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The Greatest Rivalry

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Hiring Time

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Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

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Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

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The Closer

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Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

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To The Point

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Boomer Bio: Chuka Ndulue

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Jalen Saunders Q&A

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Proud Heritage

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Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

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The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

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Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

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Quarterback Race

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Boomer Bio: Kenny Stills

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Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

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Boomer Bio: Dejuan Miller

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Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

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Double Duty

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Quick Five With Nic Harris

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The Opposition

Defensive Backing

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Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

Defensive Outlook

Top Shelf: Austin Box

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Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

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OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

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Kelvin Sampson Q&A

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OU Coaches’ Roundtable

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Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

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C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

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Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




Week Two On Newsstands NOW!
C.J. Ah You Q&A
OU defensive end talks football

Thanks to the departure of standout defensive ends Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson after the 2004 season, Oklahoma had a major void to fill at defensive end. The Sooners needed to find a player already battle tested and capable of stepping into the lineup almost right away.

They found C.J. Ah You. And so far, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound junior has been everything they hoped he would be. Ah You joined the team in January, just weeks after the Sooners’ loss to USC in the national title game. His early arrival gave him a head start on learning the system and acclimating himself to his new environment.

After all, the talented Ah You had spent the first three years of his collegiate career in his home state of Utah, playing for BYU and Snow (Jr.) College. There were adjustments to be made and some big shoes to fill, but so far, the transition has been a smooth one.

The preseason loss of defensive end Larry Birdine and season-ending injury sustained by John Williams against TCU have further put Ah You’s performance under a microscope, but the proud Samoan continues to prove he can handle it. Sooner Spectator writer-at-large Mark Stack put Ah You under a spotlight after a recent practice to get his thoughts on life as a Sooner.

Sooner Spectator: How important was it for you to be able to enroll for the spring semester at OU and participate in spring practice?

C.J. Ah You: It was real important because it helped me learn all the plays, learn the techniques, and get a good feel out there before we started in the summer.

SS: Your father played at BYU, and that’s initially where you went to play. Was it tough to uproot yourself after junior college and go somewhere as far away as Oklahoma to play?

Ah You: Yeah, it was difficult at first. But the transition was made a little easier because I had gone to BYU already, so I knew what the environment was like. But moving that far away, though, wasn’t too difficult because since I’ve been here, the people have been great to me.

SS: On what did you base your decision on to come here?

Ah You: Overall, the team and all the hard work and tradition. I knew if I came here, they would push me to my limits and get the best out of me.

SS: How often will members of your family get to watch you play?

Ah You: Oh, my parents are diehards. They’ll come to every game, home and away. It’s great that they’re able to see me play.

SS: You had a taste of Division-I football at BYU, but what has been the biggest eye-opener about playing at this level again?

Ah You: At Oklahoma, mainly the support that I have around me from the fans. The city of Norman and the state, in general, love their football. So the support we get and the camaraderie of it all has been amazing.

SS: How much different is this compared to BYU?

Ah You: BYU is a great school, and I don’t mean to take anything away from them. But it’s just a whole different atmosphere. There are a few more rabid fans around here.

SS: What does C.J. stand for?

Ah You: Charles. I’m named after my father, Charles Ah You. The J is for Junior.

SS: Does your last name have a meaning in Samoan?

Ah You: I don’t know, really.

SS: How many well-known Samoans have played in the NFL?

Ah You: There’s quite a few, actually. There’s Jesse Sapolu, who played for the 49ers. My uncle, Junior Ah You, actually played in the CFL and was elected to their Hall of Fame. He’s a household name up in Canada. There have been a few others, but not quite as famous as Jesse.

SS: Career-wise after football, are you still thinking about going into radiology?

Ah You: Yeah, that would be good. But I keep going back and forth between radiology and sociology. Those are the two things I’m interested in doing after football.

SS: If you could choose, where would you want to be 10 years from now?

Ah You: Retired and rich. I think I could handle that. Relaxing and taking care of my family. But I’d like to still be playing football on a professional level.

SS: Looking back at the season opener, could you ever have imagined that’s how your career would start at OU?

Ah You: No, not all. I knew that when I came here it would be a battle to get some playing time. I knew I had the opportunity to do well, and I feel that I have. We’ve had some unfortunate injuries on the defensive line, but the guys left will step up and do their job. But no, I never expected my first game at OU would be a loss. It’s definitely something I think we will all rally around and become a much better team.

SS: What does that loss mean to this team?

Ah You: It’s just going to bring us more together. It was a big wake-up call, but you can’t dwell on the past. You just have to move forward and build from our mistakes. It’s just one game.

SS: You talked about the injuries to the defensive linemen. Has that put a lot of pressure on that group since there isn’t a lot of depth?

Ah You: Yeah, I’d say there’s pressure. We wanted to come together and play our best, and those are big shoes to fill from the guys that got injured. But there’s nothing wrong with pressure — we welcome it.

SS: The national media has all but written this team off already. Is that a mistake?

Ah You: Oh yeah, I think so. It’s too early to write us off. But we like being the underdogs and we can handle where we are because we have something more to prove now. There’s a lot of talented guys on this team who won’t let what happened against TCU happen again.

SS: What do you feel will be your biggest challenge as a player this year?

Ah You: I know it sounds simple, but staying healthy. Like I said, we’ve had a lot of guys go down with injuries, and as long as we can stay healthy with the guys we have left, we’ll be in good shape.