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Collected Wisdom: Lucious Selmon, former OU nose guard

INTERVIEWED BY JENNI CARLSON Published: August 20, 2011

Football has been Lucious Selmon's life. He was a consensus All-American at Oklahoma in 1973, when he played alongside brothers Dewey and Lee Roy on the Sooner defensive line. He returned to OU after a short stint in the World Football League, becoming an assistant and staying for 13 years. He coached in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars for eight years, then returned to the college ranks and coached at Michigan State for a year.

Earlier this week, Selmon was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

To think, he had to be convinced to give football at try at Eufaula High School.

There's a big family, a total of nine. I have three older brothers that probably could've played football if the opportunity would've been there.

My high school coach, Paul Bell, one of the greatest men you ever want to meet, probably one of the toughest men you ever want to meet. Coach Bell was the first coach to ever coach any Selmon, and that was me.

Coach Bell happened to see me running around on the schoolyard, and I was much bigger than the rest of the kids. He just came up and asked me, “Hey, have you ever thought about playing football?” And I told him, “No.”

I had never played the game before. I didn't even know how to put football pads on.

He convinced me to go and see if Dad and Mom would allow me to play. That was my excuse for not playing — “Mom and Dad won't let me do it.”

So I went and asked Mom and Dad if I could play football. I knew it would probably create a hardship on them because I would have to practice after school, I would miss the school bus, and one of them would have to come and get me. Plus, I saw a great opportunity there that would make me come home late, and I would have to do all those chores.

They endorsed the opportunity and told me to do my best at it.

Coach Bell was so relentless in telling me that I could be a good football player. I had my ambitions. I wanted to be a diesel mechanic. I wanted to go to Okmulgee Tech and be a diesel mechanic. And Coach Bell came and told me that he thought I could be good enough in football to where I could probably get a scholarship and play college football.

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