Les Miles inherited several key players from former OSU coach Bob Simmons — Tatum Bell, Rashaun Woods, Kevin Williams, Greg Richmond, Sam Mayes and others — but he also coached them up, developing returning talent and also adding more.
Selected key players of the Miles era:
Billy Bajema. Also part of Miles' initial recruiting class, Bajema arrived without a position. He became a standout tight end, where he still plays in the NFL.
Tatum Bell. Before Miles arrived, Bell was known for his speed, but also for being a bit soft as a running back. He finished with 3,409 rushing yards.
Josh Fields. Part of Miles' first recruiting class, Fields gets overlooked in the roll call of Cowboys quarterbacks. All he did was win. And he beat OU twice.
Corey Hilliard. An offensive line anchor for most of four seasons, Hilliard ranks among OSU's great tackles.
Charlie Johnson. Convinced to move from tight end to tackle, Johnson found a position that would carry him to the Super Bowl.
Sam Mayes. A late addition to Simmons' final recruiting class, Mayes developed into a three-year starter and reflected the toughness Miles sought.