NORMAN — Brian Orr was different.
When Chuck Bailey was recruiting the Okemah High School football standout to Central Oklahoma, Bailey sat him down like he did every other recruit and asked some simple questions.
What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to major in? What do you want to do when you're done playing football?
Unlike most high school seniors, Orr's answer was firm and unwavering.
“I want to be an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman and nothing else,” Orr said.
Saturday, a stadium full of people — and many thousands more through Internet videos — were introduced to Orr when the OHP trooper, who serves as Bob Stoops' personal bodyguard during football games, laid a blindside tackle on a fan who ran onto Owen Field during a timeout.
The fan, Ronald Butch Mais, was turned over the University of Oklahoma police, cited for disturbing the peace, then released on his own recognizance.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and an official at the game joked that Orr should've been flagged for targeting. Sooners players after the game praised Orr for his form on the takedown.
Bailey, now the athletic director at Mustang, might've been the only one criticizing Orr's tackle that drew a large reaction from the crowd.
“As a coach, the only criticism is on the tackle he left his feet, and to make a good tackle you have to run through the tackle,” Bailey said with a laugh. “So I probably would've had to grade him a minus when I did film study.”
The OHP released a statement Monday praising Orr's actions.
Those who know Orr weren't at all surprised he took control of the situation, while no one else reacted much as Mais ran across the field early in the fourth quarter.
“He's going to step up and do something,” Orr's high school coach, Johnny Bohannon, said. “If he thought there was actually a threat, Brian's the first one to step up and go meet it on. That's just his mentality.”
Bohannon, now an elementary school principal in Eufaula, received a link to the video of Orr's tackle from a former student not long after it hit the Internet. He immediately shared it with his wife and children.
Orr now stands 6-foot-2 and a solid 240 pounds.
“I wished he'd have been that big in high school,” Bohannon said. “He would've probably hurt somebody though.”
Orr helped Okemah reach the state title game and earned Oklahoman All-State honorable mention status as a senior in 1989. He went on to become a longtime starter at UCO. He had 200 career tackles for the Bronchos.
Norman North football coach Wade Standley grew up with Orr in Okemah. Standley spent plenty of time working out with Orr, especially in the summers after he'd graduated from Okemah and while Orr was still in high school.
“Brian was one of those guys that his motor just ran 100 mph, and he was very determined, very focused, always very serious about what he was doing,” Standley said. “He became a monster in the weight room.
“He's just a great guy, a loyal guy, always a team guy and it was certainly no surprise when he chose to go into the profession that he's in because of those characteristics and then no surprise how successful he's been either.”
Orr started with the Okemah Police Department before moving on to Moore, where he spent most of his time working as a K-9 officer. In 2002, he realized his longtime goal of working for the OHP.
“He knew at 17 years old that he wanted to be an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman, which I think is awesome that he's about 40 years old today and that's what he's doing,” Bailey said. “I think that's the cool thing that kids can dream and their dreams can come true.”
Monday morning, Bailey texted Orr about the hit.
“Just the way you coached me,” Orr said.