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A P R I L 8 -14 , 2 0 19 | W E E K LY I N P R I N T | O U D A I LY. C O M

Oklahoma junior cornerback Tre Brown is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brown is one of many OU players to be Sooner born and bred.


DREAM COME TRUE Cornerback Tre Brown now key component of team he grew up dreaming of playing on


RE BROWN sat next to his dad, Richard Prince, in former Oklahoma defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks’ office. The then-17-year-old Brown was in Norman for Junior Day, hoping to receive a scholarship offer from his dream school. Cooks and Oklahoma offered just that, making Brown’s dream come true. “This is the one I’ve been waiting for,” Brown told his father as tears streamed down his face. “This is the one.” Born in Tulsa, Brown grew up a Sooner all on his own. Prince recalls Brown rooting for Oklahoma from a young age for no apparent reason — Prince, at the time, openly cheered against the Sooners. But Brown dreamed of one day playing in crimson and cream. Brown, like his father, became a highly touted prospect at one of the most decorated high school football programs in the state by breaking records and helping lead his team to a state title his senior year. (Brown attended Union High School, while Prince graduated from Booker

GEORGE STOIA • @GEORGESTOIA T. Washington.) For Brown, who bled crimson and cream, it made sense to make his second home a roughly two-hour, 127-mile drive down to Norman. But Brown didn’t commit to the Sooners that day. Instead, when Cooks asked Brown if his tears were a commitment, Brown responded by quickly wiping his face and saying, “Not yet.” Brown, despite loving Oklahoma and knowing that’s where he wanted to be, wanted to make sure the Sooners truly valued his talent. But, as Prince recalls, Brown’s decision was all but made that day. “Those tears were probably as good of a commitment as any,” Prince said four years later with a laugh. “I always knew, since he was 2 years old, he would go to Oklahoma.” A month after he given the offer, Brown announced his commitment to Oklahoma on March 11, 2016. Now, Brown is one of 21 players on OU’s 91man roster from the state of Oklahoma. He’s fueled by the death of his mother and love for

his hometown, and with his junior season quickly approaching, he’s bound to be a key component in Oklahoma’s new-look defense. It’s something he’s ready for, something he’s prepared his entire life for. “It’s a dream,” Brown said. “Growing up, I always wanted to be an OU player. I grew up an OU fan. “And now that I’m here making plays ... It’s surreal.” PRINCE found Brown crying on the couch in their living room his sophomore year of high school. Many of Brown’s Union teammates, mostly seniors, had been receiving Division I offers, while Brown, two years younger than them, hadn’t received one. Prince told his son he had to be patient, his time would come. Soon after, Prince signed Brown up for multiple football camps, including Oklahoma’s Junior Day. Before his trip to Norman, Brown was flooded with offers thanks to those camps he attended the summer ahead of his junior season. Tulsa, Houston,

Iowa State and others quickly took notice of Brown’s elite speed and agility. But not Oklahoma. Brown grew frustrated, wondering why OU hadn’t expressed much interest in him. At Union, he was becoming a shutdown cornerback, the best kick returner in the state and a lethal offensive weapon. “From the moment I saw the way Tre moved, I knew he had a chance to be special,” said Clay Mack, who trained Brown in high school. “He played on varsity and was also killing it on the track. With everything he brought to the table, he should have been a kid that was looked at early. I really don’t get it why he wasn’t being looked at. “Sometimes, as Oklahoma kids, you do have to work a little harder to put yourself out there. And Tre knew and did that.” It wasn’t until his workout at Junior Day that Oklahoma truly showed interest. Prince recalls Brown running a near 4.3 40yard dash at the camp, leaving the Sooner coaches in awe. After Brown finished running, Prince,

like any other proud dad would, subtly bragged about his kid. “Man, that kid’s pretty fast, isn’t he?” Brown recalled saying while standing right behind the coaches. “I knew right then, he was going to start getting offers from everywhere. And, of course, he did.” Oklahoma made an offer to Brown that day. The rest is history. He went on to have a memorable senior year. He broke the school record for career kick return yards at 922, helped Union beat its crosstown rival, Jenks, in the state semifinals with a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown, and then caught a 53yard touchdown pass in a 57-43 win over Norman North for the the state championship. Along the way, he formed bonds with other Oklahoma commits and in-state products, Levi Draper (Collinsville) and Justin Broiles (Midwest City), who are still some of his closest friends today. He seemed fully ready to start See BROWN page 7

Investigators to brief Gallogly, Board of Regents Regents will meet privately to discuss “personnel matters” JORDAN MILLER @jordanrmillerr

NICK HAZELRIGG @nickhazelrigg

Former OU President David Boren met with investigators from the Jones Day law firm Friday ahead of a Board of Regents special meeting where OU President James Gallogly will briefed on the status of the investigation. This will be the first time that investigators will brief both Gallogly and the Board of Regents on the status of the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Boren and former

vice president for university development Tripp Hall. According to a statement from the regents, they will not take any action at the April 9 meeting, and since the meeting involves “confidential issues of personnel matters,” the meeting will not be open to the public. This is the second special meeting of the Board of Regents this year that will discuss “personnel matters” privately. At February’s special meeting, chair of the Board of Regents Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes said Gallogly had nothing to do with the investigation, and that “he did not initiate, nor is he involved in, this investigation, which is being conducted by an independent third party.” Although the university has never confirmed the personnel involved, the firm is allegedly

investigating allegations of misconduct by Boren and Hall. Details surrounding these allegations came to light last week when two OU graduates detailed their experiences with inappropriate sexual misconduct from Boren and Hall. “The matter will then proceed in accordance with the university’s publicly available grievance procedures,” the statement said. “Out of respect for those individuals who have come forward as well as all others involved, the Regents feel this investigation was the only appropriate course of action under the law and given our responsibility to the university and our state.” The meeting will come days after Boren’s attorney, Clark Brewster, released a statement saying the former president had

met for a two-hour interview with Jones Day investigators. “The questions covered, essentially, the full period of his presidency. But there was nothing he avoided in any way,” Brewster said in a statement to the A.P. Sara Bana, who represents former OU student Jess Eddy who has alleged Boren and Hall sexually harassed him, said she and her client had no faith in Jones Day to adequately run the investigation. “The very nature of the contractual relationship between OU and Jones Day, that of attorney-client privilege, has clearly been used to aid the University in systemic cover-up and corruption,” Bana said. Although the university is the firm’s client, the regents said Jones Day is “conducting a thorough, objective, and independent investigation, which is subject to

confidentiality.” Bana called for Boren to answer questions and speak publicly, just as his accusers had. “If Mr. Boren had nothing to hide, he would answer questions as to these allegations in full view of the public, just as the victims have,” Bana said. “To date, Mr. Boren has not spoken publicly and directly about these allegations, choosing to hide behind an attorney engaged in distortion, manipulation of the truth.” Jordan Miller

Nick Hazelrigg



• April 8-14, 2019











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Nick Hazelrigg , news managing editor • phone: 405-325-3666 • Twitter: @OUDaily

Chromium-6 sparks concern Norman water safe but does not meet group’s standards DREW HUTCHINSON @drethegirl

Norman’s water does not meet one environmental group’s drinking water standards, but two water treatment experts said the water is safe and meets federal guidelines. A graphic that recently resurfaced on Twitter reported that Norman’s drinking water was extremely dense in chromium, a chemical element and metal often found in stainless steel. The element can cause cancer in its hexavalent form, chromium-6. The Environmental Working Group’s website reaffirms what the graphic showed: Norman’s water is, at a glance, far above recommended safety standards. The Environmental Working Group’s site recommends that drinking water not have over 0.02 parts per billion of chromium-6. Norman’s water contains 39.3 ppb, data from 2010-15 found. But Geri Wellborn, m a n a g e r o f N o r m a n ’s Vernon Campbell Water Treatment Plant, and Rachel Croft, an OU environmental engineering senior and the plant’s lab manager, said the chromium-6 levels are nothing to worry about. “Our drinking water is safe,” Wellborn said. “It meets all the state and


