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July 10, 2011

Tapko talks about decision to transfer

Most of the attention surrounding OU's class of 2011 this summer has focused on players Trey Metoyer and Jordan Wade - two players who are still working to become eligible for competition this fall.

Metoyer is enrolled in a Texas junior college taking classes and he's expected to enroll at OU in August, while Wade's family has told SoonerScoop.com he is working to pass his Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

High schoolers in Texas must pass this test before they may be awarded a high school diploma.

Until Wade receives a passing grade on this exam, he will not be able to enroll at OU.

But late Saturday evening, word leaked out that Oklahoma's recruiting class of 2011 is down another player.

That's because freshman tight end Dan Tapko from Kansas City's Rockhurst High School, has decided to transfer.

Tapko spoke with SoonerScoop this afternoon through email amid speculation about his departure. KC Metro News first tweeted the news last night.

"It was a tough decision and it was made for medical and personal reasons that would have made my life really difficult trying to go to school and play football," wrote Tapko.

"I want to clear up that it was not the knee. My knee is 100% good to go."

Tapko had been in Norman since early June taking part in the Sooners' summer workout programs, but sources said he had not been with the team for the last several days.

Tapko will now become a former teammate almost as quickly as he became a current one.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to play at OU and I can tell you right now I'm going to be OU's number one fan no matter where I go to college next year. It's been fun."

Tapko's departure doesn't exactly leave a huge void at the tight end position. The Sooners also brought in Max Stevenson this summer, a 6-foot-6, 250-plus pound tight end from Klein (Texas) Oak High School.

Oklahoma also signed Nila Kasitati, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound, TE/OL from Euless (Texas) Trinity High School.

It is expected that Kasitati will remain on on the offensive line this fall, but he could also serve as a jumbo tight end in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

The Sooners also have two returning tight ends with considerable experience in James Hanna and Trent Ratterree to go along with a young, but talented Austin Haywood.

Ratterree was recently awarded a scholarship by Bob Stoops after spending the last three years as a walk-on.

OU also has a verbal commitment from 2012 TE Laith Harlow, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder from Tallahassee's Godby High School. Harlow is currently rated as No. 9 tight end in the country by Rivals.com.

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