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OU football: Levi Draper speaks with media, says he's 'getting better every single day'

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Levi Draper

Then-redshirt freshman linebacker Levi Draper walks into the stadium during Walk of Champions before the Baylor game Sept. 29, 2018.

Oklahoma sophomore linebacker Levi Draper spoke to the media for the first time Tuesday afternoon, and talked everything from playing time to defensive coordinator Alex Grinch's scheme.

Here's some of what Draper had to say:

On expecting to play right away.

"I think that's gotta be your expectation. I know sometimes it doesn't work out like that, and that's obvious you know. God's got a plan for everyone and there's different circumstances for everyone, but I think you've gotta be like that. You've got to be confident in yourself, and you've got to expect big things for yourself. I expected to, and, like I said, it didn't work out that way. No big deal. I'm coming out here and getting better every single day.

"It's definitely difficult. I think it's difficult for everyone no matter what you were in high school to come here. Everybody wants to play. It's not just me, it's everybody. Everybody on this team wants to play, but everybody on this team — that's one thing about this team — I think that's why we've had the success we've had — everybody is for the team and you want to see the team's success. You put your personal agenda aside and do what you need to do for the team."

On recovering from his injury.

"It's tough. It's one thing to not be playing, but it's another thing to not be practicing or doing anything football-wise when you've done it your whole life like I have. It's definitely hard. It's hard being away from the game. It's hard not being able to put any work toward your goals, so I've made sure I take advantage of my time in the meeting room, my time in the weight room, what I could do and stuff like that. That helped me get through it."

On Grinch emphasizing turnovers.

"Yeah, it's really exciting. Obviously in this game, it's a big thing — a turnover. That's another thing about this defense. It's downhill. It's fast. You're aggressive, so the ball is coming out quicker sometimes. If you just run to the ball, get to the ball and hustle, you're just gonna have chances to get turnovers.

"We've always done tackling drills and stuff like that. The one thing about tackling is effort. That's the one thing that we've really harped on going into this. It's effort and getting to the ball, and when you have 11 guys around the ball, it's hard. Even if you've got one guy miss the tackle, you've got 10 other guys there. I think that's a big thing — getting to the ball. And then turnovers. Obviously that's one thing we emphasize for sure. That's getting the ball out when you're around the ball. First guy wrap up, second guy strip. We're just trying to get the ball out."

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