The Environmental Working Group’s website shows that Norman’s water is above recommended safety standards for chromium.

federal guidelines. We’re spending $30 million here at this water treatment plant to make your surface water quality better.” First, the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal limit for all forms of chromium is 100 ppb, according to the EPA website. And Croft, who composes the city’s water consumer confidence report, said chromium-6 usually only causes cancer at hundreds of times this number. Second, Wellborn said the 0.02 ppb limit — proposed more than 10 years ago by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment — is impossible to meet for most

municipalities and would require expensive water treatments. “And even if they could (meet it), they couldn’t afford it because people can’t afford the water,” Wellborn said. To keep Norman’s water safe, Croft is required to test points of entry for wells in the city. This ensures that the water meets federal guidelines before it enters the water system, although certain mineral and chemical levels can vary once the water has traveled from its original point. Wellborn said all forms of chromium in Norman water come from groundwater — not reservoirs like Lake

Thunderbird, from which she said the city gets 75 percent of its water. “(Groundwater is) old,” Wellborn said. “It ages, and as it ages it just naturally dissolves metals. Those are the residuals that are in the water when we pump it out of the ground.” Although the water meets federal guidelines, Wellborn and Croft said the water treatment plant would attempt to lower chromium-6 levels if residents took action. “If this city had some sort of grassroots effort and had a vote and said, ‘We want this,’ we could do that,” Wellborn said. But Wellborn said the EPA

could come in any time and set new standards, so operating by federal — rather than local — guidance is usually most effective. “The bottom line is the EPA sets a limit,” Wellborn said. “All the water industries, we are programmed to meet limits.” But the water treatment plant has conducted pilot studies to try to remove chromium-6 from Norman’s water. Croft said the plant has been working with the Bureau of Reclamation, which has set up experiments using ion exchange, a chemical reaction used to purify solutions, to filter out the chemical. “So far (the studies) are pretty successful,” Croft said. Another pilot study, led by an outside engineering firm, involved letting microorganisms feed off the chromium, Wellborn said. “They’ll consume it, use it as a food source, and you can basically wash it away,” Wellborn said. Croft said the pilot studies help Norman be prepared to act quickly in case the EPA ever changes its standards for chromium in water. “We could have a way to implement them faster than someone who hasn’t studied that on their own groundwater to see if it works,” Croft said. Drew Hutchinson

Sooner Rover Team aims sky-high OU students use innovative designs to build Mars rover BLAKE DOUGLAS @Blake_Doug918

In June 2018, the surface of Mars was ravaged by intense dust storms, stranding a beloved Earth machine. Stuck in the severe w e a t h e r w a s N A S A’ s Opportunity rover, a fixture on the planet’s surface since 2004. The rover, which exceeded its planned lifespan by 14 years, shut itself down due to issues caused by the storms, and NASA ended its mission Feb. 13 of this year. Despite Opportunity’s bittersweet end, its legacy was far-reaching — covering the 34 million miles between Earth and Mars — and inspired some OU students and faculty in particular to help advance the exploration of alien worlds. The Sooner Rover Team, comprised of space-loving students and faculty, builds planetary rovers to compete in international competitions against other top designs and provides breakthroughs in how space agencies design their machines. “ We a re b i g f a n s o f Opportunity,” said junior Noah Over, the captain of the Sooner Rover Team. “We are sad to see her go but glad for all the facts she shared about Mars.” Over was 14 years old when Opportunity landed on Mars and remembers wanting to be a part of a project like the Opportunity rover. Now at OU, Over got involved with the Sooner Rover Team as part of his desire to be part of the push for a manned space mission to Mars. While O ver and most of the Sooner Rover Team have been watching NASA put machines on Mars for much of their lives, Angie Norris, post-baccalaureate in geology and the team’s


science lead for three years, has witnessed far more historic firsts in the space race. “I’ve been interested in the space program since 1961,” Norris said. “I watched Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight, the very first man to go up, and that was sort of my moment (that) I said, ‘I want to be an astronaut,’ but back in those days, girls were not e n c o u ra g e d t o e x p l o re those options.” Norris said her interest in Mars was sprung by the landing of the Curiosity rover in 2011 and seeing the photos and video it sent back to Earth. Kelly Klein, the team’s computing science lead, followed a more unique path to the team. “Mine is quite a bit different, since I was originally going to be a music major and play trombone,” Klein said. “So I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention when I was younger when (Opportunity) landed.” Klein said he wasn’t interested in rovers until about four years ago, after looking up the different rover types and reading about unmanned space missions, particularly the Cassini mission, which studied Saturn. “I just thought it was incredible the way they got rid of it,” Klein said. “The best engineering solution they could come up with instead of sending it home was to shoot it into the atmosphere and have it burn up.” The rover team has had a successful first few years. In 2016, the first Sooner rover, aptly named Rovie McRoverface, dominated the field in the NASA sponsored competition, RASCAL, or the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration RoboOps competition. “S o, the first year w e went, we won the competition,” Over said. “We actually got more points than everybody else combined because we did so well.”

Emma Keith Editor in Chief Nick Hazelrigg News Managing Editor Kayla Branch Enterprise Editor George Stoia Sports Editor Siandhara Bonnet Culture Editor Caitlyn Epes Visual Editor Julia Weinhoffer Engagement Editor Emily McPherson Copy Manager Emily Douthitt Print Editor

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Mechanical engineering sophomore Bryce Barker, electrical engineering sophomore Joshua Gonzales and mechanical engineering senior Jiaze Gao attach a support to the Sooner Rover.

A f t e r w i n n i n g R A S CAL , the team received a large research grant to research and design rovers for the moon, and Rovie McRoverface is assisting in university research of 3D imaging. RASC-AL is no longer held, so the team now competes in the University Rover Challenge, which is an annual competition among college students to build the next generation of Mars rovers. Last year, the team placed No. 23 out of 80 teams that applied in the competition. “It’s a much bigger competition,” Over said. “It’s a much, much, more difficult competition in that we have to build a bigger rover that does more things.” This year’s rover, named SAMMI — Sooner Aided Mobile Mars Inquirer — boasts easy-to-use systems to carry out its mission, like what Over called the mirrored-arm system.

