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Oklahoma football notebook: Saints receiver Kenny Stills visits Sooners

Kenny Stills, who had 204 catches in three seasons as a Sooner, visited his former teammates and coaches Saturday. It was quite convenient. OU is practicing at the New Orleans Saints' facility. Stills is a Saint rookie.
by Berry Tramel and Jason Kersey Published: December 29, 2013

Nick Saban hired Nussmeier from the University of Washington, where Nussmeier was offensive coordinator. Nussmeier interviewed for the UW head coaching job earlier this month.

McCARRON TALKS OU

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron nearly signed with OU out of high school.

McCarron, who has led the Crimson Tide to two national championships, was committed to Alabama but told his family the night before signing day he planned to switch to the Sooners. After sleeping on it, he stuck with his original commitment and now admits it's “weird” and “surreal” to be facing OU in his final college game.

“In the end, I just did what was best for the family and it all worked out,” McCarron said.

The 2013 Heisman Trophy runner-up added that he talked mostly to OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and only spoke with coach Bob Stoops “maybe once or twice.”

“Maybe if I got to talk to him, I would have went there,” McCarron said.

STRIKER SICK OF UNDERDOG TALK

OU linebacker Eric Striker was asked Sunday if he's tired of talking about his team's underdog status.

“Yeah,” Striker responded. “It's a terrible question.”

Striker then followed up with, “You guys can ask anything you want. I don't care. But you're not the only one who's asked it — everyone has asked it. We'll leave it all on the field.”

Alabama is more than a two-touchdown favorite to beat the Sooners on Thursday night, and the reason is clear. The Crimson Tide has won three of the last four national championships.

“We love challenges,” said OU cornerback Aaron Colvin. “We've dealt with it all year. We've been picked to lose a lot of games this season, so it's no different.”

TAPPER DOUBLE TAKE

OU defensive end Charles Tapper looks much different since getting his dreadlocks cut during Thanksgiving break. When Tapper returned to campus, even Stoops was taken aback.

“Coach Stoops looked, then he kept walking,” Tapper said. “Then he looked again. ‘It's Tap! You got a haircut. I didn't even recognize you. I thought I had someone new in my locker room.'

“I said, ‘No, coach, it's me.'”

Tapper said he had to cut the dreadlocks after a Norman hairdresser twisted them incorrectly. He said it was emotional, because it made him think of his late father, “but it had to go. It was unhealthy.”

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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