OU Insider: Sooners loaded with leaders

JOHN HELSLEY Published: July 13, 2009
The Sooners return plenty of firepower for their 2009 title pursuit.

There’s a Heisman Trophy winner in Sam Bradford and stars on offense and defense among 21 players back with starting experience.

But when assessing OU’s assets, don’t underestimate another key element: Leadership.

The Sooners have that, too, perhaps in abundance, with 14 players entering at least their third seasons as major contributors.

Several carry major clout. Bradford. Gerald McCoy. Jermaine Gresham. Trent Williams.

All could be playing for pay this season, but instead put off the NFL for another shot at accomplishing something special with the Sooners. And the stand-up status hardly ends with them.

"Everyone talks about the guys who came back who were possible first-round draft picks and other highly regarded draft picks,” said OU coach Bob Stoops. "But also, I love it with Brody Eldridge, Matt Clapp. You look at Auston English. You look at Jeremy Beal. These guys have played a lot of football for us.

"DeMarco Murray.

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