While most teams use controllers to operate their rovers, Over said, the Sooner Rover ’s mission control will instead allow the operator to control SAMMI’s mounted robotic arm by moving a near exact replica of the arm. “It’s a lot faster,” Over said. “Your brain naturally knows how to move an arm, whereas a controller is more awkward.” Over also highlighted the rover’s design, inspired by the Soviet Marsokhod rover design. “No other team uses it at all,” Over said. “In fact, it’s really not ever used on Mars. The only time it was about to be used on Mars was for a Russian space flight, and that rocket blew up on the pad. So, we don’t know how it would actually perform on Mars.” D espite ne ver s e eing the Martian surface, Over said the testing on Earth and the research into the

design shows it holds up well and is much faster and more stable than the designs NASA employs for its rovers. Although SAMMI was not one of the 36 rovers from across the world invited to compete in the University Rover Challenge finals, Over said the team will continue to design and perfect its rover for next year ’s competition and to continue to inspire research and funding for interplanetary missions. Over was hopeful a human being will be on Mars in the next decade, praising NASA’s research in paving the way for the mission, but predicting SpaceX will likely be the organization to put a man on the red planet. Blake Douglas

blake.douglas918@gmail. com

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• April 8-14, 2019

OPINION OU must conduct transparent investigation

Julia Weinhoffer, engagement editor • phone: 405-325-3666 • Twitter: @OUDaily


O U h a s s p e n t n e a rly $300,000 on one of the wealthiest law firms in the world during its investigations of inappropriate misconduct by former OU administrators. Even though this is being done with public money, the university has offered little transparency on what it is funding. The Jones Day law firm has been investigating “allegations of possible inappropriate conduct� since November 2018, according to an April 5 statement by the Board of Regents. The Oklahoman reported on Feb. 13 that the firm was investigating former OU President David Boren for sexual harassment against male aides. The university declined to comment on the specifics of the “ongoing investigation� until two weeks ago, on March 26, when NonDoc released a story detailing allegations from two OU graduates against Boren and former vice president for University Development Tripp Hall. Without the reporting of news outlets like The Oklahoman, NonDoc and

The Daily, the public would know next to nothing on what their money is funding — and why. Even still, we don’t have the entire picture of what this money is going toward. The university has never disclosed the specific point of the investigation to the public, saying that since the investigation is ongoing, “comment on specifics at this time would be inappropriate.� Even when the investigation concludes, Jones Day is a private law firm, so they may never have to release details of their investigation to the taxpayers paying their legal fees. The public deserves more understanding and transparency about how its money is being spent, and what the results of that spending will be — especially since we now know that the spending involves investigating someone whose name is all across campus. OU did finally acknowledge on March 26 that the investigation was due to “alleged sexual misconduct� after NonDoc released its story, but it did not disclose any other details on how the investigation will proceed,

Former OU President David Boren.

nor confirm the people allegedly involved. In the meantime, the Board of Regents held a special meeting that was entirely spent in executive session discussing “personnel investigations,� according to the agenda. The board will hold another of these private meetings April 9. This investigation comes at a time where the university’s budget is being heavily scrutinized by the Gallogly administration. Rounds of layoffs have been conducted, and the administration has released statements on why cer tain depar tments were cut. But a nearly $300,000 ongoing investigation has not been afforded the same level of transparency because the discussion “involves confidential issues of personnel matters,� according to a statement from the Board of Regents. The university has also emphasized time after time that this investigation is an unaffiliated one, conducted outside of the university rather than with the Title IX office to be sure it is conducted independently. However, this “independent� investigation is set to

Former vice president for University Development Tripp Hall.

HOROSCOPE By Eugenia Last

Copyright 2015, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019 ASTROGRAPH by Eugenia Last

my friend’s got mental illness

This year is about choices, attitude and doing your best. Surround yourself with individuals who complement what you have to offer. Distance yourself from negativity by disengaging from people who make your life difficult. Turn your ideas into reality.

To a friend with mental illness, your caring and understanding greatly increases their chance of recovery. Visit for more information. Mental Illness – What a difference a friend makes.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- You’ll make the best impression by avoiding gossip, indulgent behavior and overreaction. Fitness, hands-on help and a positive attitude will be what attract the people you want to associate with. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- If you follow your heart, you will find your way to victory. Only express your thoughts and feelings to those you know you can trust. Moderation should be adopted.





brief the Board of Regents and OU President James Gallogly on its progress for the first time on Tuesday in an executive session. At the February Board of Regents special meeting, chair Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes made a statement following hours of discussion in executive session that Gallogly was not involved whatsoever in the investigation. This briefing will now cement the relationship between the university and Jones Day as one of client and employee, rather than contractor and independent entity. The contractual relationship between the “unaffiliated� law firm and the university is why one of the accusers, OU graduate Jess Eddy and his civil advocate, Sara Bana, said they have “no faith, whatsoever, in Jones Day conducting this investigation.� If the university wants to conduct this investigation “independently� with a law firm they have paid nearly $300,000, transparency on how the investigation is being conducted is vital to ensure it is as unaffiliated as they say it is.



Previous Solution         


Instructions: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That means that no number is repeated in any row, column or box.








GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Don’t be too quick to make someone a promise. Find out exactly what’s expected before you commit to something that may infringe on your time or privacy, or deplete your bank account. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You know what’s best for yourself, so don’t let someone take charge or pressure you to do something you don’t want to do. Nurture relationships that are positive and prosperous. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Uncertainty will surface if drama or an emotional situation arises. Refuse to give in to someone prompting you to make a snap decision that could be risky or costly. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Choose your battles carefully. Concentrate

on getting along with others and getting things done, not on wasting time arguing. Concentrate on personal improvement, keeping the peace and enjoying life. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -- Expand your mind, improve your friendships and take better care of your emotional and physical well-being. Don’t neglect your responsibilities or take on more than you can handle. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Surround yourself with people you connect with personally, physically and emotionally. The changes you bring about in collaboration with people who share your vision will encourage you to be more active and get more done. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Execute your plans passionately and trust in your talent and abilities. Walk away from anyone playing mind games or trying to manipulate you. Truth matters, so recognize when you are being misled. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Change your lifestyle to suit your needs in order to feel happy about your future. The past will reveal exactly what you need to know to make the best choice. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Put your heart and soul into doing things that will make your home more inviting and convenient. Selfimprovement, fitness and proper eating habits are favored. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- Use your imagination to help you become more efficient, well-rounded and on top of your game. A positive change shouldn’t cost a lot or cause stress. Do what you feel works best for you.

Universal Crossword Edited by David Steinberg April 8, 2019

ACROSS 1 “Law & Order� spin-off, briefly 4 Radio options 8 Sean Lennon, to Elton John 14 She lays eggs 15 Grain structure 16 Egyptian sun deity 17 *Metaphorical coin that returns at the worst moments 19 Yesterday, today 20 Heads the cast of 21 Pottery shard, perhaps 22 Antacid brand 23 *Weapon that returns to its thrower 27 Before, in verse 28 “___ Thrills� (2016 Sia hit) 30 Heavy British weight 31 It’s parted in the Bible 33 Vardalos or Long 35 ___-to-know basis 36 *Weed that returns when you mow it down 39 Bhutan’s continent 42 “Comp� follower, at college


43 Playwright Eugene 47 Rock fans with spiky hair, maybe 49 Showing no feeling 51 ___ de Janeiro 52 *Dog that returns with game 54 Take Marie Kondo’s advice 55 Fencing swords 56 Cards ___ Humanity (party game) 59 Fundamentals 61 *What the starred answers do (Hint: Read them rightto-left!) 62 Noisy crib toy 63 Singers’ club type 64 Docs’ grp. 65 Sad-faced hound 66 Journalist’s focus 67 Badminton barrier DOWN 1 Pettifogging lawyer 2 Risky undertaking 3 Like a secret Santa 4 Egyptian cobras 5 Kneecovering skirt 6 Projecting rim 7 Angry crowd

8 Fortnite pro, e.g. 9 Folded brunch dish 10 Literally “half world� 11 Frozen, colorful treat 12 Former Bruin Bobby 13 Opposing vote 18 Hosp. areas 21 Speedy 24 2018 Hannah Gadsby special 25 Young toddler’s age 26 Place to dream 28 Top exec 29 Pellets that pelt 32 Chaotic, dangerous places 34 Secret author: Abbr. 37 Menus

38 Anagram of 13-Down 39 Car loan initials 40 Take legal action 41 Buys funds, say 44 Tony Stark’s alter ego 45 Like a gymnast 46 Telephone pole sign 48 Fin de ___ 50 Prophet 53 Briefly unplug, perhaps 54 Tether 57 Greek earth mother 58 “Wanna make ___?� 59 Texter’s “Just a sec� 60 Tire-changing org. 61 “The Americans� spy grp.


