NORMAN — For the record, that roar you might have heard after Oklahoma’s Red/White Game on Saturday was not Bob and Carol Stoops.
Theirs might have been louder.
Their son, OU receiver Drake Stoops, was officially placed on scholarship, coach Lincoln Riley announced to the team on the field after the scrimmage.
The 5-foot-9, 188-pound Stoops, a fourth-year junior from Norman North High School, is no longer a walk-on.
“Which is obviously super popular with our guys,” Riley said. “It's been a long time coming, honestly.”
When the scrimmage had finished and Riley’s “postgame” speech was concluded at midfield, he broke the news, and a raucous cheer went up as everyone piled around Stoops.
“We were all happy for him,” said quarterback Spencer Rattler. “I mean, that's our guy right there — Drizzy, that's what we call him. We're happy for him.”
With the NCAA relaxing scholarship restrictions this year, some walk-ons were sure to finally get their scholarship. But that restriction is, for now, scheduled to be in back effect for 2022. So Riley must be able see into the future and be judicious with who gets a scholarship and who has to wait.
“He's earned it before this,” Riley said, “and we've been a little slow to use any of these scholarships with so many of these rules changing right now. Just kind of trying to get a lay of the land and get a feel for where we're going to be. I knew about two weeks ago that we were going to go ahead and do this here, and thought here at the end of the spring game would be a fun way to do it."
In his OU career so far, Stoops has 25 receptions for 330 yards, including the game-winner in overtime last year against Texas. On Saturday, he caught one pass for six yards.
“You could see the respect our team has for Drake and the way he works every single day," Riley said, "because there wasn't a guy down there that wasn't thrilled for him.”
Rattler co-signed Riley’s comments.
“He's one of our go-to guys on those third downs, on those quick drive starters, he's always getting open,” Kelly said. “He works harder than anybody and he just keeps his head down. He's very humble about it. He deserves it. I'm happy for him.”
NOTE: In a previous version of this story, a quote from Spencer Rattler was incorrectly attributed to Caleb Kelly.