Senior tight end Trent Ratterree, who recently returned to practice after suffering a concussion during two-a-days, was an All-State football and basketball star at Weatherford. He turned down scholarship offers to Colorado State, Tulsa and Rice to walk-on at OU.
“He grew up loving OU,” said tight end James Hanna. “He loves being part of this and contributing. He plays harder than anybody. He wants it more than anybody.”
Coach Bob Stoops announced last week that Ratterree was placed on scholarship, a reward not only to Ratterree but his family, which made sacrifices to help him play as a walk-on.
“I still get goose bumps when they start playing, ‘Boomer Sooner,'” Ratterree said. “It's a great feeling.”
CAPTAINS FOR 2011 SEASON
The Sooners selected five captains for the season — quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Ryan Broyles, center Ben Habern, linebacker Travis Lewis and punter Tress Way.
It's the second consecutive year Jones and Lewis have been captains. Lewis was selected although he's expected to miss the first month of the season with a broken toe.
JONES A JONNY QUEST FAN
In Sunday's Oklahoman football preview section, duos from each position were compared to pop culture icons.
Which dynamic duos did Jones like growing up?
Chicago Bulls All-Stars Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
“I watched the Bulls all the time when I was young,” Jones said. “They were always my favorite team.”
As for TV duos, Jones watched cartoon heroes Hadji and Jonny Quest, who accompanied his father on extraordinary adventures.
“I was a big Jonny Quest fan,” Jones said. “I watched those cartoons all the time.”
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles, the other half of OU's dynamic duo, also chose a cartoon.
“I loved watching Tom and Jerry,” Broyles said.
INJURY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Running back Roy Finch missed half of his freshman season after suffering a fractured ankle weeks before the season opener. Finch said the injury forced him to re-evaluate things.
“That injury, it changed my life,” Finch said. “Not just football-wise. ... It helped me come closer to myself and closer to God. I think that's what it most impacted. College football is just a little aspect of my life. It's me and my family and me and God.”
MARTINEZ COMPARED TO VENABLES
In the early segments of EPSN's series, “Training Days of the Oklahoma Sooners,” defensive backs coach Willie Martinez was shown yelling instructions.
Because defensive coordinator Brent Venables is known for his vocal style, Martinez was asked how many similarities he has to Venables.
"Zero," Martinez said. "He has hair. I have none. He's shorter. I'm taller. ... Coach Venables is a great teacher. It's easy to follow his lead. He has great leadership skills.
"He's very vocal. I've always been that way. Whether that's because of my demeanor, coaching in the secondary you're forced to do it. You have to constantly communicate. Those kids have to be able to feed off you."
MOM APPROVES OF HAIRCUT
Senior defensive end Frank Alexander last season wore dreadlocks. This season his hair is shaved close.
“My mom wasn't a big fan of me growing the dreads in the first place,” Alexander said. “I guess it was just a phase I was going through, try anything out. I like the fade (cut) better. In fact it's time to go get it tight.”