Drake Stoops Breaking from Dad’s Shadow: How Bob Stoops’ Son Emerged as Sooners Playmaker

    Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Drake Stoops went from walk-on player to one of the top targets in the Sooners' offense in 2023.

    The Stoops name in Norman, Oklahoma, carries a ton of weight, especially when it comes down to speaking about former Oklahoma Sooners football head coach Bob Stoops. Coach Stoops was able to carry the legacy of Oklahoma football and make them into national contenders throughout the late 90s through the 2010s.

    After he retired from coaching in college, Lincoln Riley took over as head coach and would bring on two of Stoops’ sons onto the football team — one of them leading a long career at the school.

    Drake Stoops’ Journey With Oklahoma Before 2023

    Drake Stoops was coming into college as a three-star recruit with the hopes of playing at Oklahoma. After other schools made him scholarship offers, he decided to walk on at Oklahoma as both he and his brother Isaac joined the football team. While Isaac would leave the team, Drake stayed on and was able to play to his full potential.

    Stoops was limited in his freshman year playing as he appeared in just two games recording two catches for 16 yards. While he played more the next season, he didn’t have much production as he caught eight passes for 95 yards.

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    His impact started to be felt more as he started playing more slot receiver for Oklahoma starting in seven games in 2020. The most memorable moment of that season for Stoops was his game-winning touchdown catch against Texas as the Sooners won in four overtimes. He also caught a 51-yard touchdown catch against Kansas State for a career-long reception.

    Stoops finished the season with 15 catches for 219 yards and two scores.

    After receiving a scholarship before the 2021 season, Stoops stayed consistent, catching 16 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. One of those two touchdowns came in the Alamo Bowl game that featured his dad, Bob Stoops, as interim head coach for Oklahoma after Riley’s departure to USC.

    Soon after, 2022 was his breakout season. He saw a bigger role in the offense and started 10 games. He finished the season posting 39 catches for 393 yards and three touchdowns — all career-highs.

    Drake Stoops’ 2023 Outlook

    If 2022 showed fans anything about Drake Stoops, it is that even if he isn’t the fastest player or the tallest player, he’s a reliable receiver. His soft hands and approach to the game have made him one of the top targets on the team, especially if Oklahoma needs a first down. Stoops’ skills have demonstrated that more often this season as he is playing the best football in his career currently in his fifth year as a Sooner.

    Through eight games this season, Stoops leads the team in receptions (40), is second on the team in receiving touchdowns (five), and is fourth in receiving yards (394). He already has hit his career highs in all three statical categories.

    Despite the 38-33 loss to Kansas, Stoops had one of his best games of the season, catching four passes for a season-high 76 yards. One of those catches includes a big third-quarter, 39-yard catch from Stoops that set up a touchdown and put Oklahoma up 27-26.

    What has stood out this season is that while he isn’t having the big plays, the team looks to him to convert short-yard situations and get them back ahead of the downs.

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    Stoops doesn’t stand out as a flashy receiver as he stands at 5’10” and 189 pounds, but Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel can throw it his way knowing he’ll make the catch.

    Whatever happens beyond this season, Stoops will have a long-lasting legacy in Oklahoma/ It’s not about records being broken, it’s about the moments he was asked to step up and deliver for the Sooners.

    Drake Stoops Player Profile

    • Height: 5-10
    • Weight: 189
    • Number: 12
    • Class: Redshirt Fifth Year
    • Hometown: Norman, OK
    • High School: Norman North HS
    • Years Active: 5
    • Previous School: N/A
    • Draft Eligible: 2023

    Drake Stoops Player Career Stats (As of November 3, 2023)

    • Receptions: 120
    • Receiving Yards: 1,308
    • Receiving Touchdowns: 12
    • Average Yards Per Reception: 9

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