The Award-Winning Magazine Offering The Most Complete Coverage of Sooner Sports
More Recent Stories

Hall of Fame Bound

To The Point

Road Warrior

King's Corner

Road Warrior

Shane Beamer Q&A

King's Corner

Josh Norman Q&A

Queen's Corner: Keilani Ricketts

To The Point

King's Corner


Playoff Preview

Charleston Rambo Q&A

Red River Revival

Tyrese Robinson Q&A

King's Corner

Road Warrior

Top Gun

Catching On!

Versatile Playmaker

Hurts So Good

To The Point

To The Point

National Spotlight

Marquise Brown Q&A

Road Warrior

The Greatest Rivalry

Road Warrior

Hard Work

Road Warrior

To The Point

King's Corner

The Draft

To The Point

NFL Bound

Looking Back: Billy Vessels

Road Warrior

King's Corner

NFL Spotlight

Boomer Bio

Lincoln Riley Q&A

Keys To Success

End of an Era

Stepping Down

Dominating Force

2017 Recruiting

OU finished off a memorable 2016 season on high note

Road Warrior

Emmanuel Beal Q&A

Fast & Furious

Road Warrior

OU vs. Texas: By The Numbers

King's Corner

Steven Parker Q&A

Orlando Brown Q&A

Speed Burner

King's Corner

Next Step

Welcome Home

QB Questions?

Common Cause

Right on Target

Flying High at No. 1

Headed North

Playoff Bound

Dominique Alexander Q&A

California Connection

Red River Rejuvenation

To The Point

Ty Darlington Q&A

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


OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio

The Closer

Sooner Success

Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

Spring Football Review

To The Point

Boomer Bio: Julian Wilson

Boomer Bio: Chuka Ndulue

Boomer Bio: Bronson Irwin

Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

Boomer Bio: Sterling Shepard

Taylor-made for Oklahoma

Tony Jefferson Q&A

Attention Getter

A Change of Plans

A Change of Plans

Proud Heritage

Hot Commodity

Boomer Bio; James Winchester

Boomer Bio; James Winchester

Boomer Bio: Aaron Ripkowski




Strictly Striker

Javon Harris Q&A

Boomer Bio: Austin Haywood

Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

Landry Jones Q&A

The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

Jeremy Beal Q&A

Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

Boomer Bio: Eric Mensik

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

Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

Travis Lewis Q&A

Travis Lewis Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Jackie Shipp Q&A

Bob Stoops Q&A

Boomer Bio

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


Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & 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



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

Reaction to Capel Hiring

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

Recruiting: Ugo Chinasa

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 Now!
Top Ten Recruits
Inside Look At The Best of The Best from The Stoops Era

Bob Stoops and his staff have delivered some incredible talent through the gates of Memorial Stadium over the past dozen or so years. Figuring out the best recruits the Sooners have signed during that period is no easy task. Stars like Roy Williams and Rocky Calmus were already on board when the Stoops era kicked off in 1999, but there are dozens of other players who earned their way onto this list, or at least deserved legitimate consideration.

Sooner Spectator takes a look at those players and ranks the top ten recruits of the Bob Stoops era.

No. 10 — Jermaine Gresham, Tight End, Ardmore HS
Oklahoma has made excellent use of the tight end position since Bob Stoops took over. Stoops’ arrival christened Trent Smith as the go-to target for quarterback Josh Heupel. OU used Smith’s performance as a springboard for signing more talented tight ends such as Joe Jon Finley and Bubba Moses over the years. Gresham was’s No. 1 tight end prospect in the country in 2006, and he basically redefined the position at OU during his time as a Sooner. Gresham developed into one of the most dangerous weapons in college football during the 2008 season, helping lead OU to a BCS National Championship appearance. For his efforts — which included setting several school receiving records for tight ends — he earned first-team All-American status and eventually became a first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

No. 9 — Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle, Southeast HS
McCoy is a player who was destined to be a Sooner from the first time he strapped on a helmet and pads. The five-star recruit out of Oklahoma City’s Southeast High School was the top defensive tackle prospect in the country, according to in 2006. Like Gresham, McCoy lived up to all of the hype and expectations. After redshirting his freshman season, McCoy spent the next three seasons maturing into one of the top defensive tackles in college football. Not only was McCoy a great physical talent — often dominating opposing players — he was the heartbeat of the 2008 Big 12 champion squad. When the NFL draft came calling this past April, Tampa Bay made McCoy the No. 3 overall pick.

