Charles Tapper discusses his Oklahoma pledge
Oklahoma was the first college football program to take a chance and offer Charles Tapper a scholarship.
Last weekend, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end rewarded the Sooners’ faith in him by offering his commitment.
“I just thought it was the best choice,” said Tapper, a four-star prospect and 24-7 Sports’ No. 112 player in the 2012 class. “I think they want me at weakside D-end. They said they liked my quickness off the ball, that I’m strong and that I’m a raw talent.”
A well-known basketball standout for City and Nike Baltimore Elite, Tapper was a newcomer last fall to the gridiron. He suited up for the Knights for the first time, and quickly emerged as one of the city’s top talents. His national reputation grew thanks in part to his participation in Next Level Nation’s 7-on-7 program.
Bobby Wright, Oklahoma’s assistant defensive coordinator and defensive ends coach, was an early believer in Tapper’s potential. Tapper said he bonded right away with the OU assistant.
“He treated me like a father figure,” Tapper said. “He always tells me the truth. … Hopefully I will get to play [early]. They say as long as I work hard, the sky’s the limit.”
Tapper said his commitment to the Sooners relieved “a lot of pressure.” But West Virginia has continued to recruit him, and he’s considering visits this fall to Morgantown and Miami.
“I’m pretty much solid with [my commitment to Oklahoma],” Tapper said. “I haven’t been down there for a visit yet. My mother hasn’t been down there yet. It’s a long way.”
Tapper, who isn’t sure yet where he will attend high school this fall, said he was impressed by Oklahoma's graduation rate for football players, its penchant for producing NFL talent, and the program's regular Top 10 finishes. Tapper, a prospective business major, plans to visit Oklahoma soon. He’s excited to see what Norman has to offer.
“I love the city of Baltimore, but I also wanted to experience new things and experience new places,” he said. “I don’t even know what I expect to see [at Oklahoma]. I think I’m going to have a great time.”
Baltimore Sun photo of Charles Tapper by Karl Merton Ferron / Nov. 6, 2010