Oklahoma football: Fullback Aaron Ripkowski will take care of the heavy duty work

Sooner teammates are thrilled they don't have to face Ripkowski on the football field. Offensive lineman Gabe Ikard said: “He's one guy you say, ‘Rip, you've got that guy. And you know that you no longer have to worry about that person on the field.”
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: October 17, 2012

NORMAN — Aaron Ripkowski first showed his strength when he was 6 years old.

His dad, Randy, was at the kitchen sink when “little bitty” Aaron walked over and stuck his head between his dad's legs and lifted him off the ground.

“I weighed about 220,” Randy said. “I had to grab the sink from falling back.”

Ripkowski grew up loving everything that was tough and strong. He would become the Texas powerlifting champion; he could dead lift 650 pounds. Ripkowski had a chance to attend the Naval Academy. Instead, he chose to walk on at Oklahoma and now the 6-foot-1, 260-pound fullback is one of the most important parts to OU Belldozer set.

When backup quarterback Blake Bell comes out to perform the highly successful short-yardage package, he waits to read Ripkowski and fellow back Trey Millard and how they're blocking in order to find a hole to the first down or end zone.

The hits that “Rip,” as he's known to the team, lays on defenders were described with one word by coach Bob Stoops and tight ends coach Bruce Kittle: physical.

“I could put a highlight clip together of guys he's nearly put in the hospital off of that thing,” Kittle said. “At UTEP, he knocked out two guys completely.

“There's a guy from Texas who's still got a headache, I'm sure.”

That strength is what has some of the Sooners shaking their heads when asked if they'd like to go against the strong sophomore.

Although offensive lineman Gabe Ikard said he's never received a hit from Ripkowski, he's watched defender after defender get drilled by the Dayton, Texas, native.

Ikard compared it to a person running straight into a wall. He's just not sure whether that wall would be made out of brick or cement.

“I would not want to go against Ripkowski,” Ikard said. “He's one of the most physical football players I've ever played with, just in his attempts at knocking people down. It's pretty impressive just how much they end up on the ground.”

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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