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

We Have A New Website!!!!

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

Theyve 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 Feb. 14!
Taylor Made
Griffin a perfect fit for Sooners’ blue-collar approach

With a 3.7 grade point average in his first semester of college and his sights set on pre-med studies, Taylor Griffin appears headed for the white-collar world some day. But the 6-foot-7 Oklahoma Christian School product is quick to admit what brings him true happiness, at least for the moment, is learning his blue-collar role with Kelvin Sampson’s Oklahoma Sooners.

“I want to go as far as basketball will take me,” Griffin said recently. “If it’s four years here and gone, that’s all right. But I’m going to go as far as I possibly can.”

Sampson doesn’t doubt the talented freshman could be playing in a pro arena some day. But what excites the veteran Sooner boss is the next four years that Griffin has planned on spending in Norman.

“He’s improving by leaps and bounds,” Sampson said. “The thing about Taylor is he’s playing behind two great college players in Taj (Gray) and Kevin (Bookout). Probably the best thing for him right now is playing against those guys every day in practice.”

While Gray and Bookout are currently dominating — the two were first and second in scoring through the middle of January and had led the Sooners in scoring and rebounding in every game from December on — Griffin is busy absorbing.

The daily practice sessions are intense — as all Sampson practices are — and it’s these afternoon exercises that the Sooner coach really thinks are benefiting the 19-year-old.

“I’m excited about Taylor. He’s going to be a really, really good college player here,” Sampson said. “He has a great understanding of how to play. He plays aggressive. His body and his athleticism are his big strengths right now.”

All of it is true. Griffin’s 232-pound frame is a powerful one — he’s just 27 pounds and six pounds lighter than Bookout and Gray, respectively — and he’s getting stronger every day. But Sampson’s words are also a nice way of saying the big guy’s got a lot to learn.

Coached by his father in high school, Griffin possesses a basketball I.Q. few players his age are fortunate enough to have. But 99 percent of the freshmen who are lucky enough to see game time that first year aren’t exactly sure of what they’re doing out there all the time.

“I’m out there trying to think what I’m supposed to do, trying not to mess up and trying to go hard at the same time,” Griffin said. “I think once I get a better feel for it it will be a little easier.”

Griffin had a firm, if not commanding, grasp on the high school game. Even playing for tiny, private Oklahoma Christian School, Griffin was able to turn heads and spin defenders wherever he went.

The first team All-State selection averaged 18.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.3 blocked shots to help OCS to a Class 3A state title and himself to Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year honors as a senior.

In fact, OCS was 53-2 Griffin’s final two seasons and undefeated in those state tournaments. Griffin garnered state tournament MVP honors both of those years.

But even with the big numbers, Griffin still couldn’t shake the private school tag.
His solid frame assured he would be recruited heavily, with Washington State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Charlotte and Marquette all courting him heavily.

But it wasn’t what Sampson saw Griffin do in March that sold him. What turned Sampson’s eye was what he saw in June and July.

“You have to first of all be a tough kid and you have to be a worker and like to play,” Sampson said of those players invited into his system. “The thing that really appealed to me about Taylor was I didn’t see him play a lot in high school. I saw him play a lot in the summer in the AAU circuits. The better players Taylor played against the better he played.”

Sampson’s squads have averaged 26 wins the last six seasons. The last eight seasons the Sooners have posted 20 or more wins and over Sampson’s 11 seasons in Norman, Oklahoma has punched its NCAA ticket 10 times.

“All that’s fine and good, but you can’t do that over the length of time we’ve done it year after year after year without having great kids,” Sampson said. “Taylor is in the 99.9 percentile of all that.”

You’d be hard pressed to name a single blue chip signee from those teams.

Sampson says Griffin is cut out of the same cloth as guys like Ernie Abercrombie and Johnny Gilbert, both former players who worked their way into the hearts of the Sooner faithful and into the OU record books.

Nationally recognized for his knack of squeezing the last drop of talent out of players many college coaches normally pass by, Sampson fully expects Taylor to be one of those kids that Sooner fans remember years from now.

“Taylor’s never going to be a player of the year candidate in this league, but he’s going to be a player on our team that can help us win championships and that’s what I saw in him,” Sampson said.

Griffin digs that and he’s more than ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

“Just from watching Oklahoma basketball, for as long as I remember it’s been (about) hard work,” he said. “Coach Sampson’s teams always seem to play harder than anybody they play against. I don’t think they always have better athletes than teams they play, but a lot of times they beat those teams. They play harder. They rebound, they do all the dirty work, all the little things right. That’s kind of what defines this program.

“I really have no problem with that.”

Heading into conference play, Griffin’s number have been by no means eye-catching. His points per game were just under three. while his rebounds each night were just over that mark.
He’s confident that he’s learning and he’s also sure his best days are ahead of him.

“Those guys are playing well,” Griffin said of OU’s front court tandem of Gray and Bookout. “It’s not like I’m going to come in and outplay them. I’ve got to be ready to come in and keep the level of play up to the level they’ve already set. I’ve learned a lot of things from them and I think this year has been really good for me. It gets frustrating because I can’t get out there and because they’re out there, but this year will be good for me playing behind them.”

The fact that both Gray and Bookout are seniors isn’t lost on Griffin either. Even though the basketball competition may not be the best at private schools, the math program is usually a pretty good one.

“Next year, especially with Taj and Bookout being gone, Longar Longar and I will be the main post players,” he said. “I expect a lot out of me and out of Longar next year. I’m going to bust my butt this summer trying to improve. I kind of have something to measure myself against playing against Bookout and Taj. I expect to come out next year and do some damage.”

(Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the January issue of Sooner Spectator Magazine.)