No. 8 — Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver, Norman High School
Broyles is the first player on this list, but certainly not the last, who was not considered a sure thing coming out of the high school ranks. Heck, Broyles wasn’t even a sure thing for Oklahoma as he waffled between OU and Bedlam rival Oklahoma State leading up to national signing day in 2007. But like most of the truly great ones over the years at Oklahoma, Broyles found a way to take his talents to a whole new level and in the process has developed into one of the best football players in college football during his first three seasons as a Sooner. He’s on pace to smash every receiving mark in the OU record books this fall. A Biletnikoff finalist the past two seasons, Broyles will be one of the favorites to capture that award as a senior.

No. 7 — Derrick Strait, Cornerback, Austin Lanier HS
Next to Roy Williams, Derrick Strait remains the most decorated defensive back of the Bob Stoops era. Strait took home the Jim Thorpe Award, the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award in 2003. Strait, a consensus All-American in 2003, earned the reputation for being one of the most instinctive cover corners in the program. That process began the day he arrived on campus, as he parlayed those instincts with his athleticism to become an instant starter as a redshirt freshman for the 2000 national championship squad. Strait may not have had a stellar pro football career, but that makes his college exploits all the more impressive. He truly was a player who got the most out his considerable potential.

No. 6 — Mark Clayton, Wide Receiver, Arlington Sam Houston HS
Clayton is another player who turned himself into a household name through hard work and dedication during his time at Oklahoma. Recognized as a two-time consensus All-American in 2003 and 2004, Clayton was also a Biletnikoff finalist his senior season. He set the bar high at Oklahoma for future receivers, and it’s taken a monumental effort by one of college football’s top receivers — Ryan Broyles — to reach some of those milestones. While Clayton was at OU, he set the record for career receptions and receiving yardage in a season. He also establish a career mark for touchdown receptions and the single-season mark for TD receptions, both of which have been eclipsed by Broyles.

No. 5 — Tommie Harris, Defensive Tackle, Killeen Ellison HS
It seems like a backwards thing to say, but Tommie Harris was the Adrian Peterson of defensive tackles when he came out of Texas in 2001. He wasn’t just the nation’s top defensive tackle prospect according to, he was the nation’s overall No. 1 prospect — at any position. That’s how dominant Harris was in the prep ranks, and those expectations only escalated as he stepped onto the college stage. With the body of a defensive tackle and the athletic ability of a weakside linebacker, Harris was a force on every snap. As a bonus, Harris was Stoops’ first major victory in the Red River recruiting battle with Texas, opening the door for players like Adrian Peterson and others to follow north.

No. 4 — Josh Heupel, Quarterback, Snow Junior College (Utah)
You can make an argument that Josh Heupel is Bob Stoops’ most important recruit — bar none. There is evidence to support such a theory. Heupel helped usher in a new era of OU football, and he did something no other player ahead of him on this list could do — he led the Sooners to a national championship, and in the process helped wipe away five seasons of unparalleled frustration surrounding the program. Heupel did that and more. He still holds several OU completion and passing attempt records. Now he’s been recruited again, this time to take over as co-offensive coordinator and play-caller for Stoops’ current program. His impact is still being measured.

