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Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooner football teammates, coaches united again, in tragedy

OKLAHOMA FOOTBALL — As OU football teammates, Corey Callens and Rodney Rideaux experienced the love and admiration of Sooner Nation. Now that they're united by the Moore tornado tragedy, the Oklahoma coaches are feeling the love even deeper.
by Jason Kersey Modified: May 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: May 22, 2013

photo - OU vs Indiana State football. OU defense stops Matt Nelson. 10 Torrance Marshall, 4 Pee Wee Woods, 92 Corey Callens, 45 Rodney Rideau
OU vs Indiana State football. OU defense stops Matt Nelson. 10 Torrance Marshall, 4 Pee Wee Woods, 92 Corey Callens, 45 Rodney Rideau

“I've got some former players of mine trying to come up here and help me find my rings,” Callens said of his Big 12 championship rings, earned as both an OU player and assistant strength coach.

“Coach Stoops has reached out to me. He's actually giving me a gift that's gonna help my family out a little bit. ... I'm just grateful. I'm grateful I've got three kids, and they're all breathing right now, and my wife's happy. So I am, too.”


Rideaux sat in his living room Monday afternoon, watching the weather on television while his 3-year old daughter, Gray, napped next to him.

The KFOR meteorologist advised anyone in Moore who didn't have a storm shelter to get out of town, so Rideaux woke his daughter, picked her up and ran out the door.

As Rideaux drove down S. 19th Street toward the highway, he realized his dog, Remy, was still in the backyard.

The father and daughter arrived at another family member's home in Norman without their beloved dog, so Rideaux posted a photo on Facebook hoping someone would recognize Remy.

Wednesday, someone found Remy at a veterinarian's office in Mustang.

“He's a little tough sucker,” Rideaux said. “I'm just thankful somebody found him. That's my kid's best friend. Those two are buddies.”

Rideaux is thankful his home wasn't completely destroyed, but much of the area surrounding his house is devastated. He lives just around the corner from Plaza Towers Elementary School.

“We used to go to that playground and play all the time,” Rideaux said. “It looks like somebody dropped a bomb on these people. I just feel bad for all the people who have lost everything.”

Rideaux said he's leaned on Callens over the past few days, and Callens has leaned on him.

“Everybody's asking, ‘What can we do for you? How can we help?'” Rideaux said. “To be flat-out honest, and it's no disrespect to anybody, but we don't know what you can do.

“All I've got right now is a suitcase full of clothes. It's tough. People want to help, and you want to be receptive to that, but it's like, ‘What do you do?'”

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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