Sports opinion: All-Bob Stoops-era Oklahoma team

As Bob Stoops’ career as the head football coach Oklahoma came to a shocking end last week with the announcement of his retirement after 18 years as the face of the Sooner football program, there have been many media outlets across the country that are giving their opinion of the All Bob Stoops-era team at OU.

So, I decided to join the party and give my Bob Stoops-era team, while he was manning the sidelines in Norman:

Offense:

-Quarterback

  1. Sam Bradford
  2. Baker Mayfield

Sam Bradford was the purest quarterback of the Stoops-era at Oklahoma. The tall, lanky Oklahoma City native made throwing a football look easy, as that was his nickname, “Big Easy”. Bradford won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 and led the Sooners to a national title match up with Florida in that same season.

Baker Mayfield got the nod over Jason White and Josh Heupel because of Mayfield’s ability to come in and give the team a jolt of energy with his enthusiasm and passion for playing the game he loves. Not to mention, he can throw football pretty well and he can make every throw in the book.

-Running back

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. DeMarco Murray

This should be obvious, but Adrian Peterson is the best player in the Stoops-era period at Oklahoma. He has been the best overall running back to walk this planet over the past 15 years.

DeMarco Murray makes the two-deep because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield with ease and his ability to make people miss in the open field. If the Sooners would have had a healthy Murray in the 2008 national championship game against the Gators, the outcome very easily could have been different.

-Fullback

  1. Trey Millard
  2. Aaron Ripkowski

Trey Millard was a rare talent at the fullback position. He was an incredible blocker, could run the ball very well and was an above-average pass catcher out of the backfield.

Aaron Ripkowski was an underrated fullback at OU because he never did anything that was flashy or that caught people’s eyes. However, he was the best overall blocker out of the backfield Oklahoma had under Stoops. Rip’s performance against Alabama in the 2013 Sugar Bowl was second-to-none.

-Wide receiver

  1. Dede Westbrook, Sterling Shepard and Ryan Broyles
  2. Malcolm Kelly, Curtis Fagan and Jalen Saunders

Dede Westbrook, Sterling Shepard and Ryan Broyles all had the ability to make big plays and to make people miss in the open field and create more yards after the catch. They gave OU the “wow-factor” during their time with the Sooners.

Malcolm Kelly, Curtis Fagan and Jalen Saunders were also big time playmakers for Stoops. They were solid targets for whichever quarterback was throwing them the football.

-Tight end

  1. Jermaine Gresham
  2. Trent Smith

Jermaine Gresham was one of the most intimidating physical specimens in the Stoops-era at Oklahoma. At 6’6” 250-pounds with the speed of a running back, Gresham was un-coverable down the middle of the field for the Sooners.

Trent Smith was clutch down the stretch in 2000, as he was instrumental in the Sooners capturing the 2000 national championship.

-Offensive tackle

  1. Jamal Brown and Trent Williams
  2. Phil Loadholt and Lane Johnson

-Offensive guard

  1. Davin Joseph and Duke Robinson
  2. Adam Shead and Frank Romero

-Center

  1. Gabe Ikard
  2. Vince Carter

With Jamal Brown and Trent Williams anchoring the outside of the offensive line, OU would be in a tremendous shape. Add in Davin Joseph, Duke Robinson with Gabe Ikard and you have one of the best offensive lines in the history of college football

Backing that offensive line up with Phil Loadholt, Lane Johnson, Adam Shead, Frank Romero and Vince Carter is nothing to scoff at if you are Oklahoma. Those mashers would give any defensive front seven a lot of problems.

Defense:

-Defensive tackle

  1. Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy
  2. Dusty Dvoracek and Jordan Phillips

-Defensive end

  1. Dan Cody and Jimmy Wilkerson
  2. Frank Alexander and Charles Tapper

A strong defensive line is crucial when it comes to being a great defense in college football. This defensive front would almost be unstoppable for any offense to deal with. Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy with Dan Cody and Jimmy Wilkerson on the edges would be incredibly difficult to block.

Then, if you back them up with Dusty Dvoracek and Jordan Phillips on the inside with Frank Alexander and Charles Tapper on the outside, you have the depth you need to be dominant up front

-Middle linebacker

  1. Torrance Marshall and Curtis Lofton
  2. Lance Mitchell and Clint Ingram

-Outside linebacker

  1. Rocky Calmus and Teddy Lehman
  2. Rufus Alexander and Eric Striker

In the Stoops’ defense, the linebackers are vital to the success of the unit and he had some good ones in Norman. Starting with Torrance Marshall and Curtis Lofton in the middle with Rocky Calmus and Teddy Lehman on the edge, play makers all over the field.

Backing them up with Lance Mitchell and Clint Ingram in the middle and Rufus Alexander and Eric Striker on the outside is almost unfair. The combination of run stoppers and pass rushers would give any offense nightmares.

-Safety

  1. Roy Williams and Brandon Everage
  2. Tony Jefferson and Quentin Carter

-Cornerback

  1. Derrick Strait and Aaron Colvin
  2. Dominique Franks and Zack Sanchez

Early in his career at Oklahoma, Stoops was known for having secondary players who could lockdown receivers off of the line of scrimmage and having players in the backend who became known for flying up to the line of scrimmage and making plays. With Roy Williams, Brandon Everage, Derrick Strait and Aaron Colvin, you have all that you need to be a dominant secondary.

With Tony Jefferson, Quentin Carter, Dominique Franks and Zack Sanchez as depth in the secondary is a luxury that most programs haven’t had in the past two decades.

Special teams:

-Place kicker

  1. Tim Duncan

-Punter

  1. Jeff Ferguson

-Kick returner

  1. Joe Mixon and Brandon Savage

-Punt returner

  1. Antonio Perkins

Having a good place kicker and a good punter are vital to a team’s success. If you can win the kicking game, it could very possibly make the difference when you are in a tight ballgame. Tim Duncan and Jeff Ferguson provided that for Stoops.

Joe Mixon and Brandon Savage as your kick-off return players provide excitement for any fan base and that’s what they did for Sooner nation.

Antonio Perkins was an easy choice for punt returner. Perkins almost unstoppable in 2003, when he led the nation in punt return yards and touchdowns.

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