4/7 4/1

Š 2019 Andrews McMeel Universal Š 2019 Andrews McMeel Universal

“Many Happy Returns� by Helen T. Verongos and Will Nediger

April 8-14, 2019 •



Siandhara Bonnet, culture editor • phone: 405-325-3666 • Twitter: @OUDailyCulture

Mega Ran redefines rap music

Norman Music Fest performer shares double-life reality JUSTIN JAYNE @justin__jayne

The video game character Mega Man is known for saving the world. Lesser known is the role the chara c t e r p l a y e d i n s av i n g Raheem Jarbo’s life. Jarb o, an Amer ican rapper known under the s t a g e n a m e Me g a R a n , said the reason he is alive to perform music today is due in large part to video games, and he even plans to include the statement in the first lines of his autobiography. “It’s not hyperbole in any way because there’s literally been times where I decided to stay at home and play video games, either with my friends or even by myself, and it’s kept me away from situations that could have been dangerous or troublesome in any other way,” Jarbo said. The character and the games Mega Man belongs to are the reason Jarbo chose the stage name Mega Ran. The rapper will perform at Norman Music Fest at 10 p.m. April 26 at the West Stage presented by The Winston. Among the music played will be his signature “chip-hop,” a blend of hip-hop and chiptune, which is 8-bit video game soundtrack music. He grew up with these sounds. Jarbo found video games at a young age. As a kid growing up in Philadelphia in the ‘90s, it was the easiest way for him to stay away from drugs and violence, he said. Even away from home, Jarbo and his peers found their haven: playing video games, reading comics and trading cards under their teacher’s watchful eye during recess. The rapper’s first rhymes i n c l u d e d re f e re n c e s t o video games. His music career began on a friend’s front porch in the summer of 1994. T h a t s u m m e r, J a r b o wrote his first couplet of rhymes, inspired by the talents of up-and-coming artists such as Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg, whom Mega Ran would later open for and tell Jarbo, “Keep going, nephew.” “(My rhyme) was pretty terrible,” Jarbo said, “I remember it being the worst of the crew ... But in that song though, I made references to ‘Street Fighter.’ I remember saying, ‘I sonic boom like Gao.’” Jarbo performed under the name Random for a majority of his early music career while pursuing higher education. He attended Penn State University to double major in English and African American studies.


Raheem Jarbo, stage name Mega Ran, will perform at Norman Music Fest at 10 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Winston West Stage.

The writers Jarbo studied in school inspired his music career even further, he said. He was moved to write by the works of James Baldwin, Nathan McCall, Ta-Nehisi Coates and James McBride. Though he created music constantly, Jarbo graduated college and pursued a career in education. In 2006, he put out his first record, “The Call,” under the name Random, and moved from Pennsylvania to Phoenix to begin his teaching care er. Though he taught middle school during the day, Jarbo spent his nights either behind a pen or microphone. Jarbo quickly found a way to blend his passions: incorporating rap into his curriculum. “I would do like a freestyle Friday where right before our spelling tests or exams ... I would rap the words and use them as sentences and kids could give me the meanings,” he said. In 2007, Jarbo released a second album under the name Random called “Mega Ran,” which broke the mold and pushed him into the music scene in a major way. Combining the iconography of the first “Mega Man” game with his soon-to-be signature chip-hop style and the artist’s shared experiences, the album began to spread. Jarbo bombarded Kyle Murdock, also known as K-Murdock, an audio engineer at Sirius XM, with CDs, mixtapes and demos. One fateful day, Jarbo decided

to send Murdock two CDs: his first album and another, which had a black Mega Man character on the front. “I literally got so many albums sent to me, so a lot of times I had to go by cover art,” Murdock said. “I probably wouldn’t even listen to half the stuff sent to me because ... that’s your first impression even before you listen.” But Murdock did listen. In fact, he drove home listening to the “Mega Ran” album and stayed in the car for the duration of the 50-minute album, even after arriving at his destination in just 10 minutes. “I had never heard anyone doing what Mega Ran was doing at the time,” Murdock said. “It was so cool to listen to that. I’m glad I didn’t follow my first inclination to just toss the CD, and I just listened to it.” Enter player two. Murdock and Jarbo teamed u p f o r t h e i r 2 0 1 0 p ro j ect, “Forever Famicom.” Though they lived apart, the pair was able to physically meet in the studio for the track “Dream Master,” where Murdock would finally see Jarbo’s process up close. Murdock described Jarbo’s songwriting process as incredibly unique. His off-the-cuff, freestyle skills were present in the studio as well. “I had never seen anyone work like this,” Murdock said. Murdock let the song’s beat loop for an hour. In that short span of time, Jarbo wrote every lyric for

the song into his iPhone notes app. From there, Jarbo freestyled the iconic chorus vocals of the song in the makeshift studio in Murdock’s closet. In 2011, Jarbo’s music began to spread. He remembers receiving a text that one of his songs made it to the front page of Reddit. “ W h a t ’s R e d d i t ? ” h e asked. By the end of the day, Ja r b o f o u n d h i s a l b u m on the iTunes Top 15 rap charts among artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z. He thought that if other people made it into the top charts without working two jobs, then maybe it was time for him to become a full-time musician. So, Jarbo leveled up. Jarbo proceeded to make music — tons of it — releasing numerous albums and singles as both Random and Mega Ran between 2011 and 2015. Jarbo then chose to rap under a single name to unite his brand. In 2015, the artist released the album “RNDM” under the name Mega Ran. The album served as a rebrand but also worked as a way for Mega Ran to talk about his life, current events and a serious self-reflection. The sixth track, “ The Meeting,” is based on a play of the same name written by Jeff Stetson about an imaginary meeting between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X at the height of the civil rights movement. The song, too, refers to a parallel meeting

of Jarbo’s two personas. The two identities meet and discuss each other’s methods for making music and handling real life. Just like that, all monikers Jarbo employed became unified his current stage name: Mega Ran. Mega Ran’s discography only grew larger. He continued to write serious albums but also recorded albums based on games like “Final Fantasy” and “Castlevania,” and even branching into other aspects of pop culture with items such as his “Stranger Things” project from 2017. Sammus, or Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, Norman Music Fest alum, came up as a sort of second wave to the chip-hop movement. Eventually, she found Mega Ran, and the two toured together. Mega Ran’s spontaneity is present at his shows as well, Sammus said, citing his freestyles and willingness to bring back songs neither performer has sung in years. Sammus praised Mega Ran’s talent, highlighting his speed and variety as factors which make him different. Mega Ran is not like most rappers, Sammus said, but should still be judged in the same vein as other artists in the field. “We consider ourselves to be part of this much bigger, broader movement, and there’s a history there that we very much come out of. Even though people feel like they’re giving a compliment when somebody says (you’re not like

most other rappers), it’s this erasure,” Sammus said. “‘Oh, because your music has geeky undertones,’ or ‘All your lyrics go along with video game levels,’ that puts you outside the bounds of hip-hop, therefore, saying there’s not that level of intelligence.” After Norman Music Fest is over, Mega Ran will keep working. He is writing an autobiography, touring the Midwest in May and later publishing an album with MC Lars, titled “The Dewey Decibel System,” about the pair’s favorite books, poems and comics, including a track called “Watchmen,” which features multiple artists and released everywhere March 15. Keeping with Mega Ran’s signature style, he came up with a freestyle regarding Norman Music Fest at the end of his interview. It took him 11 seconds: This April, I’ll be in Norman/at the music fest and they won’t be boring. Norman Music Fest, I would say “It’s the best, because it’s got the best musicians from the East and the West.” In fact, I’ll be playing, I believe on Friday This would be a great time to get tickets. Don’t delay. See you there in Norman. Bring all of your friends. This is Mega Ran and this is where the interview ends. Justin Jayne

