Oklahoma football: Walk-on safety Thaddeus LaGrone out to prove he's more than just a cool name

by Jason Kersey Published: August 5, 2014

NORMAN — Thaddeus LaGrone’s friends have told him for a long time that if he makes it big in football, he’ll have a great name for announcers.

“I love my name,” LaGrone said. “A lot of people say it sounds like a Greek name. ‘Thaddeus LaGrone.’ It’s actually from the Bible.”

Oklahoma’s sophomore safety is working on making his name more well-known to OU fans, but that process can be a little longer and tougher for walk-ons.

LaGrone was removed from his Allen (Texas) High School football team his senior season after an injury and a subsequent disagreement with one of his coaches, he said. At the time, he was committed to Baylor, but the Bears stopped recruiting him after his high school career prematurely ended.

He committed to Houston and signed there, but didn’t last long with the Cougars.

“I got hurt and some things happened,” LaGrone said. “Also they had me playing outside linebacker and that wasn’t really what I wanted to play.”

LaGrone — whose cousin is former OU wide receiver Mark Bradley — attended Oklahoma’s 2013 spring game and liked the campus, so he decided to walk on. The safety had to sit out last season, but will be eligible to play this year.

He made waves in the 2014 OU spring game because of a few big, memorable hits on Sooner offensive players.

“Hitting has always been my thing,” he said with a grin.

Obviously, earning regular playing time at a school like Oklahoma is difficult for any walk-on, but LaGrone feels like he’s got a shot, especially considering the Sooners’ inexperience in the defensive backfield. But for now, he’s perfectly willing to play special teams, line up on the scout team and basically do anything to prove he’s capable of contributing.

“I think I’ve definitely proved some things, but I’ve gotta keep on pushing and see what the future holds,” LaGrone said.

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...
+ show more

Trending Now


  1. 1
    High school football: Sperry rallies for win week after lineman dies
  2. 2
    New video shows beheading of British aid worker David Haines by Islamic State group
  3. 3
    OU football: Jordan Phillips breaks out 'Shmoney dance' after sack against Tennessee
  4. 4
    VIDEO: Oklahoma State WR Brandon Sheperd catches 18-yard touchdown from Daxx Garman
  5. 5
    OSU football: J.W. Walsh watches first quarter of OSU-UTSA from the top of Boone Pickens Stadium
+ show more