Drake Stoops: From Walk-On to Gridiron Glory in Oklahoma's Football Farewell

Drake Stoops: From Walk-On to Gridiron Glory in Oklahoma's Football Farewell

The final whistle is about to blow on a remarkable chapter in Oklahoma football history as Drake Stoops, fondly known as 'Bob's Boy,' prepares to don the Sooners uniform for the last time in the upcoming 2023 Valero Alamo Bowl. For the Stoops family, football isn't just a sport; it's a cherished legacy passed down from one generation to the next.

Drake's journey into the world of college football is a tale of passion, determination, and carving a niche beyond the shadows of a legendary father. Opting to walk on for the Sooners in 2018, he embarked on a journey that would etch his name in the annals of Oklahoma football history.

Against the backdrop of scholarship offers from Air Force, Iowa, Memphis, Ohio, and Western Kentucky, Drake chose the unconventional path, choosing to prove his mettle as a walk-on. The 2018 season opener against Florida Atlantic marked his debut as a true freshman walk-on, and he wasted no time making an impact. Two passes for 16 yards in that game made him the first walk-on to record a catch in a season opener.

As the 2019 season unfolded, Drake Stoops transitioned from a reserve receiver and punt returner to a player making his mark in every game. Eight receptions for 95 yards signaled his growing influence on the field. His dedication and hard work were duly recognized when he was awarded an athletics scholarship right after the Sooners' 2021 spring game, a testament to the fact that Drake had earned his rightful place in the Oklahoma uniform.

Fast forward to the 2023 season, and Drake Stoops isn't just bidding adieu to college football; he's leaving behind a legacy. Starting in all 12 games, he wrapped up the regular season with an impressive stat line – 78 receptions, 880 yards, and 10 touchdowns. His prowess on the field wasn't just acknowledged by fans; Stoops emerged as one of the three finalists for the prestigious Burlsworth Trophy, an accolade reserved for the most outstanding football player who began their career as a walk-on.

The 2023 Valero Alamo Bowl now stands as the stage where Drake Stoops, the torchbearer of a football dynasty, will showcase his skills for the last time in the Crimson and Cream. As the curtain falls on this chapter, a new one begins – the journey to the NFL draft, where the stakes are higher, and the challenges, even more, formidable.

The Stoops name is synonymous with Oklahoma football, thanks to the indelible mark left by Bob Stoops, a coaching maestro who arrived in 1999 to resurrect a program that had languished without a winning record for five years. In his inaugural year, the Sooners notched seven wins and made their first bowl appearance since 1994, signaling the dawn of a new era.

Bob Stoops went on to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to a staggering record of 191-48 over his illustrious 18-year tenure. His coaching prowess manifested in historic ways – the only coach in history to clinch a national championship and triumph in all four BCS bowl games. Retirement beckoned in 2016, but not before securing a legacy as a two-time national coach of the year and a six-time Big 12 Coach of the Year.

As the echoes of Bob Stoops' coaching era reverberate through time, his son Drake Stoops steps into a future that holds the promise of the NFL. The Valero Alamo Bowl isn't just a game; it's a symbolic transition from the collegiate stage to the professional arena. It's a culmination of years of dedication, hard work, and a love for the game that runs deep in the Stoops veins.

The story of Drake Stoops isn't merely about statistics and touchdowns; it's about resilience, grit, and proving one's worth against all odds. As he takes those final steps on the collegiate field, one can't help but wonder: What does the future hold for 'Bob's Boy' in the NFL? Will he continue the Stoops legacy on a grander stage?

The NFL draft looms large on the horizon, and with it comes the prospect of seeing Drake Stoops carve a niche for himself among the football elite. The journey from walk-on to a potential NFL player is a testament to the Stoops family's dedication to the sport, a dedication that has left an indelible mark on Oklahoma football.

As the Valero Alamo Bowl unfolds, it's not just the end of an era; it's the beginning of a new chapter. The Stoops legacy, crafted with passion and perseverance, will continue to resonate through the hallowed grounds of Oklahoma football. And as fans bid farewell to Drake Stoops in his collegiate finale, they can't help but anticipate the next thrilling chapter in the saga of 'Bob's Boy.' The game clock may tick down, but the legacy of the Stoops family in Oklahoma football endures.

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