1 artist, 2 bands: Local performer blossoms Grace Babb forms new band Spinster apart from her twin ABIGAIL HALL @abigail_wah

Local singer-songwriter Grace Babb will perform at Norman Music Fest in two bands – Annie Oakley, and her own rising indie rock band, Spinster. Babb and her twin Sophia started their local a m e r i ca na b a n d A n n i e Oakley in 2013 with friend Nia Personette. Over the years, they have become

fixtures in the local music scene, including multiple performances at Norman Music Fest. In 2018, when Sophia decided to study abroad in Germany, Grace didn’t want to stop making music, so she pioneered another musical dream of hers ­— Spinster. “People who have come to A n n i e Oa k l e y s h ow s know that some of the songs that I’ve specifically written for (the band) sound a little different than Sophie,” Grace Babb said. “And this is a really good representation of me as an individual musician.”

Spinster formed in June 2018, fronted by Babb, with friends Spenser Powers and Tremaine Wade of Swim Fan, and Branden Palesano of Mad Honey. Babb describes Spinster’s sound as indie rock with folk influences lyrically, but musically “it’s anything but folk,” she said. Babb had a collection of songs that weren’t quite the right fit for Annie Oakley and thought it was “about time that I get a band together and start playing on my own,” she said. As for the name, Babb said the idea of becoming a spinster, or an unmarried,

childless woman, has always appealed to her, both as a lifestyle and as a solo band name. She said the idea came from her grandmother, who would joke about wishing she had been a spinster when Babb was growing up. “It was this joke that I always heard,” Babb said. “The idea of being a spinster has always appealed to me – just an independent old lady, kind of grumpy – I just love it, and I made the band finally.” While some fans of Annie Oakley are equal fans of Spinster, Babb said

the band has acquired a unique and separate fanbase, she said. Babb said she is looking forward to performing at Norman Music Fest with both bands and covering “different musical bases” and audiences. Spinster has not yet released any songs, but w ill releas e new single “Achilles” later this month and a freshman album in June, Babb said. Si n c e t h e b a n d’s f o rmation, Babb said the group has changed in members, and currently consists of Babb as a solo-artist. Despite the flux

nature of Spinster, Wade a n d P a l e s a n o, a s w e l l a s B a b b’s f r i e n d B l a k e Burgess, will perform with Babb for one last show together at 4 p.m. April 27 on the Opolis Outdoor Stage at Norman Music Fest. Additionally, Babb will perform with Norman Mu s i c Fe s t h e a d l i n e r s Annie Oakley 9 p.m. April 26 on S ooner Theatre’s stage at the festival. Abigail Hall



April 8-14, 2019

The University of Oklahoma


April 5, 2019 | 4 p.m. | Reynolds Performing Arts Center BIG MAN | BIG WOMAN ON CAMPUS Saad Ahmed Muhammad Ata Colt Bennett Christopher Bourgeois Emilee Bumgarner Tom Cassidy Shandel Chang Leo Chiu Thatcher Chonka Jessica Cipolla Wyatt Compton Destinee Dickson Kevin Duong Virginia Felkner Hunter Frazier Grasyn Fuller Jena Graves Leanne Ho* Akriti Jalla Isha Jhingan

Samuel Keltner Marc LaManque Joy Li Christopher Loerke Salma Morales Tyler Paul Addison Paxton Hoai-Quoc Pham Lane Prado Carlos Rubio Regalado Ronnie Rhodes Rachel Sharp Sadie Sieck Jonathan Simmons Adelle Strugell Brett Szymanski Jaycie Thaemert Amy Vanderveer Nikole Zamanta Vargas Noelle Zhania Vargas *Big Non-Binary Person on Campus

CHRISTOPHER C. GIBBS COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE Outstanding Academic Achievement Architecture | Clay Dobbins Construction Science | Liliana Lopez Interior Design | Emma Smith Environmental Design | Daniel Woodruff

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Outstanding Seniors Natural Sciences | Johanna Masterson, Kiana Prather Professional Programs | Katie Primrose Social Sciences | Tyler Dang Humanities | Brian Schibler Carl Albert Award | Noah Collins

COLLEGE OF ATMOSPHERIC AND GEOGRAPHIC SCIENCES James C. Davis Early Scholar in Geography & Environmental Sustainability | Matthew Armor Gress Family Undergraduate Scholarship | Morgan Long

LETZEISER HONOR LIST AND MEDALISTS PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING TRANSFER STUDENTS Recognizing excellence in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership and service to the university community. This award is the highest honor bestowed to transfer students by the university community.

Austin Green Ashlynn Lange Salma Morales Charnel Walls


Recognizing excellence in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership and service to the university community. This award is the highest honor bestowed to freshmen by the university community.

Haden Bollenbach Devin Brown Javier Alejandro Chaves Camargo Andrea De La Torre Amber Garcia Adriana Gonzalez-Vega Jesus Ibanez Cricket Kaya Katera Morales Christian Newkirk Greyson palmer Jada Phelps Caroline Sparks Cole Walker Camryn Wren

Seniors | Rachel Cross, Levi Schmitmeyer, Morgan Schneider

MEWBOURNE COLLEGE OF EARTH AND ENERGY Charles N. Gould Outstanding Senior Award | Thomas Givens Alan Witten Outstanding Senior Award | Max Firkins, Travis Vick David W. Stearns Outstanding Senior Award | Maxwell Mehlman Estwing Hammer Award | Grace Barber Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Outstanding Senior Award | Ngoc Tran Outstanding Junior Award | Jake Cooper

JEANNINE RAINBOLT COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Outstanding Seniors Early Childhood Education | Matthew Mairet

LETZEISER HONOR LIST Kortney Bush Noah Collins Alexander Douglas Armand Ghosh Jena Graves Megan Harju Akriti Jalla Ryan Jones Katherine Kramer Emily Mee Panav Mohan Gagan Moorthy Christine Murrain

Kody Oliver Lane Prado Katie Primrose Evan Rabb Erica Randall Tanner Satterthwaite Sara Seals Brett Szymanski Dat Truong Amy Vanderveer Charnell Walls Faith Wolfard Rehan Zafar

Three medals — bronze, silver and gold — are presented to three men and three women who are selected as the most outstanding. BRONZE MEDALISTS | Christine Murrain & Alexander Douglas SILVER MEDALISTS | Amy Vanderveer & Noah Collins GOLD MEDALISTS | Katherine Kramer & Gagan Moorthy



Admiral William J Crowe, Jr. Award | Kelsey England

Carson Ball Amer Begovic Chanae Carter Robert Cascella Akansha Chandrasekar Sarah Hobson Orin Imtiaz Jenny Ji Rachel Lobaugh Lindsey Randall Read Streller Emily Thomas Victoria White Te’a Williams Jeremiah Yohannan

Ambassador Edward J. Perkins Scholarship | Erin Cox

Recognizing excellence in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership and service to the university community. This award is the highest honor bestowed to sophomores by the university community.

School of Meteorology Undergraduate Academic Achievement Awards Juniors | Matthew Bray, Kristine Chen

The Letzeiser Awards are presented annually in memory of the late Alexander Letzeiser as a stimulus of good citizenship and achievement. These are the highest awards presented during the Spring Campus Awards Program. The selections are made each year by a student/faculty/staff committee and are based on leadership, scholarship, and service to the university.


