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August 27, 2009

Ratterree on the verge of being a walk-on success

The life of a walk-on is never an easy task at Oklahoma. Players put out just as much effort as every other player, yet they don't have the luxury of a college scholarship to fall back on. Few walk-ons ever get a chance to see meaningful playing time, but Weatherford's Trent Ratterree is trying to buck that trend by becoming a major part of the tight end rotation this season.

Q: Can you talk about the tight end rotation and with Brody moving down low to work on some of the oline, that giving you the opportunity to stand out in the two tight end sets?
Trent Ratterree:
Its unfortunate the series of events that have caused me to play, but I'm really happy I've gotten the chance.

Q: Can you talk about coming all the way from weatherford as a walk on to being here now. How have you gotten here?
Ratterree:
Growing up in Weatherford it's only about an hour and 15 minutes away, so obviously I was a big OU fan growing up. It was always kind of my dream to play here. Whenever the scholarship thing didn't work out for me at any other schools and they told me I could walk on here I jumped on it. I've never really let go of that dream.

Q: Have you surprised yourself that you've gotten this far and are now a key guy?
Ratterree:
Yeah. I mean I always had this dream. I'm a big time dreamer and I always try my best. But it's always a surprise somewhat to people whenever their dreams come true.

Q: What about you is an asset to this team?
Ratterree:
Honestly I think its due to us all working hard. I can't say that there's any one thing that one person does that makes our team great. The thing that makes us what we are is that we all work hard together and that we're all having fun and we're all friends.

Q: Is there anyone who has taken you under their wing and brought you to where you are today?
Ratterree:
Everybody. It's like a big support group. Everybody is pulling everyone else along just like every other team.

Q: What did it mean to you that the coaches were confident enough in you to move Brody down low?
Ratterree:
Coming into the season when I heard that, it was something big that pushed me over the edge and made me realize that this is it. Really it was just a confidence booster.

Q: You have shown in scrimmages and in the Red and White Game that you can make some plays. People can't just sleep on you can they?
Ratterree:
We'll see (laughing).

Q: Whenever you make a big play in practice do you kind of talk smack and say, 'That was a walk-on that did that.'?
Ratterree:
Nah I'm not a big talker, I don't like doing that. I just love playing football, especially here. Anytime something happens it's on to the next play.

Q: There's been some big names from Weatherford that contributed here. What do they think of what you've done?
Ratterree:
Yeah, we had Wes Simms, Russell Dennison, who was a really good special teams guy. Lance Donnelly actually played tight end. I haven't really talked to Wes, but I talked to Russell a little bit when he came up here in the summer. And actually I talked to Lance Donnelly before I came up here to and was deciding about this. I asked him things like 'what's it like?'. The thing I found out from him was what I already knew, that I really wanted to come here. And Russ will also text me sometimes after games.

Q: Are the people of Weatherford excited about seeing your career blossom?
Ratterree:
Yeah, it's a big thing because there are a lot of big time OU fans out there. When I go back it's always nice. But it's not really a big thing, it's more like they're welcoming back a friend. I don't feel like it's a big special treatment thing though.

Q: What would you tell walk-ons?
Ratterree:
Just dream big and work hard. As a walk-on, the one thing you have to do is work hard all the time. When I first got here I remember Carter Whitson telling me after I had a bad play 'Listen man, as a walk on you can't do that. You can't have the bad plays.' You have to be reliable.


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