OU football: Remembering the Muskogee boys
It’s been a tough few days for Bud Wilkinson’s old Sooners. Bo Bolinger, a 1955 all-American lineman, died over the weekend. Then Jimmy Harris, the two-time national champion quarterback, died Monday night.
“I tell you, it’s been a rough week,” said Bob Burris, an all-Big Seven halfback for OU in 1955. “I can’t say enough about both of them. Great guys, great athletes.”
Burris is linked more closely than most for the two fallen Sooners. He, like many, played with both. But his ties with Bolinger go back to Muskogee High School and even before. Muskogee sent many a great player to OU during that era. Bob’s older brother, Buddy, a three-time all-American (1946-48). Eddie Crowder, the shifty quarterback in 1951-52. Before them, Pete Smith and Indian Jack Jacobs made all-American at OU, coming from Muskogee.
“We were very fortunate,” Bob Burris said. “Coach Paul Young (at Muskogee), he was one heck of a football coach.”
Burris recalls Bolinger as a “super ballplayer. He never really was that big. But he lived a good, clean life. Never smoked. Never drank anything stronger than a glass of wine.”
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