Recognizing excellence in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership and service to the university community. This award is the highest honor bestowed to juniors by the university community.

Christopher Bourgeois Destinee Dickson Virginia Felkner Leanne Ho Isha Jhingan Marc LaManque Joy Li Elijah Robertson Rachel Sharp Adelle Sturgell Emily Bennett - HSC Jayden Williams - HSC

Molly & David Boren Study Abroad Scholarship Hennessey Chism Hannah Frome Mary-Kate Mason Daniel McAbee

WEITZENHOFFER FAMILY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts Outstanding Senior Alix Yaw F. Donald Clark Award for Excellence ini the Arts Elise Christiansen Elmer Capshaw Award from the School of Visual Arts Faun Harjo Dance Partners Outstanding Senior Award from the School of Dance Claire Willcutt Weitzenhoffer Award from the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama Kaitlyn Souter Van Heflin Award from the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama Abigail Schmitz Outstanding Senior Award from the School of Music Jordan Burdick

MICHAEL F. PRICE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS Outstanding Seniors Division of Accounting | Hannah Kamphuis Division of Economics | Lillian Luther Division of Energy Management | Gavin Nadeau


Division of Entrepreneurship | Alexandria Arndorfer

Jake Mazeitis Katelyn Leeviraphan

Division of International Business | Laura Aab

Division of Finance | Heather Cole

Division of Management | Julia White

Elementary Education | Katelynn Capps


Division of Management Information Systems | Timothy Fisher

Language Arts Education | Brody Smith

Tom Cassidy Irwin Dominguez-Romero Adran Gibbs Jericka Handie Hannah Hardin Prince Nyako Carrie Pavlowsky Tara Putri Evan Rabb Yaseen Shurbaji Taylor Wilson Angela Xing

Division of Marketing | Meagan Leber

Mathematics Education | Crystal Neill Science Education | Evan Whitaker Social Studies Education | Karly Weller Special Education | Peighton Trook World Language Education | Noel Wellman



Aerospace Engineering | Alexander Bryant Architectural Engineering | Thomas Cain


Biomedical Engineering | Paige Welch

Victoria Dwira

Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering | Meghan Peltier


Computer Engineering | Russell Kenney

Temi Ojekunle

Electrical Engineering | Lauren Lusk


Engineering Physics | Nathan Lydick

Jake Mazeitis

Environmental Engineering | Jordan Bryan Environmental Science | Katherine Markley Industrial & Systems Engineering | Katherine Barnett Mechanical Engineering | Adam Flenniken

GAYLORD COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION Outstanding Seniors Advertising | Emilee Rowe Creative Media Production | Logan Webb Journalism | Storme Jones


Top 1% of the freshman class recognized for participation, academic achievement, community service and excellence.

Joshua Adams, Eduarda Barros de Oliveira, Erin Bassett, Emma Biskup, Bennett Brinkman, Taylor Carmen, Kaylin Carpenter, Jackson Carr, Peyton Centracco, Javier Alejandro Chaves Camargo, Molly Cutter, Tiphelele Dlamini, Anne Gachunga, Micaella Chyven Gadin, Krishna Gandhi, Amber Garcia, Jordan Hayden, Joseph Howard, Nataly Hurt, Jordan Jankowski, Cricket Kaya, Kaylee Kimbrough, Liliana Macias, Ethan Maddy, Andrew Magee, Juliana Mejia, Bryce Messer, Katera Morales, Claire Nagel, Luz Payan, Leeann Poarch, Parker Primrose, Carter Sampson, Sumayah Sandhu, Aubrey Scott, Kira Seelig, Preston Seibel, Veli Shabangu, Jules Philippe Sy, Matthew Tran, August vonHartitzsch, Cole Walker, Wendy Wilkinson


Civil Engineering | John Toshima

Computer Science | Mary Grace “MG” Hirsch

Division of Supply Chain Management | Morgan Demmink

JOE C. AND CAROLE KERR MCCLENDON HONORS COLLEGE Dean’s Award for Honors College Leadership Anu Asokan Rachel Sharp Dean’s Leadership Award for Reading Group Moderators Austin Coffey Jennifer Pusavat

Top 10 Senior Honor Society 2018-2019 Noah Collins Megan Harju Jake Mazeitis Vanessa Meraz Gagan Moorthy Christine Murrain Katie Primrose Tanner Satterthwaite Amy Vanderveer Faith Wolfard

2019-2020 Hennessey Chism Destinee Dickson Jema Esparza Mareyba Fawad Miles Francisco Maya Henderson Leanne Ho Lucy Kates Emily Mee Jaycie Thaemert

OUTSTANDING GREEK SENIORS Alpha Sigma Kappa | Mercedes Fugate Beta Theta Pi | Joe Riney Beta Upsilon Chi | Hayden Hanoch Delta Delta Delta | Faith Wolfard Delta Sigma Theta | Megan Johnson


Leadership-Scholarship Award Carson Ball

Delta Tau Delta | Rhett Wallis Kappa Delta Chi | Manka Moma

Professional Writing | Madison Woodcock

Kappa Sigma | Evan Rabb

Public Relations | Chelsea Journee

Omega Delta Phi | Bryan Sandoval

Overall Outstanding Senior | Christine Murrain

Sigma Lambda Gamma | Brenda Lozano


Sigma Phi Lambda | Quynh Nguyen Triangle | Trevor Cooper

April 8-14, 2019 •

SPORTS BROWN: Continued from page 1

He seemed fully ready to start his career at Oklahoma. Until he wasn’t. “It looked a little uncertain there toward the end,” Prince said. “But then coach Stoops showed up.” BOB STOOPS jumped out of the passenger seat of Mike Stoops’ car when he saw Brown walking across Union’s campus. Just days earlier, Brown had decided he would visit Florida the weekend before national signing day. The then-Oklahoma commit was fr ustrated that the Sooners continued to offer other cornerbacks, d e sp i t e h i s ow n st ro ng commitment. When Stoops got word of Brown reconsidering his commitment, he, Mike and Cooks decided to make a trip to Tulsa to see Brown. Wearing an OU pullover and a pair of penny loafers that Prince will never forget, Stoops hopped out of Mike’s moving car and jogged over to Brown and his dad. “Those damn penny loafers,” Prince said. “When he couldn’t wait for the car to stop and then came running over to see us in those shoes, I knew how bad they wanted Tre.” Brown still went to Florida that weekend. He left Oklahoma fans on edge the following days, sending a couple one-word tweets the night before signing day: Business and Stressed.