No. 3 — Jason White, Quarterback, Tuttle High School
It’s hard to say Jason White is the most talented quarterback in OU history. But there is no doubting White’s significant role in OU football history, especially as it relates to the Stoops era. White won a Heisman in 2003 and was a finalist again in 2004, and he helped lead the Sooners to two national title games. But the reason White is so high on this list is because he helped sustain Oklahoma as a national power through the first decade of this century. He was instrumental in OU becoming a vertical passing offense —- which helped attract quality wide receivers like Mark Clayton, Brandon Jones and Mark Bradley and later set the stage for guys like Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias. If Josh Heupel started the offensive revolution at OU, White took it to a new level.

No. 2 — Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Palestine HS
There aren’t enough superlatives when talking about Adrian Peterson as a player and a recruit at Oklahoma. Every college on the planet wanted Peterson, but Stoops and the Sooners won the sweepstakes. Oklahoma and Peterson proved to be a perfect fit for three seasons. The talented running back was all about working hard and not taking the easy road to success, which ultimately earned him the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect ranking in 2004. Peterson enjoyed a huge true freshmen season and eventually finished as a runner-up in the Heisman voting. While injuries limited his numbers over the next two seasons, Peterson’s impact is immeasurable. He is still the most celebrated recruit of the Stoops era.

No. 1 — Sam Bradford, Quarterback, Putnam City North HS
Why Bradford over Peterson? Maybe because Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. No one can match that in the Stoops era. Bradford burst onto the stage and revived the program just when it seemed the Sooners might be in a rebuilding mode following the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Like Heupel and White before him, Bradford helped give the OU program direction while facing a crossroads. While he wasn’t highly recruited out of Putnam North, Bradford looked like a five-star prospect from the moment he took over as the starter in 2007. A season later, Bradford won the Heisman Trophy and led the Sooners to the BCS title game. Although a shoulder injury kept Bradford from completely rewriting OU’s record books, his legacy was already well established.


Best of the Rest:

Quentin Griffin, RB, Aldine Nimitz HS
For whatever reason, Griffin will always remain one of the best running backs at Oklahoma who will never make the conversation of best ever.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman HS
Murray was one of the most reliable and stabilizing forces for the Oklahoma offense in the Bob Stoops era.

Jammal Brown, OL, Lawton MacArthur HS
Brown became Stoops’ first great offensive lineman at Oklahoma and set the stage for many future NFL prospects.

Trent Williams, OL, Longview HS
Williams wasn’t known as the most dedicated player to ever play at Oklahoma, but that didn’t stop him from being a star.

Dan Cody, DE, Ada HS
Cody was truly the first physical freak at the defensive end position under Stoops.

Curtis Lofton, LB, Kingfisher HS
If Lofton had stayed for just one more year, he might be considered the best linebacker who ever played at OU.

Antonio Perkins, CB, Lawton HS
Perkins set an NCAA record with three punt returns for TDs against UCLA, and he was also a standout cornerback.

Teddy Lehman, LB, Ft. Gibson HS
The Butkus Award winner’s interception for a TD on Roy Williams’ Superman play against Texas in 2001 will go down as one of the greatest plays in OU history.

Davin Joseph, OL, Hallandale HS
A versatile player, Joseph had a great personality and an equally great ability on the offensive line.

Duke Robinson, OL, Atlanta Booker T. Washington HS
The two-time consensus All-American anchored a line that won two Big 12 Championships and appeared in the 2008 BCS title game.

Vince Carter, C, Waco HS
Before Jon Cooper and Ben Habern became All-Big 12 caliber centers, Carter was being recognized as an All-American.

Brodney Pool, S, Houston Westbury HS
A silent superstar for Oklahoma, Pool is still making plays in the NFL for the New York Jets.

J.D. Runnels, F, Carl Albert HS
Runnels was an important recruit for Bob Stoops because he helped pave the way for the fullback and tight end in the jumbo set at Oklahoma.

Brody Eldridge, TE/FB, LaCygne Prairie View HS
Eldridge followed up Runnels and helped add more wrinkles to the physical nature of OU’s offense.

(This story appears in the 2011 Recruiting Issue of Sooner Spectator. To subscribe, call toll free 1-877-841-8877)