When Charles Tapper and some of his Oklahoma teammates first met freshman running back Samaje Perine, they thought he had to be someone’s dad.
“He’s like a grown man,” Tapper said. “The first time we met him, we were in the elevator and he smacked the elevator door and stopped it. We were all like, ‘Whose father is this?’ They said, ‘No, that’s the new running back in town.’
“Samaje is a massive human being. It’s crazy. It’s a scary sight seeing him coming at you full speed.”
Perine (5-foot-11, 243 pounds) is expected to compete for carries in the OU backfield immediately, and he could have an even better shot to play right away after fellow freshman Joe Mixon’s one-year suspension.
Tapper recalled when sophomore Keith Ford plowed through opponents early last season as a true freshman and excited fans, and said Perine will get a similar reaction.
“I can’t wait to see game time,” Tapper said. “I can’t wait to see Samaje’s turn to actually get to go full speed and just get to run through somebody. It might be ESPN top 10 plays.”
SANCHEZ NOT SURPRISED BY THOMAS
Many were surprised a few weeks ago when defensive coordinator Mike Stoops announced that true freshman cornerback Jordan Thomas was playing so well that he was currently in the two-deep.
One guy who wasn’t surprised? Returning starter Zack Sanchez.
“I knew recruiting him he was a smart kid, so I felt like it would transfer over to the football field which it did immediately,” Sanchez said. “You could tell he understood our play calls, how to read out different things like that so I wasn't surprised at all.”
Thomas, from Klein, Texas, was originally committed to Northwestern, but flipped to the Sooners in late January. He is an engineering major.
Sophomore cornerback Dakota Austin, on his mentality throughout preseason practice: “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Just keep competing. All you can do is keep competing. Whether good or bad has happened, keep competing no matter what.”