But Prince said Stoops’ last-minute visit stayed in the back of Brown’s mind, ultimately leading to his final decision, which came early on the morning of national signing day — Feb. 1, 2017. “Do I want to leave? Do I want to leave? Do I want to leave?” Brown told the Tulsa World on signing day. “I was like, ‘I know if I keep thinking like this, I don’t want to leave. I know this is home.’” For Brown, it came down to being a simple a choice — it was clear that Oklahoma was where he wanted to be. He knew he wanted to be in Norman and knew he wanted to represent his city and state. He just had to make it official. “ Fo r m o s t O k l a h o m a kids, it’s more about that name on the front of their jersey and not the name on their back. They want to represent their town and where they come from,” said Dwayne Whittaker, one of Brown’s youth football coaches and still mentor to this day. “That meant more to Tre because he’s an Oklahoma kid. He grew up a Sooner. So he takes that ‘Sooners’ on his chest with pride.” Brown’s freshman season started with him on the bench, sitting behind then-sophomore Parnell Motley and then-senior Jordan Thomas. He watched from the sidelines as then-senior quarterback Baker Mayfield led Oklahoma on what would eventually be a run to the College Football Playoff in 2017. But before the Sooners could make that run, maybe the biggest game


George Stoia, sports editor • phone: 405-325-3666 • Twitter: @OUDailySports

of the year — against Oklahoma State — stood in their way. And that was the first time Brown’s name was called. Following an interception by Mayfield, with 2:58 remaining and OU up 5552, Brown entered a game he always dreamed of as an Oklahoma kid: Bedlam. “That’s a game he grew up watching,” Prince said. “I had feeling he would get in. But no one could have predicted what he did.” Oklahoma State faced a 3rd-and-20 at its own 45 yard line with two minutes to go when Brown made the play of the game. The pass was tipped into the air, falling into the hands of Brown to seal the Sooners’ fate, until a 15-yard targeting penalty on then-senior Will Johnson took away Brown’s heroics and kept the Cowboys alive. Four plays later, Brown helped stop OSU on fourth down, running stride-forstride with his man — the intended target on the play. Brown would later catch another interception with 11 seconds left, but it also got called back, this time for defensive holding on Motley. Despite both his game-winning interceptions being called back, Brown made a name for himself that day. And it couldn’t have come in a more perfect game. “ That was s omething special. Making those type of plays in that game? That ’s w hat you d rea m about,” Whittaker said. “Tre played with a chip on his shoulder that night. And he hasn’t looked back since.”

been sick for some time. She was terminally ill, and Brown, Brewer’s son, tried his best to prepare for losing his mother. “Losing your mom, of course, is really, really hard,” Prince said. “Tre was devastated.” B re w e r d i e d O c t . 1 4 , 2018, just five days before Brown and Oklahoma p l a y e d T C U. Ma n y o f Brown’s OU teammates attended the funeral, and some even served as pallbearers. After Brewer ’s death, Brown, searching for advice, called Whittaker — he had also recently lost his mother. “I told him, ‘It’s OK to cry,’” Whittaker recalled. “I said, ‘She’s your angel. She’s in a better place now. She has no more pain. She’s smiling down on you. Every time you go out on the field, play with her on your side.’” Brow n still practice d that week. His team members rallied around him, knowing they were going to need him on Saturday. Oklahoma was coming off its lone loss of the season — Texas — the week prior and were also handling defensive coaching staff changes with the dismissal of Mike Stoops. There were plenty of reasons for fans to believe the Sooners’ season would go off the rails in Fort Worth. But it didn’t. Brown had one of the best games of his career, coming up with four total tackles and two big pass breakups to help OU win, 52-27. “A n e m o t i o n a l w i n ,” coach Lincoln Riley said after the game. “Tre Brown BEVERLY BREWER had being back with us after

such a tough loss in his family made it even more emotional than it would have been. “I couldn’t have done it. I don’t know where he got his strength.” Brown got his strength from his mom that day. It’s likely a game he’ll never forget. “To see him go out there and play in that game, it meant so much to me and so many others,” Whittaker said. Brown followed that emotional win with another three weeks later on Nov. 10 against Oklahoma State. With 1:03 left and Oklahoma up 48-47, OSU lined up for a two-point conversion to try to win the game. “I talked to my mom before (the play),” Brown said after the game. “My faith is really high, so when I lined up, I talked to my mom before the play even happened. I knew the play was coming to me.” Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius rolled right, throwing for the right corner of the end zone. But standing in his way was Brown, who batted the ball down to seal the instate rivalry for the second year in a row. Brow n was overcome with emotion after the game. “I felt like it was written for me,” Brown said. “Being an Oklahoma kid and playing in Bedlam, it’s like, ‘When am I going to get to make a play?’ So being able to make that play, was something special.”

team — Texas — trailing Oklahoma 30-27 with 8:32 remaining in the 2018 Big 12 Championship game. Sooner Nation knows what happens next. Brown came sprinting off the right edge, unblocked and heading straight for Ehlinger. He never saw it coming. Sack. Safety. Oklahoma went on to win its fourth-straight Big 12 title, 39-27 over Texas. “Everybody around me was hugging me, high-fiving me,” Prince said. “It was in that moment that everything he’d been through, everything he worked for, came together.” In Brown’s first two seasons at Oklahoma, he’s made more memorable plays than most players make in their entire careers. Now, entering his junior season, he’s expected to be a key component in Alex Grinch’s new-look defense. Prince said Brown is enjoying the new coaching staff, especially new cornerbacks coach Roy Manning. Brown likes the intensity Grinch and Manning bring to the field. He, like many others, has high hopes for the Sooner defense. H e ’s m a d e p l e n t y o f memorable plays donning the crimson and cream already, but he knows there’s more to come. “ H e ’s l i v i n g o u t h i s dream,” Prince said, “but the dream ain’t over yet.” George Stoia

SAM EHLINGER dropped back into his own end zone, looking left, his

What Kelly’s injury means for Sooners’ depth Linebacker leaves void during time of defensive rebrand GEORGE STOIA @georgestoia

Injuries are never good. But an injury to a presumed starting senior linebacker? That is especially not good. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, that is the news it received April 4. Senior inside linebacker Caleb Kelly (along with freshman DL Jordan Kelley) has suffered a “lower-body” injury that will require surgery, which is possibly the worst news a team trying to re-brand itself defensively could have re c e i ve d d u r i ng sp r i ng practice. It ’s unclear how long Kelly will be out, with coach Lincoln Riley saying, “I guess if there’s a silver lining, it’s the timing of the injuries with them occurring five months before the season,” and continuing to say he knows both Kelly and Kelley “will work their tails off” to

be back next season. “It can destroy a player. I’ve been playing tackle football since I was 7 years old and now, I’ve got a setback. I’ve got to wait. I’ve got to watch other people play football where I feel like I should be the one out there,” Kelly said. “It can demoralize a player, but with those resources and the mental health to get through it, it can be something positive to you. Knowing that you went through something just gives you another chip on your shoulder, that other piece of motivation and purpose that I’ve got something to prove.” But assuming the worst for OU, it will need to find a starting WILL linebacker, and probably more importantly, a veteran leader for the 2019-20 season. Sophomore Levi Draper and senior Bryan Mead are the first players that come to mind when thinking of Kelly’s replacement. But don’t be surprised if new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch moves either junior Kenneth Murray or sophomore DaShaun White from

Then-junior linebacker Caleb Kelly Nov. 10.

the middle to the weakside position — both are more than capable of being versatile. Whoever fills the void Kelly leaves will have a lot of production to fill. In his three seasons, he’s started

24 games — playing in 37 — and racked up 153 total tackles. Kelly, who was a five-star recruit out of high school, played outside linebacker his first two seasons before moving to WILL last year. He was beat out for the


starting spot by then-senior linebacker Curtis Bolton before moving back to outside to finish the season. He was back to playing WILL this spring and was the expected starter at the position. But more than his on-field

production, Kelly has been one of the more vocal leaders on the team the past three years. Along with seniors cornerback Parnell Motley and defensive lineman Neville Gallimore, Kelly was one of the few veteran leaders returning on Oklahoma’s defense. Kelly has earned a lot of respect from his teammates after his handling of being bench last season and has consistently been one of the biggest leaders in the community. And with Grinch changing things up on the field, Kelly’s veteran and calming voice was going to be much needed for what will probably a young defensive team. No doubt, it will be interesting to see who starts at the WILL linebacker position come Aug. 31 if Kelly’s injury proves serious. But what will be even more intriguing, is who will be the defensive leader who fills his shoes — a leader Oklahoma desperately needs? George Stoia

Women’s gymnastics flips into semifinal play Sooners’ regional score unparalleled across country STEVEN PLAISANCE @splaisance00

