By Dean Blevins, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Throughout this week, NEWS 9 Sports is featuring the Top 10 football players in the ten years of the Bob Stoops Era. One player will be revealed each night at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The final player, ranking as No. 1, will be announced on Sunday evening on the Blitz.
No. 3 is Roy Williams, one of the greatest players in the history of Oklahoma football.
He won the Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender and the Thorpe Award as the best defensive back his junior and final season, before Dallas selected him as the eighth overall pick of the 2002 draft, where he immediately became an All-Pro.
No. 4 is running back Adrian Peterson, who played from 2002 through to the 2004. He set an NCAA freshman rushing record, which was the third most in the nation, and went over 100 yards in 11 of his first 13 games.
He finished second in the Heisman, which was the highest finish ever by a freshman, and was a consensus All American.
Peterson would have finished higher, but injuries resulted in him playing in only 31 of his 39 games before he left for the NFL after his junior season. He broke three NCAA freshman rushing records, including most consecutive 100-yard games (9) and most total 100-yard rushing games (11).
Peterson was named the NFL Rookie Of the Year with the Vikings last season and considered by many as the best in the NFL.
No. 5 is defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who was a two-time All-American and Lombardi Award winner. He played from 2001 to 2003 and probably would have ranked higher if he'd not left for the NFL after his junior season.
He's the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, a three-time NFL All-Pro and first round pick of the Chicago Bears.
It was obvious from Day 1 that Harris was as good as when he was advertised as the best defensive lineman in America coming out of Killeen, Texas.
OU coaches said in a complimentary sense that Harris was a freak of nature the first day he hit campus and the weight room, and had the quickest first step since LeeRoy Selmon.
No. 6 is cornerback Derrick Strait, who won the Nagurski Award in 2003, which is given to the nation's best defensive player. In 2003, he was also awarded the Thorpe Award, 12 Defensive Player of the Year, consensus All-American.
Strait played from 2000 to 2003, including in one national championship. He holds the school record for starts, as he started every game at corner, beginning with his redshirt freshman season by starting in every game after the Austin, Texas native began starting as a redshirt freshman.
The No. 7 selection reported on campus at 5'8'', 157 pounds and bench pressed 135 pounds. He left as the greatest wide receiver to ever play at Oklahoma.
Mark Clayton is a two-time All-American who holds nine Sooner records, including most touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards in a game, season and career.
From 2001-2004, the Sooner fans fell in love with the likeable Clayton. He had eight 100-yard receiving games in the 2003 season, and 15 throughout his caeer.
Stoops has tremendous respect Clayton, who now starts for the Ravens after being their first round selection in the 2004 draft.
No. 8 is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and academic all conference as well. Quentin Griffin, or "Q," scored a record six touchdowns in the 63-14 victory over Texas in 2000. The team eventually went on to win the national championship.
The 5'6'' 195 pound powerhouse was pulled out of redshirt in the ninth game of his 1999 freshman season. After 51 career touchdowns, he ranked third only to Heisman winners Owens and Sims. Griffin was also able to rack up 169 career receptions.
The No. 9 player, Jammal Brown, was the anchor of the OU Offensive line from 2001 through 2004. He won the Outland trophy for College lineman of the year in 2004 and was a two-time All American.
The 6'6'', 335 pound Brown routinely laid out defenders and pancake blocks were routine for the Lawton MacArthur graduate. He reluctantly moved from defensive tackle as a sophomore but quickly blossomed into a superstar destined for the NFL.
The transition paid off, as he was the 13th pick of the first round by the New Orleans Saints, where he was instrumental in helping turn an inconsistent running game into one good enough to lead his team into the playoffs.
The Pro Bowler was popular off the field known as a jovial personality. He developed into one of the best players in the Stoops Era.
The No. 10 player in the Stoops Era was linebacker 6'2'', 240 pound Teddy Lehman. After developing into an accomplished player in the 2000-2003 seasons, Lehman was given the Bednarik and Butkus Award, which recognizes the nation's best college linebacker.
Lehman may best be known for his interception of a pass from Texas' Chris Simms in the 2001 Red River Classic, which resulted in Lehman's touchdown.
The Sooners won a total of 48 games and beat Texas all four years Lehman was on the roster, clinching the National Championship title.
Lehman, having come from Ft. Gibson, was a high school state champion sprinter.
Lehman was a three-year starter, who went on to be drafted in the second round by the Lions.
He now plays for the Buffalo Bills.
Next Monday we begin our series on the top OSU football players.