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NFL Bound

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End of an Era

Stepping Down

Dominating Force

2017 Recruiting

OU finished off a memorable 2016 season on high note

Road Warrior

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Fast & Furious

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Speed Burner

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Flying High at No. 1

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Playoff Bound

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California Connection

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Aaron Ripkowski Q&A

Sooner Flashback: Jakie Sandefer

Next Generation

Hiring Time

Sooners hire new offensive coordinator

Samaje Perine Q&A

Aaron Ripkowski Q&A

Mike Stoops Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

All in the Family

Road Warrior

On Point

King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

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The Closer

Sooner Success

Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

Spring Football Review

To The Point

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Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

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Taylor-made for Oklahoma

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Attention Getter

A Change of Plans

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Proud Heritage

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Boomer Bio; James Winchester

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Cornerstone

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Playmaker

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Locked In & Loaded

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Landry Jones Q&A

The Classics

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Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

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Jamell Fleming Q&A

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Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

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Quarterback Race

Quarterback Race

Boomer Bio: Kenny Stills

Boomer Bio: Marshall Musil

Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

Bradford looks sharp in workout

No Doubt About It

Boomer Bio: Willie Martinez

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Norman Bound

Showdown In The Sun

Jay Norvell Q&A

Jay Norvell Q&A

Boomer Bio: Dejuan Miller

Adrian Taylor doing just fine

Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

The Real Deal

Road Warrior

Meet Dusty Dvoracek This Saturday!

Casey Walker Q&A

Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

Tackling Machine

Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio: Stephen Good

Top Targets

Brent Venables Q&A

Boomer Bio: Cory Brandon

Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

Sam Bradford Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Blake Griffin earns Naismith Award

Ryan Reynolds Q&A

The Wait Is Over

Outlook for 2009

Outlook for 2009

Staying Put

Bradford, Gresham, Williams Coming Back

Make Room For Sam

Lendy Holmes Q&A

Bradford Wins Heisman

Heisman Material

Boomer Bio: Frank Alexander

Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact

Gerald McCoy Q&A

Gerald McCoy Q&A

Offensive linemen Roundtable

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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

Travis Lewis Q&A

Travis Lewis Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Jackie Shipp Q&A

Bob Stoops Q&A

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They’ve Got It Covered

Bradford Talks About Sooner Experience

Big Dreams

Plenty Of Things To Chew on this Offseason

Marcus Walker Q&A

Looking Ahead

Greater Expectations

Manny Being Manny

The Big Easy

Super Sidekick

English Lesson

Revved Up & Remodeled

Firmly Committed

A Cut Above

The Definition of Rivalry

On The Rise

Irresistible Force

Bookends

Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Rivals.com Teaming Up

Final Chapter

Catching Up With Sumlin

Welcome Back Little Joe

Wilson’s Defensive Wisdom

Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

Fantastic Five

Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs

WE'RE BACK!!!!

GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

OU’s Greatest

Boomer Bio: Brody Eldridge

Boomer Bio: Fred Strong

Dual Threat: Stephen Garcia

Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

Kody Cooke: A Conversation

Boomer Bio: Lendy Holmes

Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

Road Warrior

The Opposition

Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

Defensive Outlook

Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

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A.D. Unscripted

OU will miss Sampson

OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

Sooners eye stretch run

Haskell remains a lost treasure

Boomer Bio: Patty Gasso

Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

Recruiting: Dominique Franks Q&A

Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

Next Stop Division I

Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick

Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

Stoops talks about OU's 36-30 win

OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

Recruiting: Derek Burton

Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

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Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

Recruiting: Adron Tennell

Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

Sooners open fall practice

Brent Venables Q&A

Sooner single-game tickets go on sale Monday

Questions about Sooners' aura not surprising

Joseph talks about summer workouts

OU at Big 12 Media Days

Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

New Sooner Nic Harris excited about new digs

2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

OU inks JUCO point guard

OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

White and Vermeil talk about first day of rookie camp

White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at Newsstands on May 5, 2018!
The Draft
Looking at the history of OU's first round NFL selections over the last 20 years

When Roy Williams was a junior at James Logan High School in Union City, Calif., one page in the yearbook, the "Summer Wall," asked where students saw themselves five years into the future.

Williams wrote, simply, "Playing for the Dallas Cowboys."

"I basically spoke it into existence at an early age," said Williams. "There was no doubt in my mind where I was going. It was already written down."

Williams had to wait for his future to unfurl, of course — his senior year at Logan, plus three years at the University of Oklahoma. But five years later, less than an hour into the 2002 NFL Draft, Williams was indeed a Dallas Cowboy.

Even if he did have to wait just a tiny bit longer.

"I was thinking I was gonna go to Dallas with the No. 6 pick," said Williams, "but they traded back two spots and I went eighth. That was a little unsettling. But I ended up going where I was supposed to be."

Now, almost two decades later, Williams looks back on his NFL Draft experience and offers a suggestion for OU quarterback Baker Mayfield: don't worry about it.

"I don't think he's gonna have to wait long," said Williams. "I think he's gonna go in the top five or six. There's really not much he has to worry about. He knows going in that he's gonna be a top 10 pick."

Mayfield is the only Sooner who gets consensus consideration as Oklahoma's first-round possibilities this year, but Williams and 2005 first-round pick Mark Clayton are among those who think there could be several OU players selected on April 26 — tight end Mark Andrews, offensive tackle Orlando Brown and linebacker/defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo have appeared in the first round of various mock drafts.

“Looking at Mark, I’ve always thought of Jason Witten when I saw him,” said Clayton. “Obo, seems like he’ll be one of those guys that’s steady and plays for a really long time — and when it’s third down, it’s gonna be a problem (for the other team). I know in the NFL that pressure is a whole other ballgame, but I think (Baker) does have the IQ and obviously the ability to do it, and do it really well.