No. 1 Oklahoma continues to roll through postseason play. The Sooners defeated No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 16 Cal to win the Athens Regional on April 6. In the Sooners’ final rotation, junior Maggie Nichols’ perfect 10 on uneven bars secured Oklahoma’s 1 0 t h -s t r a i g h t r e g i o n a l championship. The Sooner finished first

with a score of 198.475 — the country’s best score of the season. Georgia finished second with 198.050, Cal took third with 197.765 and Kentucky finished fourth with 197.600. Sophomore Anastasia Webb captured the allaround title with a score of 39.675. Nichols shared the bars event title with Georgia’s Marissa Oakley. Both gymnasts earned 10s. Freshman Olivia Trautman scored a 9.975 on floor. She shared the event title with Georgia’s Sabrina Vega. Four Sooners shared the event title for balance beam: Nichols, Webb and seniors

Brenna Dowell and Nichole Lehrmann each scored a 9.95. This marks Oklahoma’s 16th-consecutive app e a ra n c e i n t h e N C A A Championships, and the team’s 19th ever. The second-place finisher, Georgia, will also advance. The Sooners and Bulldogs w ill b e joine d by No. 5 Denver and No. 13 Oregon State in their semifinal meet on April 19. The Sooners get a week off before semifinal play begins April 19 in Fort Worth, Texas. Steven Plaisance

Junior Maggie Nichols performs on beam March 3.




• April 8-14, 2019

Senior Yul Moldauer waits to perform March 9. The team won its conference champinship and will advance to the NCAA Championship.


OU men’s gymnastics ramps up Team headed to championships after strong win CHANDLER ENGELBRECHT @ctengelbrecht

No. 1 O klahoma w elcomed No. 2 Stanford, No. 11 Cal and No. 13 Air Force to Norman on Saturday for the 2019 MPSF Conference Championship. The meet was the Sooners’ most anticipated meet of the season, as it pitted the top two teams in the nation against each other. After a less-than-ideal start to the match on floor exercise, Oklahoma found itself

trailing 211.300-208.800 to Stanford after three rotations. That’s when senior co-captain Levi Anderson posted the Sooners’ highest vault of the season: 15.250. This provided Oklahoma with a much-needed spark that helped fuel the team for the rest of the match. “When I saw Tanner hit (before me), that’s what I like to call Sooner magic,” Anderson said. “I was like, ‘Oh, we just got it started. Now all I’ve got to do is keep it going.’ When I hit the table, I could tell off the direction of the table that if I just stayed in, I’d be good. It turned out the way that it did, and I couldn’t be happier about it.” Te a m m a t e a n d f e l low senior co-captain Yul

Moldauer described the meet as surreal. “(Anderson will) remember that for the rest of his life,” Moldauer said. “For him to stick that vault in his last time here, that is a special moment for him.” Following their strong performance on vault, Moldauer led the Sooners with 15.150 on parallel bars, which built up their lead to 350.950347.750 going into the final rotation. The final rotation featured the Sooners concluding their final home meet of the season on high bar, and in dramatic fashion with Yul Moldauer replacing junior Matt Wenske in the lineup. All three of the Sooners’ co-captains

closed out this event and the meet. The move paid off tremendously for Oklahoma as the three seniors, along with sophomore Gage Dyer, perfectly stuck their dismounts, securing an eighth-straight conference title for the Sooners and the fourth-straight for the senior class. “(Coach Williams) came u p t o m e a n d wa s l i ke, ‘We’re gonna put you in,’ and I was like, ‘All right, just let it rip,’” Moldauer said. “I’m blessed that I got the opportunity to do that. That was the most special routine of the night just because I knew how bad it was coming in practice, how I needed work on it. But after hitting tonight, finishing

my career with that, it was special. I’ll always remember that moment.” The Sooners won the meet with a total of 420.500, topping Stanford, Cal and Air Force who posted 418.550, 394.700 and 382.200, respectively. Williams was proud of his team’s ability to persevere throughout the meet and overcome the slow start. “ We w e re ha n g i n g i n there all night,” Williams said. “Wrapping things up the way on high bars with the last three guys was just awesome. We do have some things we need to work on. If we’re gonna start on floor, we gotta do better there. We can’t give away one of our strongest events.

As far as our last competition in this building, I feel like it’s good that we got pushed a little bit and had to feel some of that pressure. I think that’s going to help us knowing that we can handle that going into NCAA’s.” O k l a h o ma n ow g e a r s up for the 2019 NCAA Championships, which will be held April 19 and 20 in Champaign, Illinois. There, the Sooners look to win their fifth consecutive national title, increasing their total national title count to 13, a NCAA record. Chandler Engelbrecht chandler.engelbrecht@

OU softball team celebrates coma recovery FHU baseball player throws symbolic first pitch PARKER PRIMROSE @parker_primrose

As Slater Springman stepped into the pitcher’s circle Saturday night to throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch, the moment represented more than just tossing a softball 46 feet. For Springman and the Sooners, it symbolized a story coming full circle and a celebration of life. On Aug. 27, Springman collaps e d while conditioning with the FreedHardeman University baseball team and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he spent several weeks in a coma and came close to dying. As Springman fought to survive and recover, his family asked for prayers and support. T h a t ’s w h e re t h e O U softball team entered the picture. On Aug. 31, the Sooners sent Springman a video of them praying in the Marita Hynes Field pitcher’s circle and offering him their support. Once Springman emerged from his coma, the team began to reach out to him personally, sending him notes, cards and text messages and even visiting him in the hospital. “They’re incredible. They’ve all just been so

g re at t h i s w h o l e t i m e,” Springman said. “I was kind of expecting a couple of them (to visit me in the hospital), just a few of them ... but it was the entire team, all the coaches. It’s been really special to see all them and how they’ve kind of pulled together for me and given me support through all of it.” Springman was released from the hospital Dec. 14, and his recovery has continued to progress. Springman is working toward resuming his baseball career this fall, as he played catcher at OCU from 201518 and transferred to FHU in the fall of 2018 to continue playing baseball. “ I ’ m d o i n g g r e a t ,” Springman said. “Finished physical therapy a couple of weeks ago and now I’m just working out on my own again. Now, everything is back to normal except I’ve just got to get my strength back to the point where I can play ball again.” For the Sooners, seeing Springman in the circle Saturday night was a dream come true and an answer to their prayers. Head coach Patty Gasso said the team didn’t reach out to Springman to get attention, but because they knew someone needed help. “We’ve been blessed to have this platform, and it is our responsibility to use it for others’ good, not just ours,” Gasso said. “We are blessed to play a great

game, but what this game has allowed these guys to do is change lives, and it has been phenomenal as a coach to watch the changes and the things, not just in others, but in themselves. They really grow up and they really understand that this is much bigger than winning games.” Oklahoma did play a softball game after Springman’s pitch, beating Baylor 8-0 in five innings, but that’s not what stood out to senior Shay Knighten afterward. The moment she described as unforgettable wasn’t her senior night or her home run, but instead getting to see Springman throw the first pitch from the same circle where the team prayed for him seven months ago. “Seeing him and how healthy he is and how happy he is, it gives me chills every time I think about it because he is a great person,” Knighten said. “He has an awesome heart. I know this team really rallied around him and his family when he was going through that time, so to see him out there and the smile on his face when he was able to throw that first pitch and be in our huddle, it was just a really cool experience and a moment I’ll never forget.” Parker Primrose



Senior Caleigh Clifton slides into third base in the game against Baylor on April 7.

Profile for OU Daily

April 8-14, 2019  

April 8-14, 2019