Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Colorado OT Dan Skipper open to Sooners
By Bob Przybylo
Offensive tackle Dan Skipper (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) has seen his interest pick up recently. His first offer came in January and things haven’t really slowed down.
Despite several offers, Skipper still hadn’t heard from one of his top five schools: Oklahoma. Instead of waiting around, he took the initiative and searched for OU offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle on Facebook and sent him a message. That got the ball rolling for what has been an eventful few weeks for Skipper and the Sooners.
“OU has always been in my top five. I started sending messages and emails to schools and seeing who would respond,” Skipper said. “When you think of major college football in the Midwest, you think OU. I’ve grown up a Big 12 guy, and the Sooners are always there.”
After some brief conversations, Kittle invited Skipper to last weekend’s junior day, the first official junior day Skipper has attended.
Skipper was using the weekend to learn more about OU and about Norman, Okla. Living in Colorado, he admitted that he didn’t know much about the university. He knew about the football tradition but that was about it.
That tradition nearly smacked him in the face when he arrived Friday.
“This is definitely a football town,” Skipper said. “The first thing I saw when I got here was the football stadium. I was amazed. It was something I had never seen before, never seen anything that big.”
Skipper knows his height is the first thing people want to talk about. At 6-foot-10 and 280 pounds, he said college coaches that he has talked to aren't concerned about his height.
“Every coach I’ve talked to says I have great flexibility, and they don’t see my height as a problem,” he said. “We’re a high school that runs the Wing-T offense. You have to stay low in that offense, and it’s not a problem for me.”
Skipper said his trip to OU was an eye-opener. Kittle brought Skipper and his mother into the office and explained the situation, that Skipper wouldn't be offered until Kittle gets a chance to see him in person.
Skipper said he appreciated the honesty, and if anything, it only helped his opinion of the Sooners.
“I’m not someone who is going to make an uninformed decision about my future," he said. "With Coach Kittle being so straight about things, I know OU is the same way. It’s very reassuring.”
At Skipper’s height, most people naturally assume that basketball is his sport. It’s not. Skipper played basketball for the first time in years this past season. Baseball, however, is something Skipper has excelled at for a while.
Skipper has played for a traveling team in Kansas City as a pitcher and a first baseman. He said he has hit 87 mph on the radar gun. But as much as he loves baseball, he said he realizes his future is in football.
Skipper already has offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Duke and Vanderbilt. He has made an unofficial visit to Tulsa two weeks ago and said he plans to see Arizona State during spring break.
Though he said it is too early for him to think about making a decision, he now feels more comfortable about OU after the unofficial visit.
“It’s like no place I’ve ever seen before,” Skipper said. “I thought everything went really well. I could see myself fitting in here.”