to the Army combine and Coach (Bobby Jack) Wright was there to see it. Since then, God has blessed me from then on.
I feel like I know the game a little bit better this year. I feel like I still have a lot to learn. I've just learned a little bit better about staying in the film room and studying with coach (Jerry) Montgomery. He teaches me plays every day. Coach Mike (Stoops) sits me down and tells me what to do and which way to go. They've shown me the right things to do. My arms have gotten bigger. I'm a little bit stronger.
My goal is 15 sacks this year. If I achieve anything under that, that's fine but if I get 15, that's my goal.