Oklahoma football: Barry Switzer’s greatest players
As part of Barry Switzer’s 75th birthday celebration, I ranked the top 75 Switzer players. We didn’t have room in the newspaper, because of the wonderful tributes and my column, which you can read here and here.
But I’m offering up the list of Switzer players, and it comes with a twist. I included all players from Switzer’s 16 seasons as head coach, 1973-88, but also offensive players from 1967-72, when Switzer was offensive coordinator. Seemed to me that some of those great players from the Chuck Fairbanks era felt as close to Switzer as the later guys. Anyway, let’s get on with it:
1. Lee Roy Selmon, DT, 1972-75
Best Selmon is the best Sooner.
2. Billy Sims, RB, 1975-79
Won a Heisman, should have won another.
3. Tony Casillas, NG, 1982-85
First pick in ’86 NFL draft.
4. Rod Shoate, LB, 1972-74
Pioneered the speed linebacker.
5. Joe Washington, RB, 1972-75
Authored four of 10 most memorable Sooner plays.
6. Keith Jackson, TE, 1984-87
Most clutch player in OU history.
7. Greg Pruitt, RB, 1970-72
8. Jack Mildren, QB, 1969-71
Original wishbone quarterback; most important player in OU history.
9. Eddie Hinton, WB, 1966-68
They don’t make wingbacks anymore. Maybe they should.
10. Steve Owens, RB, 1967-69
How about this depth: Heisman winner Switzer’s fourth-best running back.
11. Brian Bosworth, LB, 1984-86
Beyond the cartoon character lived one heck of a player.
12. George Cumby, LB, 1975-79
From third-string fullback to linebacker great.
13. Dewey Selmon, NG, 1972-75
Great question. Was Dewey helped or hurt by playing next to Lee Roy all his life?
14. Greg Roberts, OG, 1975-79
’78 Outland Trophy winner.
15. Tom Brahaney, C, 1970-72
Greatest blocker of the early wishbone explosion.
16. Rickey Dixon, DB, 1984-87
’87 Thorpe Award winner.
17. Rick Bryan, DT, 1980-83
Great lineman was cursed by only slump of Switzer era.
18. Reggie Kinlaw, NG, 1975-78
Undersized but not underproductive, even in NFL.
19. Lucious Selmon, NG, 1971-73
No. 1 on the leadership list.
20. Darrol Ray, DB, 1976-79
Best Switzer player to not make all-American and a better player than a bunch who did.
20. Louis Oubre, OT, 1978-80
21. Mark Hutson, OG, 1984-87
Rare freshman offensive line starter on Big Eight title team.
22. Anthony Phillips, OG, 1985-88
Early product of Jenks blue-chip machine.
23. Terry Crouch, OG, 1979-81
Oubre’s sidekick on great O-line.
24. Daryl Hunt, LB, 1975-78
All-time leading tackler at OU.
25. Steve Zabel, TE, 1967-69
Great two-way player; defensive end, too.
26. Darrell Reed, DE, 1984-87
Joins Anthony Phillips and Wade Walker as OU’s only four-time all-conference picks.
27. Mike Vaughan, OT, 1974-76
First of the mammoth offensive linemen.
28. Kevin Murphy, DE, 1981-85
1983 Big Eight defensive player of the year.
29. Tinker Owens, WR, 1972-75
Crazy stats; two-time all-American, yet his catches by year were 22, 18, 18 and 12.
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