The timing hasn’t worked out well recently for junior linebacker Devin Rolan (McAlester, Okla./McAlester) and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Rolan, regarded as one of the state’s best 2013 prospects, was invited to both of OU’s junior days but was unable to attend either of them. He already had plans for the first one in February, and last weekend he competed in a regional powerlifting meet.
Rolan, however, was able to head back to OU on Saturday for the first full-padded practice of the spring for the Sooners.
“It was great to head back to OU. I haven’t been there in a while,” Rolan said. “I really wanted to make some other trips back there, but it just never worked out.”
Rolan hasn’t been shy about saying how much he wants to be a Sooner. But with the coaching changes, Rolan knows there is a lot of work to be done if that dream is going to come true.
He had a good relationship with former defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who is now at Clemson. And Saturday was the first time he got to meet new OU linebackers coach Tim Kish.
“He seems like a pretty cool guy, but he was really busy,” Rolan said. “It was a great trip, but I feel like I’m back to square one. That’s OK because I’m not afraid to put in the work.”
It was also the first time Rolan has talked with defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Like Kish, Rolan said Stoops was busy for most of the day Saturday and Rolan didn’t get to spend too much time with him.
Rolan said distance is not a factor, but right now, three in-state schools -- OU, Oklahoma State, Tulsa -- are standing out as favorites.
Rolan was able to attend Oklahoma State’s junior day, and he said he is hoping to attend Texas Tech’s spring game March 24. Rolan said he would also like to visit Tulsa in the near future.
One thing he is sure he will be doing is attending OU’s Red-White game April 14.
“I’m definitely going to be there. I wouldn’t miss that for anything,” Rolan said.
Rolan said he was glad he went to Saturday’s practice because he got to see how things are done and how the team is looking. In regards to the team, Rolan said he liked what he saw.
“They were getting after it. They’re looking pretty good right now,” Rolan said. “I’m close to a lot of the linebackers because I’ve been there so much so it was good to see Tom Wort again. He’s not a linebacker, but Tony Jefferson looked great.”
Rolan, 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, said he has put on around 10 pounds of muscle since the end of his junior season.
He wasn’t the only in-state linebacker that attended the practice as T.J. Ponds (Wagoner, Okla./Wagoner) also attended. A photo of Rolan, Ponds and Wort is posted on Rolan’s Facebook page, which he wanted people to see.
“Some people question my size so I wanted to put that photo out there showing I’m as big as Tom, and I can play at this elite level,” Rolan said.