“We’ve got a good bunch. Time will tell, but I think they have the makings and the assets to be really good professional players. I’m definitely excited to watch them and see how they progress in their careers.”

Said Williams, “I think you’re gonna be surprised. I think there may be more than one OU guy going in the first round.”

In the 18 drafts since Williams began to blossom during Bob Stoops’ rookie season in 1999, the Sooners have had 13 first-round picks: Stockar McDougle (2000), Williams (2002), Andre Woolfolk (2003), Tommie Harris (2004), Clayton and Jammal Brown (2005), Davin Joseph (2006), Adrian Peterson (2007), Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams and Jermaine Gresham (2010) and Lane Johnson (2013).

Mayfield is certain to be No. 14 on that list. He’s been discussed as someone who could go anywhere from No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns, to the latter part of the first round.

Andrews, Brown and Okoronkwo probably have first-round talent, but each also has obstacles in his path that could mean a second- or third-day pick.

The NFL success rate of OU’s first-round picks during the last two decades has been remarkable:

>McDougle, the 20th overall pick, played eight seasons (mostly with Detroit) and started 56 games on the offensive line.

>Roy Williams was a five-time Pro Bowler who played nine seasons, started 110 games and had 20 interceptions for the Cowboys.

>Woolfolk, picked 28th by Tennessee, played 39 games (12 starts) in four seasons as a defensive back with the Titans with 131 tackles and three interceptions.

>Harris went 14th overall to Chicago as a defensive tackle, was named to the Pro Bowl three times in eight seasons and made 226 tackles and 31.5 quarterback sacks.

>After the Saints picked Brown No. 15 overall, he became a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle in seven seasons with the Saints and Redskins.

>Clayton played five seasons with Baltimore and two more with the St. Louis Rams, catching 260 passes for 3,448 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns.

>Joseph started 112 of 116 NFL games after going 23rd to Tampa Bay, where he was a two-time Pro Bowl pick, and played seven of his eight seasons as an offensive guard.

>Peterson became one of the most decorated players in NFL history after Minnesota drafted him seventh overall, rushing for an NFL record 296 yards in a game, making seven Pro Bowls, earning five All-Pro designations, returning from a torn ACL to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012 and compiling 12,276 career rushing yards (currently 12th all-time) with 87 touchdowns.

>Bradford went first overall to the Rams, signed the biggest rookie contract in NFL history ($86 million, including $50 million guaranteed) was named 2010 NFL offensive rookie of the year, and has played for the Rams, Eagles and Vikings during his injury-plagued seven seasons (he’s currently with the Arizona Cardinals), throwing for 19,049 yards with 101 touchdowns and 57 interceptions.

>McCoy went No. 3 to Tampa Bay, where he’s been a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro pick as he’s made 269 tackles and recorded 48.5 sacks.

>Trent Williams went fourth overall to Washington, where he’s started 106 of 107 games, made six Pro Bowls and three All-Pros and in 2015, became the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league with a $66 million contract with more than $43 million guaranteed.

>Gresham went 21st overall to Cincinnati, where he was a two-time Pro Bowl tight end and played five of his eight seasons (he’s played the last three in Arizona) with 368 receptions for 3,658 yards and 29 touchdowns.

>The Eagles took Johnson fourth overall in 2013, and he was voted to the 2017-18 Pro Bowl, replaced Williams as the league’s highest-paid offensive linemen ($63 million with $35.5 million guaranteed) and won Super Bowl 52.

Although Roy Williams didn’t have to wait long and went exactly where he predicted, he recalls his draft day experience as part stressful and all fulfilling.

“I got that call after I saw — who was it? I want to say the Chiefs. I think it was the Chiefs — they went up on stage and made their pick (North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims), and then Bryant McKinnie (an offensive tackle from Miami) went seventh to the Vikings, and then I got a call from Jerry (Jones) saying, ‘Hey, sit tight. We made a deal; we’re gonna take you at 8.’ So that was awesome.

“So they had my plane at like, Wiley Post (Airport in Oklahoma City). He had his jet waiting there for us to fly to Dallas. It would have been nice if he would have had the same jet that flew us out there fly us back. But that wasn’t the case. He put us on a propeller plane back. Man, it was like the bumpiest ride ever in my life,” Williams said with a laugh.

This year when Jones flies his picks to Cowboys HQ, he’ll also be flying them to the home of the draft, as the 2018 event takes place at AT&T Stadium and The Star in Arlington, Texas.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Clayton, who grew up in Arlington (he went to Sam Houston High School) and still lives in DFW. “The draft being what it is, being in Texas is of course awesome, because Texas is king when it comes to football.
Should have been here all along.”'

Clayton’s draft day “started at IHOP, really,” he said. “Just kind of hung around. We had a big get-together at my house (in Arlington). A lot of friends and family came. It was a really good time.”

Having so many friends and family who “were definitely into” the pick-by-pick television coverage may have added to the anxiety Clayton felt back then. But when the Baltimore Ravens called his name with the 22nd overall pick, the stress melted away.

Williams watched the ESPN broadcast with teammates, coaches and even media inside the Switzer Center.

“I didn’t get invited,” said Williams. “I think like only two or three people got invited to New York my year, which was crazy. Because, I mean, I really wish I would have had that experience, walking out (on the stage after hearing his name called). Man, I feel sometimes my class got robbed of the whole experience.

“But it was fun, man. It was awesome.”

(John E. Hoover is an afternoon co-host at KRXO The Franchise and writes columns for TheFranchiseOK.com and Sporting News)