Oklahoma sophomore tight end Taylor McNamara admits being a little concerned about his future with the program a couple years ago, when he was injured as a true freshman and watched the Sooner offense rarely use tight ends.
McNamara was injured early enough in the 2012 season to receive a medical redshirt, but for most of 2013, the only tight ends regularly used were fullbacks Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski.
“I was young and kinda stubborn,” McNamara said of his attitude in 2012. “Now, as I’m older, I’m realizing they just want the best players out there. That’s how it works here.”
McNamara took full advantage of the Sooners’ month-long Sugar Bowl preparations, and ended up making the first reception of his career in Oklahoma’s upset victory over Alabama.
“The whole year, I was just working to get better,” McNamara said. “That’s what you’re doing the whole time, and eventually, I got good enough to where they thought I could help the team. I got to play a little bit.
“Heck, I’m out there trying to play. I don’t wanna sit my whole career here. I want to make an impact, so it was good to make a little impact there.”
IKARD, MILLARD AWARDED GRAD SCHOOL GRANTS
The NCAA announced Tuesday that former OU football players Gabe Ikard and Trey Millard, along with volleyball player Sallie McLaurin, have been awarded grants to attend graduate school on either a part-time or full-time basis.
It is the first time in OU history that three student-athletes in one sports cycle have received the scholarship.
Ikard was the first OU football player to be named a three-time Capitol One Academic All-American, and was the 2013 Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year for football.
McLaurin received the Big 12 honor for volleyball.
Ikard and Millard shared OU’s 2013 Don Key Award.
The prestigious NCAA scholarship, first awarded in 1964, is a $7,500 grant given to a maximum of 174 student-athletes over the course of an academic year.
FANS ENCOURAGED TO RENEW SEASON TICKETS BY MARCH 31
Oklahoma football season-ticket holders are encouraged to renew by March 31 to receive the opportunity for a three-month payment plan, complimentary spring game tickets and to be eligible for prizes.
Tickets can be renewed online at SoonerSports.com, by calling the ticket office at (405) 325-2424 or by faxing the completed application to (405) 325-8500.
Fans who already renewed season tickets but haven’t requested their free spring game tickets can still do so by the March 31 deadline.
OU quarterback Trevor Knight, when asked if it’s realistic that he can replicate his Sugar Bowl MVP performance:
“I think it's very realistic. When you play as well as you're capable of, you want to play that way week in and week out. That's the standard right now because that's the best I've played. I want to build on that. I want to be better than that so that's what I'm going to strive to do every day.”