Chapman McKown: T-Wolf To Sooner


| Jepie Jepson

Chapman McKown reflecting on his journey during our interview.

Graduate Chapman McKown sat down with us to reflect on his story with football; as well as talk about his future with the University of Oklahoma. His story began with playing football when he was a young child, he said, “ I’ve been playing tackle football since fourth grade and I’ve been playing like flag you know, way before that around like second grade I started so a long time.” McKown brought up how starting flag football in second grade and watching different videos of different players aided in him coming to the conclusion that “it was a sport for me because I just fell in love with it.” Chapman had many people that inspired him to want to do football but Barry Sanders in particular had a huge impact. He tells us, “He definitely inspired me you know, being not the biggest guy in the room or in any room that I was ever in.”

Chapman McKown, a running back coming from Norman North High School, recently signed his letter of intent with OU. He persevered and worked his way toward success in spite of there being many doubters. Claiming in reference to his friends, family, and coaches, “the whole time it was about proving them right more than it was about proving the other people wrong.” When asked how he persevered whilst facing doubt, he mentioned the people surrounding him who believed in him, his belief in himself, and in God. The credit for him being able to compete despite his smaller size and even getting the opportunity to compete for OU went to God, “I think Jesus and God really set that up for me.”

The signing brought “a ton of emotions” up for Chapman. Considering “this is a day that I’ve looked forward to and talked about for like, years since I was in eighth grade,”  it was an extremely monumental moment for him. He proceeded to say the signing was “definitely a big deal for me” and the presence of his family and friends there “was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.” 

Attending OU wasn’t always the plan. Instead, he remembered writing his top twenty schools and OU, it wasn’t even on it. His mind geared toward the school when Coach Venables received the job at OU and “the stars just aligned perfectly and fortunately I was able to, you know, commit to OU.” McKown expressed an interest in studying psychology as this will be part of his plan to be a college football coach, GA for Coach Venables, and eventually go on to coach his own school. He mentioned how he feels psychology would be “the best connection to football,” as psychology would be helpful for aiding his players. To “be able to coach them up as far as the mental side of things goes” was a big aspect in his consideration of the field of psychology.

Although many admire him for his play on the field, Chapman also wants others to know he values leadership, “I love being a leader on the team.” Even though there has been a transition with him now being an OU athlete, he won’t lose his connection to others and the community. Instead of simply leaving a legacy behind solely through football, he also wishes to be “known for connecting with the people that aren’t necessarily the athletes or the, you know, the famous kids in school or whatever. Like I want to be able to have other people know that I connect with very well.” Chapman does not limit himself to purely football, and is a jack of many trades with a vast range of interests including hunting, fishing, and painting. Having a wide variety of interests “means a lot” to him, as it’s “not just all football 24/7, I love to do other things as well.”

For athletes wanting to pursue getting signed with a college, he advises that “all it is just working very hard” and “doing things correctly off the field as well as on it” and he goes on to mention the pride he takes in avoiding partying and drinking. Regarding the whole topic of good decisions and such relating to wanting to get signed, Chapman says “I feel like that’s such a big part that you have to play in wanting to sign one day.” He also advised “taking care of your grades,” “working very hard at practice,” and “believing in something greater than yourself” as all being additional important things to focus on.