NORMAN — A couple of weeks ago I asked Bob Stoops a question I ask him every year, unless I forget. Which player do you think is headed for a breakout season who the fans and media really haven’t zoned in on yet?
That inquiry was my first clue that Dan Cody was going to be a pass-rushing beast in 2002 and seasons to come. So it’s a handy question and one Stoops seems to give a lot of thought. This time, Stoops didn’t answer it straight. He steered the question in another direction, but just as interesting. He talked about players who are much better than perhaps given credit. So here they are. →Chris Brown: Hard for a 1,000-yard rusher to be underrated, but I think Stoops is right. "I don’t know that anybody has truly appreciated how good he is,” Stoops said. Brown scored 20 touchdowns last season, averaged 5.6 yards per carry and gained 1,220 yards. Brown needs just 1,025 yards as a senior to become the No. 7 rusher in OU history. →Frank Alexander/Auston English: Alexander is a rising star at defensive end, English is a recovering star at defensive end, and both have to share the two available positions with Jeremy Beal. The position is so loaded, it’s hard for anyone to rise too far above the pack. A friend of mine called this summer and said he was worried about OU’s offensive line, that Cory Brandon couldn’t block Alexander in the spring game. I told him not to sweat it, that nobody else can block Alexander, either, and Stoops concurred. As for English, "he’s another one people have forgotten about.” English was a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate as a 2007 sophomore but played hurt last season and was in the shadow of Alexander and Beal. "Wasn’t his usual self,” Stoops said.