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Fans line up to meet 5 QBS who led Sooners to national titles

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm •  Published: June 8, 2009

photo - From left, Steve Davis, Jimmy Harris and Claude  Arnold were three of the former OU quarterbacks at Sunday’s book signing. Photo provided by Greg Jackson
From left, Steve Davis, Jimmy Harris and Claude Arnold were three of the former OU quarterbacks at Sunday’s book signing. Photo provided by Greg Jackson
Arnold signed a 1950 OU game program. Davis signed a photo of he and Switzer on the sidelines, with the moppy-haired Davis looking remarkably like Sam Bradford, a quarterback who with a little luck could this year join this exclusive club.

Harris said he agreed to the session to spend time with Arnold. Davis generally avoids autograph events but agreed to this signing to be with Harris, with whom he is forever linked by remarkably similar and successful resumes, and Arnold, who at 84 is quickly becoming the elder statesman of Oklahoma football.

"I’ve always thought so much of both of them,” Davis said. "It’s a small fraternity.

"I don’t know why we don’t honor national champion linebackers and national kickers.”

But we don’t. Quarterbacks become the faces of teams, even though among the five champion QBs, only Heupel so much as made All-American.

"One thing I’ve realized is how rare these national championships are,” Davis said. "You realize how many great quarterbacks and how many great teams Oklahoma has had, but you’re breathing rare air when you win the national championship.”

Holieway in particular seemed impressed at the company he kept Sunday.

He studied a picture of Harris, playing as a sophomore without a face mask, and asked how many times Harris or teammates suffered a broken nose. "They’re better than I’ll ever be,” Holieway declared.

When Harris needled Davis about that lone defeat, Holieway joined in. "I’ve always put you at the top,” Holieway told Davis. "I guess I should review my Oklahoma history a little bit.”

Everyone crammed into the little Sooner Schooner shop Sunday got to review a little OU football history, on one very special day.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

Editor's note: The column had the incorrect date for when Claude Arnold was in the championship game. The game was in 1950, not 1960.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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